Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and a half stars)
Star Cast: Hetal Gada, Krrish Chhabria, Rajiv Lakshman, Vipin Sharma, Flora Saini, Gulfam Khan
Director: Nagesh Kukunoor
What’s Good: The innocence that resonates not just from the story but also from the act the little gems bring to the film.
What’s Bad: The film’s snail-speed pace is a huge letdown. Not many may be able to endure themselves through such a slow moving film in spite of its rich content.
Loo Break: An extra one in the second half.
Watch or Not?: Dhanak is a delightful film that comes straight from the heart. An extremely endearing brother-sister tale, this film has a lot to offer when it comes to human nature and emotions.
Pari ( Hetal Gada) has only one dream. She wants her little brother Chotu ( Krrish Chhabria) to once again have his eyesight back.
The kids are being brought up by their Chacha-Chachi. While the Chacha is loving, he is a good for nothing soul and it is the Chachi who is the bread winner for the family. She is not very fond of the kids and vice versa.
Pari and Chotu are huge fans of Bollywood and one of their biggest arguing point always remains to be that little Chotu is a Salman Khan fan where as Pari loves the romantic Shah Rukh Khan.
When Pari comes across a banner of Shah Rukh Khan promoting eye donation, she decides to meet him at his Jaisalmer shoot and request him to help Chotu.
Thus the kids take on a journey all by themselves. Will Pari’s dream come true? Will Shah Rukh help the kids?
Dhanak Review: Script Analysis
Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dhanak is a heart-felt story. The beautiful nature of Pari and Chotu’s relationship from the angle of them being Shah Rukh and Salman supporters is such a novel presentation that it amazed me. The best part is how naturally, Kukunoor weaves the concept of fandom in the story with not only the kids characters but also through the people they meet on their journey. At no point in the story are the celebrities out down over each other or the way round.
While many may find Pari and Chotu’s journey too good to be true, I’d say it is films like these that restore our faith in good people and show us that once in a while it is healthy to trust people.
The nature of their love for the screen idols is actually so naive that in one of the scenes when Pari and a traveler they seek help from are discussing how great an actor Shah Rukh is, Chotu shuts his ears and starts to chant ‘Sorry Salman Bhai’. It is such moments in the film that keep making you smile and appreciate the fact that there is still a lot of innocence not just in reel life but real too. It is this constant banter amongst the two that keeps us entertained and also may form as a reminder for many about their siblings.
The zesty character of Chotu makes sure that you have a good laugh each time he has a comeback to Pari’s responsible instructions.
There is nothing gimmicky about this film, just like Kukunoor’s previous attempts of Dor, Iqbal that rode high on the human emotion quotient.
Dhanak Review: Star Performance
Krrish Chabbria is a revelation. As Chotu, he is extremely lovable thanks to his honest act of a younger brother who is naughty but also loves his sister beyond anything. His act of the visually impaired guy who does not shy away from pulling off his micheifs is laudable.
Hetal Gada too puts up a stellar, emotional act as a sister who is determined to get her brother his eyesight back. She is brave, responsible and highly fond of her brother. Gada brings out these emotions quite perfectly.
Vipin Sharma shines in a small role as the loving Chacha who is left heatrbroken when the kids leave on a journey by themselves.
Dhanak Review: Direction, Music
If the trailer of the film gave you an impression that it is going to be just another tale that has the mention of Shah Rukh Khan in it, you are sorely mistaken. Kukunoor’s human interest story is one of those rare films where even the adults start feeling like kids and in spite of being aware that it is a fictional affair, you end up rooting for the characters to get their happy ending.
The infusion of kids and their love for desserts or cravings is intricately scattered all through the film. It is a delight to watch those scenes unfold so naturally that it almost takes you down the memory lane when you have fought over Jalebis and Gulab Jamuns.
Sans any melodrama, the film set in the sandy terrains of Rajasthan’s sand dunes. With the ‘there is still good left in the world attitude’ the story marches further but it is only the pace that irks you as a viewer. Especially, the second half seems slightly stretched.
The soundtrack is perfect for the film’s story and clubbed with the picturesque locales of Rajasthan, this is a nice virtual trip to the land.
Dhanak Review: The Last Word
Dhanak is a must-watch for a brilliant act by the little ones in the lead. It is a reminder for all us that the world is not full of all evils. How long has it been since you sat to watch a film that put a smile across your face all through? I am going with a 3.5/5 for this!
Dhanak releases on 17th June, 2016.
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