Dhadak marks the silver screen debut of late Sridevi’s elder daughter Janhvi Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor’s half-brother Ishaan Khatter under Dharma Productions. The trailer of ‘Dhadak’ was launched yesterday and social media cannot get over how it fails to match its source Sairat in more ways than one.

Dhadak is the official remake of 2016 Marathi movie Sairat, which went on to become a super hit. Directed by Nagraj Manjule, the film starring debutants Rinku Rajguru and Akash Thosar is a love story between a rich upper-class girl Archi and a poor boy Parshya, who comes from a family with a low social background.

It is the depiction of caste-based bias, poverty and love in the undiscovered hinterlands of Maharashtra, which give Sairat an edge. The film is more of a commentary on the struggles of young lovers to beat socio-economic bias, than the Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak style rebel love.

However, Dhadak seems to lack the very rawness which gave Sairat a national appeal and a shock value.

Bollywood’s polish somehow got rid of the original material’s sheen

Of course producer Karan Johar was going to leave no stones unturned for Dhadak, considering that it is a launchpad for two star kids. The result is that the Hindi version appears to be an upscale version of the original film. The location shifts from Maharashtra’s rural landscape to the more aesthetic and colourful Udaipur. So the regional context switches from Maharashtra to Rajasthan. Everything from clothes to dialect gets traded, except for the brain- numbing hit song Zingaat, which makes it to the remake as well.

Despite having numerous scenes and dialogues in common, Dhadak fails to recreate Sairat’s passion. The difference is most evident when it comes to the two main characters. Thosar and Rajguru are not even trained actors. But they understood the social and cultural context of the film. So their acting seems unrefined at times, but it is endearing because it comes from a deep connection to the premise. A connection which can only exist when you have lived in that world. This is where the two star-kids fail to win us over. They may be groomed actors, but the disconnect from the basic premise is visible in the trailer.

The diction is unconvincing and the clothes, despite being apt to the region, are designer.

The locations are peppier and the overall feel more glamorous. As it is in all Dharma films, the “poor” hero has an elaborate hairstyle, which might require an entire lower-middle-class family’s monthly income for maintenance. The Karan Johar brand of Bollywood polish takes away the real rawness of Sairat, which drove the story home.

There is a scene in Sairat where Parshya jumps into a well in which Archi is swimming with her friends. There is a similar scene in Dhadak’s trailer, but instead of a compact well, it is shot at an open location. The closed well offers no distraction in Sairat. All you see is Parshya and his craze for Archi. But in that scene in Dhadak, the background diverts your attention.

Sairat is not an easy movie to remake, especially in the current acrimonious scenario. But if you take away the social backdrop from the original movie, then how is it any different from an Ishaqzaade, Hero, Maine Pyar Kiya or Ek Duuje Ke Liye? I am not saying that the trailer of Dhadak is bad, but it just doesn’t give you any Sairat vibes. What I am eager to see is whether or not Johar and Khaitan will dare to retain the original film’s bloody and heart-wrenching climax. That haunting last scene leaves you with a restlessness in your heart, even long after you have seen Sairat. Though it is not for every palate, that is what made Sairat memorable for me. But will the makers of the candy floss cinema have the guts to go ahead with that ending?

Picture Credit : YouTube

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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