Dhanak is one of those off beat films but that released without much ado and fanfare owing to its cast and team. Nagesh Kukunoor directed film, although competed a couple of years back and already earned praise at various film festivals with a few awards to show failed to garner much screens and it was difficult getting the show in the theater of our choice.
The movie is about a brother and sister pair, who are fans of Salman and Shahrukh Khan respectively. Brother is blind from childhood while the sister has promised him that she’ll get him his eyes before his 9th birthday. She spots a poster of Shah rukh about eyes donation and writes to him. With no reply and only a handful of days before the boy’s 9th birthday, she decides to be make a move to Jaisalmer, where the actor is shooting. The joyride starts there with plenty of experiences for the kids, some music, interesting people, and so much of hope.
|muthi hai chhoti, paana hai saara, isse kam mein naa karna guzaara|
The choice of cast is interesting with a few acclaimed actors and two new child prodigies (using the word owing to their performances). The two child actors have done remarkably (Krishh Chhabria as Chhotu and Hetal Gada as Pari), and the humor quotient of the film is consistently high due to the performances of the duo. The chemistry between brother and sister is excellent too. There’s the evil chachi who’s done her job to the T (Gulfam Khan), and so did the sweet Chacha, a complete opposite of his villain-type father character in Taare Zameen Par (Vipin Sharma). Plenty of cameos from various actors including Rodies fame Rajiv Laxman, a song-cum-cameo by Chet Dixon (Dum-a-dum mast kalandar mixed with some English rap made an excellent song too), Vibha Chhiber was excellent in her ‘Mata’ role, and so was Suresh Menon in a silent role- completely opposite of what we’ve seen him do already.
Tapas Ralia shines with his innovative use of Rajasthani folk music and some fusion. Music sounds beautiful and hopeful, and one of my friends who doesn’t threatens Hindi commented this about the song Jeene se bhi zyada jiyein- a song of hope. Monali Thakur (of Lakshmi fame) croons beautiful title song, the lyrics going ‘hogi phir mehek tere haatho mein, aur dekhega tu dhanak raato mein’ at her melodious best. The cinematography is excellent and the locales are fitting to the theme and story. Direction is top notch, as usual. If only, this is one of the weakest films from the director and yet it is so beautiful that you’d want to consider watching his other films- especially Lakshmi, the previous one.
So many positive reviews have already been garnered by this film and I’m yet to find a person who actually didn’t like the film. A must watch, even though not at par with other of the films by the same director.