A slick action movie that’s also cohesive is a tough problem, even for Hollywood. Dhaakad so is a feat, pulling off those two things, throwing the melodrama for a spare kerf, heading to the relatively new location of Bhopal and surrounding areas, getting the vibe by diving into the coal mines there- low, and even giving us a glimpse of life in this city with its mixed communities, which live together harmoniously. It shouldn’t be that rare, but it is.
And although much has been said about the fact that Dhaakad (a terrific name indeed) is the rare female-centric action film in India, there are actually two women who do most of the heavy lifting here, and quite easily at that – Kangana Ranaut as the protagonist Agent Agni and Divya Dutta as Rohini, the mastermind, financial mind, emotional support and much more of a criminal network that deals in anthrax and women trafficking.
The two confrontations between Agni and Rohini are the highlights of the film, even if the creators of Dhaakad are clearly banking on the combat abilities of Agni and the wickedness of Rudraveer, played excessively by Arjun Rampal. We’re getting used to this quirky Rampal now, covered in tattoos, rings, long fur-lined coats and experimental hairstyles.
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But the surprise here is Kangana Ranaut, who is very dark, very understated as an agent fleeing a tortured past – contrary to what the film’s promos might have suggested, and contrary to how the actor seems to see himself these days. last time. Dutta, of course, is just good, period. And her Rohini is no exception, her role as a former prostitute who now runs the business with an iron fist, with little mercy and a lot of cunning, suggesting layers and layers that deserve a movie on their own. Now here is a kothewali who gets his hands dirty, speaks badly and knows badly, unlike the immaculate purity of a Kathiawadi.
The plain and simple storyline is that Agni became an agent after a shocking childhood incident when her parents were shot by a man she vaguely remembers. Now she’s leading the Agency’s investigation into a smuggling ring smuggling out of central India into Budapest (which continues to appear almost like a backyard of Bhopal) and a sheikh from the Middle East.
Agni leads the search from Budapest to Bhopal and beyond, aided by local Bhopal resident Fazal (Sharib Hashmi, of The Family Man fame). Agni immediately finds herself drawn to her motherless daughter Zaira, for obvious reasons.
However, what seemed like a quick extract and terminate operation turns out not to be so simple, as Rudraveer and Rohini unleash carnage, aided by their own informants.
When the film enters twist and turn territory and becomes a one-woman revenge saga, Dhaakad offers no surprises. We know that whatever you throw at Agni, it will bounce back, no matter how unlikely or unbelievable.
If the first 20 minutes of the film are ripoffs of Hollywood’s chain action thrillers, where people kill and die before you’ve even settled in for your popcorn, the last 20 minutes of Dhaakad are a exaggerated exercise.
That the middle holds up so well is a tribute to its actors, its efforts to give us human characters, and its smoothly flowing story (credit to rookie director and co-writer Razneesh Ghai). In one place, we learn of a medical condition where a person’s heart is tilted more to the right than normal, which saves their life. Dhaakad has its heart in the right place.
The cast of the film Dhaakad: Kangana Ranaut, Arjun Rampal, Divya Dutta, Sharib Hashmi, Saswata Chatterjee
Director of the film Dhaakad: Razneesh Ghai
Dhaakad Movie Rating: 3.5 stars