Critic’s Rating : 3.0 / 5
Dhaakad Movie Review : Kangana Ranaut kicks the envelope hard with this action-drama
REVIEW: In the middle of an action piece, Kangana Ranaut’s character, Special Agent Agni says, “Jism se ruh alag karna business hai mera.” That line pretty much sums up what Kangana is out to do in Razneesh Razy Ghai’s Dhaakad. She’s a fearless field officer of the International Task Force, an imaginary unit of the Indian government. Her mission is to crack the whip on an international human trafficking racket that has its roots in the coal mines of central India. Her job entails seeking information, the people involved and eliminating them. However, she ends up with a personal score to settle with Rudraveer, the kingpin of this racket being run from central India’s coal mines.
It’s refreshing to watch Kangana Ranaut get all down and dirty playing this fierce officer who often doesn’t care much for protocols. The portions where she’s engaged in hand-to-hand, physical combat, and even those where she wields weapons are quite slick. They present her in a raw, action avatar, which is a rarity in our films. Her agility, strength and her involvement to package her character to make it look believable are pretty evident and applaudable.
Divya Dutta proves why she can be trusted with any kind of role. She elevates the written material in a commendable way, lending solid support to the narrative. Arjun Rampal in his menacing avatar as Rudraveer pushes himself hard. His effort to make his part look and feel like an evil person is visible.
In the technical department, action choreography and camerawork (by Tetsuo Nagata) get the maximum share of credits. Without these two elements wonderfully married to one another, this action movie would not have had as much sheen in its appearance as it has now. It’s cool to see a mainstream film use black and white to denote a flashback – even though an obvious one, it’s a neat little touch on the edit table.
However, on the flip side, the film lacks the glue that sticks all of this together. Great action sets don’t alone make an action movie. The film could have done with better writing. It fell short of a solid storyline, and a more thought-out screenplay that justifies the action sets and the characters that have been floated into the universe created here.
Despite some great names in the credits all along, the eventual result of the film leaves you feeling disappointed. Dhaakad, although, is about two hours and 10 minutes long, the run feels way longer. And yet, in a dichotomy of sorts, you feel the need to know or to understand how the plot connected itself from point A to B, minus the lullaby and a backstory that repeats thrice over. Arjun Rampal’s character, for instance, could have done with better writing which would have borne better results. Although the actor adds a lot of style and charisma to his evil avatar (what with the platinum blonde look), and makes a great effort to pull off his menacing act with conviction, his character needed more meat. One also needed more face time between Agni and Rudraveer for the narrative to have more appeal.
The director, although tries really hard to push the envelope with a woman-led action film, with no romantic interludes to digress into, finishes way short of the finish line. As the co-writer of the film with a heavy Quentin Tarantino hangover, his keener attention to story details could have really elevated the movie. Also, under-utlising actors like Sharib Hashmi and Saswata Chatterjee in bit roles pinches hard.
All in all, it would have been great if along with the superb action and terrific visuals, the story, too, could have packed a punch.