First things first. Going by the trailer , Karan Johar-Shashank Khaitan’s Dhadak is nothing like the original film Sairat. Dhadak is not an adaptation. It is a different beast altogether. Far more flamboyant and feral, filled with noise colour and drama, leaving behind the comparatively compact world of Sairat where the stress was on the friction between the two castes which clashed over the lovers’ audacious crossover from into each other’s forbidden territory.
This is a more generic world of colour drama and music undercut by an overweening innocence and a ruinous oblivion to the ground-reality that makes the lovers look as pristine as Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia in Bobby.
Indeed Ishaan Khattar and Janhvi Kapoor bring into play the same non-sexual dynamics of intense love that Shakespeare and then Raj Kapoor mastered in their versions of Romeo & Juliet. While Janhvi Kapoor plays the more knowing half of the couple, Ishaan makes innocence and surrender to the passion of first-love look convincing sincere and heartfelt even in today’s age of unrelieved cynicism.
In Janhvi we see heartstopping flashes of her legendary mother, specially in the way she projects the arrogant proprietary pride of ownership every time she looks at her utterly smitten Other.
I don’t know how much of Nagaraj Manjule’s Sairat is preserved in Dhadak. No much. I suspect. I am sure Manjule would find it hard to recognize his own film in this hybridized avatar of colours and emotions that leap at us with enticing fervor.
But there is one proud mother up there smiling every time her daughter smiles on screen.
A star is re-born.
Rating: *** ½(3 and a half stars)