The prolific Nagesh Kukunoor's latest DHANAK
(Rainbow) is a pleasing road trip that celebrates the star power of SRK and Salman Khan equally with the charming spirit of love for your sibling.
Kukunoor's Crystal Bear winner for Best Children's Film at the 2015 Berlinale (Berline International Film Festival) is distinguished by a flawless casting of Pari (Hetal Gada) and her blind brother Chotu (Krrish Chabbria, along with a touch of humanity, belief and the spirit of hope.
However in spite of having the potential in its premise, writer-director Nagesh Kukunoor fails to transcend the movie into a pungent, uplifting and lasting fable as his previous tour-de force IQBAL
, DOR did and managed to travel beyond its presumed boundaries.
It's the beauty of Rajasthan desert again for Nagesh in DHANAK. Pari (Hetal Gada) and her blind brother Chotu (Krrish Chabbria) are happy despite all odds.
The shortage of required 'Roti Kapada or Makan' is filled in abundance by their love for each other and Bollywood superstars SRK and Salman Khan. While the older sister Pari is awed by the romanticisms spread by SRK's on screen love stories, younger brother Chotu is a believer of action and a great lover of Salman Khan, the blind Chotu has last seen Salman on screen in DABANGG.
One evening during their rare movie outing, Pari gets inspired by a poster that has SRK asking for eye donations, and learning that he's shooting a film 300 km away, she takes her brother and hits the road.
Nagesh story notices an interesting asphalt of Nila Madhab Panda's award winning I AM KALAM and the previous SRK's box office shocker post weekend FAN and the viewer should not complain.
But those who smell the possibility of an uplifting and lasting film by the depths and underlining it offers during the first half are likely to be disappointed. Nagesh misses the bus as the thinking audience finds him lost in the simplified, predicted fairy tale approach in the latter half that deprives this feel good road trip into that vintage magic which veterans complain that it's not getting made nowadays.
Kukunoor capable narration captures the beauty of Rajasthan and the winning moments between Pari and Chotu remarkably. The desert, the landscape, the colorful characters in contrast to the sand filled backdrop is eye pleasing. Chirantan Das cinematography sets high standards. Kukunoor never loses the flow and smartly manipulates with all goodness in those amazing moments like house of sweets, the funny 'fana' tisims seen in Chotu when Pari gets another admirer of SRK during their journey and he says 'mafi bhai' are sheer delight.
Tapas Relia's music has the flavor of the desert; the soulful sufi rock mix of 'lal meri' and the folk dipped 'mehendi' are standouts and well shot.
DHANAK boost best performances from child artiste seen in recent times. Krrish Chabbria as Chotu is a scene stealer. What a bundle of talent. Outstandingly amazing. Impeccable body language and the art of dialogue delivery.. a gifted born actor.
Hetal Gada as Pari is absolutely endearing. A dream sister for all, if Chotu is the soul of DHANAK, Hetal is the heart that passionately keeps the soul alive.
Well supported by character artiste where Vijay Maurya as the leader of the passing by music troop excels, Gulfam Khan is wonderful as the aunt of Pari and Chotu, Vibha Chhibber as the god women is interesting. Roadie fame Rajiv Laxman and funny man Suresh Memon also chip in with good support.
Anyhow, the 'real' problem with Nagesh Kukunoor's DHANAK is the evaporation of the real world in the second half to make way for a predictable fairy tale that restricts the lead characters personal growth in the journey that fails to create the lasting magic that it should have earned.
In the end, DHANAK may not be as lasting as Nagesh's IQBAL and DOR
but certainly this feel good road trip is worth taking a ride with your family. go for it.