When Raja Hindustani released a few years back, everyone cribbed that
the script was a straight lift from Jab Jab Phool Khile. With Mela,
it was said that it was just a case of reworking Sholay. It isn't as
simple though. With Dharmesh Darshan's films, you cannot confidently say that
they are the same as some other movie. The fact is that his sources are as varied
as the industry itself. Moreover, he has the same tendency as nearly everyone
else of taking the audiences' sensibilities for granted as he comes up with
plots that need a lot of explaining. Not that anyone will be able to.
So, we have two lovers, Dev (Sunil Shetty) and Anjali (Shilpa Shetty) separated
by the objection raised by Anjali's parents. What is it, you ask? Well then,
you have no business watching Hindi movies. What else, but poor guy, rich gal?
Anjali gives in to her parents' wishes, but not before a jarring observation
by Kiran Kumar on the parents and children of this world. She is then married
off to a khandani ladka, Ram (Akshay Kumar).
Ram's family is full of steps - mother and siblings, I mean. A desi mother, an anglophile brother and a sister with bad teeth (she keeps gritting them for no reason), to be precise. Being what they are, the family can't help but think of usurping Ram's riches.
Three years into the marriage, Dev returns to the scene, with a partner Sheetal
(Mahima) in tow. He is now worth Rs 500 crore, and no one knows what he is.
His only business appears to be dressing up in fancy suits and designer glasses.
You wonder what all the dressing up is for, as he just stays in his abode. Here,
Dev stops just short of making an 'indecent proposal'. That is another thing
about Dharmesh Darshan: his resources are truly Desi. Dev still makes
a proposal, which is instantly rejected by Anjali.
With vengeance in his heart, Dev reduces Ram and her to penury. The methods
here, I am sure, can't be explained by the existing theories of commerce. And
when you are under the impression that Dev is auctioning their house, he comes
and buys it. Anyway, things are sorted out in the end, with the right guy keeping
the right girl and so on.
Dharmesh Darshan's policy of sticking to the time-tested formulae is bound
to run out of luck. It happened with Mela, and could just be repeated
with Dhadkan. There is no Aamir Khan here either, for the audience to
have sentimental reasons to watch this movie. Every aspect of the plot seems
to be there for the sake of convenience.
However, there are a couple of redeeming features to this fiasco - the music
and the cast. There could be only one explanation to the cast heading off for
European locales every time they decide to sing a song. Where else could they
find Nadeem to complete the score? Shilpa Shetty finally gets a break from the
one-scene-two-songs roles. She passes on the mantle to Mahima Chaudhary. Shilpa
digs deep to deliver a noteworthy performance. Akshay and Sunil leave aside
their action routine to try their hand at emoting, and meet with moderate success.
For all the sincerity, the movie fails to deliver the punch expected of it.