The delectable combination of director Nagesh Kukunoor and Rajasthan brings to mind a mouth-watering prospect, the sole reason being his earlier work, the wonderfully narrated ‘Dor’. This time, a similar background, coupled with an endearing lead cast, had all the potential of history repeating itself, but falls short on certain accounts. The emotional quotient is pretty high this time around too and is mixed with playfulness and dashes of humour too.

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Dhanak Movie Review

Pari (Hetal Gadda) and her kid brother, Chhotu (Krish Chhabria), who has lost his eyesight, in an attempt to bring back his vision, decide to travel on foot across Rajasthan. The brother-sister duo is die-hard fans of the two Khans, Salman, and Shahrukh respectively, with Chhotu even flaunting the stone bracelet exactly like his favourite Bhaijaan. The chemistry between the ‘siblings’ is amazing and the audience is lulled into believing that their relationship is real.

Pari is a dud at school, failing twice in the same class and studying along with Chhotu. When she hears that SRK, who is the brand ambassador for an eye donation campaign, is shooting at the other end of Rajasthan, Pari decides to take Chhotu along and restore his eyesight. Also, there is a timeframe for all this to happen, that is before Chhotu turns nine which is a few months away.

The film is a veritable feast for the viewer’s eyes as Kukunoor’s camera pans across the barren land lovingly and shows us the dry desert in a completely new light. Pari and Chhotu’s banter and their constant attempts to prove their favourite Khan as the best is fun to watch. The kids believe in the good things of life and are completely trusting with strangers too, underlining their innocence.

Nagesh has cleverly used the desert as a character who plays tricks with the children. The introduction of various characters does help the movie to move along at a fair clip, but the characters seem too stereotyped and are type-cast. For example, the backpacker who is walking around the face of the earth or the wicked aunt or even the female dacoit, who seems to have stumbled on to the sets directly after a fashion show.

Dhanak Review: What Shines, and What Does Not

The mud huts where the kids live look freshly created and the clothes are more like costumes than everyday outfits. Even the Rajasthani accent seems quite wooden, especially from the supporting cast. While the narration is first rate and holds the viewer’s attention, these distractions are jarring to the eye and the ear and are a source of irritation in an otherwise likable movie.

The real star of this movie is Hetal, who as Pari is an absolute delight to watch. She captures the essence of the movie beautifully and portrays a complete balance between childishness and maturity. Krish as Chhotu has played the perfect foil to Hetal’s Pari and has done a fabulous job too. The music by Tapas Relia is a delight to the ears and has captured the emotion of “Dhanak” with perfection.

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