Dhanak: Film Review – Welcome Back, Mr. Kukunoor

Verdict: A film that has its heart in the right place. 

If you think that it’s an evil world out there, watch Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dhanak. This fantastic film will make believe that good people still exist. After all, if it hadn’t been for the many Good Samaritans, Pari (Hetal Gada) and the visually impaired Chotu (Krrish Chhabria), wouldn’t have made it from their home to another city. Pari believes that Bollywood actor, Shah Rukh Khan, will fund her brother’s operation to bring back his eyesight. With the hope of meeting the superstar in person, she and her younger sibling leave home. The other factor that plays a role in this decision is her aunt’s (Gulfam Khan) cruel behavior. Her hen-pecked uncle (Vipin Sharma) tries hard but his wife continues to be rude to the kids. 

Along the way, the siblings befriend many people, and their interactions with strangers are the film’s best moments. On one occasion, they even have a jugalbandi with an American tourist, right in the middle of a desert. This scene reminds you of the one in Kukunoor‘s Dor, in which the lead actors start dancing to Kajra Re. Dhanak has been shot in Rajasthan and throughout the movie, you’ll get to see the rural areas in the state. The soundtrack consists of a lot of folk music which blends well with the narrative and the setting.DhanakIt is great to see Nagesh Kukunoor back in form. The director gave us wonderful films like Iqbal and Dor but he seemed to have lost his way with 8×10 Tasveer, Bombay to Bangkok and Aashayein. In Dhanak, he is doing what he knows best and deserves two thumbs-up for writing and directing such a beautiful film. Nagesh works with relatively new actors here, and relies heavily on the story and performances. Fortunately, his actors don’t disappoint and all of them have done a commendable job. Krrish excels as the goofy boy who refuses to be acknowledged as andha, while Hetal is superb as the protective elder sister. The two of them carry the film on their shoulders and make you connect with their characters. 

Why You Should Watch This Movie:  

Dhanak proves that you don’t need to have an A-list star, shoot in foreign locations or spend huge amounts of money to make a good movie. In the recent past, there have been very few Bollywood movies that made you leave the theatre with a smile. Dhanak manages to do so and that’s a good enough reason for you to watch it this weekend. 

Language: Hindi
Director: Nagesh Kukunoor
Genre: Drama
Cast & Crew: Hetal Gada, Krrish Chhabria, Vipin Sharma, Rajiv Laxman, Flora Asha Saini

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