It is one thing - going into a film with absolutely no expectations and knowing it will be a mockery - take Heropanti 2 for example. But when you go into a film with a ray of hope that it might just be a pleasant surprise looking at the trailer and then it turns out to a trainwreck - you feel disheartened and frustrated. Dhaakad proves to be exactly that. Having seem the spy action-thriller starring Kangana Ranaut, here is what I thought of it-
The Positives (Literally Had To Nitpick)
Okay, with any film you watch, one might have to nitpick the negatives at times. But with Dhaakad, I had to really scratch my head and wonder about the positives. So nitpicking and trying to start off well, I can barely point out a couple of positives. Kangana Ranaut is as gorgeous as ever and in every frame of the film that she is present, she looks badass, sexy and hot all at the same time. Whenever she beats up bad guys left, right and centre, you buy it because she makes it look so good. And apart from that, the film has a couple of expertly choreographed action sequences, especially the one which has fire in the background. Albeit it is a tad too long but it is a fun action sequence and watching a woman kick men's butts is all kinds of fun.
Okay one more positive that I have to hand it to the film - has to be the cinematography. Tetsuo Nagata, one of the best in the business manages to exhibit his brilliance with the camera here as well where the film has some fine frames which are beautiful and gory at the same time. Be it the black and white treatment with Arjun Rampal and Divya Dutta's storyline or orange being the dominant color because of the fire in the action scenes, it is exhilarating.
The Story & Screenplay
Now, we are all done with the good bits. Coming to the central point, the story and the screenplay of Dhaakad is so unbelievably complex yet predictable that nothing about it makes the film a worthy watch. The story tries to be a sleek spy thriller but ends up being a rehash of other spy thrillers in the worst possible way. The screenplay is so childlike, that you would actually laugh at the developments happening in the film, especially in the second-half.
Agent Agni - Never Dies
Okay before we are bombarded - yes, when the male hero of a film somehow just doesn't die even after being shot a thousand times - it ISN'T fun and cannot be sold. This is an argument everyone makes, especially in an over-the-top film. But here, it seems Agent Agni cannot die no matter how badly you hit her and even almost kill her. There are instances where she is jabbed with the knife multiple times, shot in the heart directly but she survives - why? because it is revealed 'her heart is a little on the right side'. I was at a media screening and I swear when I say this - the entire crowd was laughing at it and then making jokes the entire time.
All of the outlandishness of the film might have been excused if the film was an engaging and entertaining spy thriller. On the contrary, it was one of the most boring and underwhelming films one might ever see. Even just clocking around 2 hours and 12 minutes, the films seems longer for all the wrong reasons. No twist and no developmental scene make the film engaging and the climax actually just made the film a whole lot worse.
Why is Arjun Rampal given this weird voice and accent in the film, one will never know. In an attempt to be a badass villain, Rampal is a cliched and over-the-top villain that we have seen aplenty and none of his good looks and swagger helps in hiding that. Divya Dutta, a fine actor otherwise is also cliched and predictable as the other antagonist but one can imagine her reason of doing this role - it is a fine actor having fun doing crazy stuff.
Saswata Chatterjee is a great actor as well but when nothing is going right around you, there isn't much even he can do.
Actor Sharib Hashmi lends some credibility to the film with his short role but everyone else involved exhibit lesser to none acting chops.
Ranaut might have a divided audience in her personal life but when it comes to her acting, no one can deny her talent. But here, the actor falters miserably when it comes to exhibiting her acting chops. While she aces her bits of action and aggressiveness, she lets down in the acting department.
It is not often that with such hyper-stylized action, sass and attractive visuals, you make a trainwreck of a film. Oh wait! I forgot Michael Bay films. Anyway, Dhaakad is an absolute trainwreck and to be investing money and time into a film for just a couple of good moments is not at all worthy.
Rating - *1/2 (1.5/5)