Tuesday, 21 June 2016


“There are few films which feed your soul. They make you happy, they inspire you and most importantly, they reaffirm your faith in human relationships. Nagesh Kukunoor's latest venture, Dhanak, is one such film.”
-     www.rediff.com

After a LOT of struggle over the weekend, I managed to get a ticket for myself of the small- budget film, Dhanak. I was glad that a film like this, with no ‘big names’ (crowd-pullers), was running houseful in almost every theatre I tired getting a ticket.
I hugely rely on two things before I set my heart to watch a movie: my instincts about the film, and the other, on the vibes it gives me. Being such a sensitive movie-watcher, I felt a little disgusted with the crowd that was coming in to watch, Dhanak. Here is an excerpt of the conversation my fellow viewers where having, right at the start of the film.

Sunday evening. Movie hall. Huge crowd trickling in as others are settling. The starting credits of the film rolling on the screen.
Next to me, in the first row, a family of 2 adults and 3 kids are sitting.
Adult 1: Ye kaunsi movie hai?
Adult 2: …….
Adult 1: Hero kaun hai ismein?...Kya naam hai movie ka? Kya??! Dhanak? Wo kya hota hai?

Not to blame anyone, but a little research would have not hurt! Feeling pity for them and a little disappointed, I decided to concentrate on the film running ahead.
I have faced this dilemma many times. Movies that touch your heart are so difficult to put into words. Masters of the pen can only translate into words what masters of film making translate on the screen. And in that regard, I feel extremely disappointed with myself.

In Pari’s quest to get her younger brother vision back, the kids are out on a mission to tell everyone that the world is really not such a bad place to live. The best part is the brother-sister’s heart-warming chemistry. Not for a second will you doubt these earnest performers.
Every day, on the way to school, they flip a coin to decide whose turn it is — Salman Khan or Shah Rukh Khan. Pari and Chhotu, with their whole heart, worship their respective heroes. He to Salman and she to Shah Rukh. They have blind faith on their heroes, so much so that, after the coin decides whose turn it is, both banter about the superior special powers of their favourite star and then, as they start walking, the story session begins. This sequence in the movie is purely priceless.
A still from the movie. Photo courtesy: Internet

It’s hard not to feel for Chhotu. It’s hard not to feel for Pari’s concern for her younger brother. Their innocence will make you laugh and cry at the same time. They argue and fight daily. But, Pari’s only support is Chhotu and his is Pari.
The way the two kids (Chhotu was 8 years old and Pari was 10 years old when, in 2014, the movie was shot) have been directed, speaks volumes of what expertise the filmmaker, Nagesh Kukunoor, has.
There is a particular scene where Chhotu and his new found friend are playfully stuffing jalebis in each other’s mouth. Krrish Chhabria nails it as Chhotu in this particular scene. What a star performer!
The still from the film where Chhotu nails it. Photo Courtesy: Internet

The album of the film can be pitched to be the richest of the year, so far. Tapas Relia, who has earlier worked with Kukunoor on Lakshmi, delivers a colourful soundtrack that is majorly folk but with a contemporary twist.

Yet another rendition of the classic ‘Mast Kalandar’ with a twist of promoting world peace and compassion for fellow humans, will be the ear-worm from the album, it refuses to leave you mind even afters after you have left the theatre. I found it to be one of the most engaging versions of the song. Actor-musician Chet Dixon rap-sings in this one along with Devu Khan Manganiyar's ethereal voice.
A still from the film, featuring Chet Dixon. Photo Courtesy: Internet

You know that feeling of contentment that overwhelms you when your favourite singer finishes singing your favourite song. The experience is soul-touching and is cherished for long. That sense of gratitude. That sense of satisfaction. Dhanak was one such experience for me.

Films like these need to be encouraged, to reach multiple theatres and be watched by millions of people. It is a film which stands for everyone to have child-like innocence, spread peace, love, optimism, compassion and practice the art of humanity.
Amidst generating headline-hitting curiosity, I know, most of you must have already savoured the bigger release of this weekend, Udta Punjab, but this humble and soulful story of a brother-sister bonding, deserves all your love and attention at the movie theatres.
A delight for every humane heart, this is a must-watch across all age groups.
PS: Not to miss Suresh Menon in a little but soul-stirring performance.  

A still from the film, featuring Suresh Menon. Photo Courtesy: Internet

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