Dhaakad Movie Review: Kangana Ranaut and Divya Dutta star in this slick action film


Dhaakad review 1200

A slick action film that’s also consistent is a tough nut to crack, even for Hollywood. Dhaakad Then, getting those two things right, throwing away the melodrama for a frugal bloodletting, heading to the relatively new town of Bhopal and its surrounds, getting the mood right by delving into the coal mines there, and even giving is an accomplishment us a glimpse of life in this city with its mixed communities living seamlessly together. It shouldn’t be that rare, but it is.

And while much has been said about Dhaakad (an impressive name indeed) being India’s rare female-centric action film, there are actually two women doing most of the hard work here, and doing it fairly effortlessly – Kangana Ranaut as protagonist Agent Agni and Divya Dutta as Rohini, the brains, financial savvy, emotional support and much more of a criminal ring dealing in coal and trafficking in women.

The two confrontations between Agni and Rohini are the highlights of the film, although the creators of Dhaakad are clearly aiming for Agni’s fighting skills and Rudraveer’s villainy, played to exaggerated effect by Arjun Rampal. We’re now getting used to this bohemian rampal covered in tattoos, rings, fur-lined long coats and experimental hairstyles.

CLOCK | Dhaakad trailer here

But the surprise here is Kangana Ranaut, who comes across as very somber, very demure as an agent running from a tormented past – very different from how the film’s promotions suggested and different from how the actress seems to see herself of late. Dutta is of course 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 much cunning, suggesting layers and layers that deserve a film of their own. Now here is a Kothewali who gets her hands dirty, talks dirty and knows dirty, unlike the spotless purity of a Kathiawadi.

The simple, uncomplicated story is that Agni became an agent after a shocking incident from her childhood, when her parents were shot and killed by a man she only vaguely remembers. Now she leads the agency’s investigation into a human trafficking ring originating in central India and stretching as far as Budapest (which keeps popping up, almost like a Bhopal backyard) and a sheikh of Middle Eastern origin.

Agni leads the search from Budapest to Bhopal and beyond, assisted by a Bhopal resident Fazal (Sharib Hashmi, known from The Family Man). Agni is immediately attracted to his motherless daughter, Zaira, for obvious reasons.

What looked like a quick extraction and termination operation turned out to be not so easy, however, as Rudraveer and Rohini unleash carnage with the help of their own informants.

As the film veers into territory of twists and turns and becomes a one-woman revenge saga, Dhaakad offers no surprises. We know whatever you throw at Agni, she will bounce back, no matter how unlikely or unbelievable that is.

If the film’s first 20 minutes are rip-offs from Hollywood’s assembly line action thrillers where people kill and die before they’ve even settled down for your popcorn, Dhaakad’s last 20 is an exercise in overkill.

That the middle holds up so well is a tribute to its actors, its effort to give us some human characters, and its story, which progresses well (thanks to debutant and co-writer Razneesh Ghai). At one point we learn of a condition in which a person’s heart tilts to the right more than normal, saving their life. Dhaakad has his heart in the right place.

Cast of Dhaakad Movie: Kangana Ranaut, Arjun Rampal, Divya Dutta, Sharib Hashmi, Saswata Chatterjee
Director of Dhaakad: Razneesh Ghai
Dhaakad Film Rating: 3.5 stars

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