As the title suggests, Dhokha: Round D Corner is about deceit at every corner. Dhokha is a crime thriller directed by Kookie Gulati featuring R Madhavan, Aparshakti Khurana, Darshan Kumaar and Khushalii Kumar in pivotal characters. This film marks the debut of Khushalii Kumar. Aparshakti Khurana is presented in a very interesting character. Dhokha is a crisp film that makes the audience keep guessing who to pin down and who is deceiving whom.
The film begins with the song ‘Tu Banke Hawa’, which introduces Yathaarth Sinha (R Madhavan) and Sanchi Sinha (Khushalii Kumar) as a newlywed couple having a ball of a time culminating to the ones that keep nagging and concludes with Khushalii asking for a divorce. The initial scenes set the tone that there is something amiss in the couple’s life. On one such morning Yathaarth, after a routine heated argument, reaches office and is surprised to see that everyone is glued to the TV that is blaring some news about a terrorist escaping the police custody and is hiding in a building with Sanchi Sinha as his hostage!
Yathaarth reaches his building to find out that police with ACP Mallik (Darshan Kumaar) leading the operation, is already in action. Yathaarth pleads Mallik to help save his wife from the clutches of the terrorist Haq Gul (Aparshakti Khurana) and is ready to pay up any amount if the terrorist demands. There is a parallel track that shows Sanchi and Gul in the apartment, their interactions, and struggles.
Dhokha: Round D Corner tells the story about multiple characters, their ordeals, and the situations they come across. On the face of it, it begins as a routine hostage rescue operation but diverts onto a different route in the later part of the narrative. It makes the audience dive deep into the psyche of each character and form their own opinion. The plot opens a pandoras box and succeeds in surprising the viewer.
R Madhavan as Yathaarth Sinha with shades to his character looks believable and is in his comfort zone. Khushalii Kumar looks good and plays her part with conviction for a debut film. She looks comfortable in her scenes with the very experienced R Madhavan and with the versatile Aparshakti Khurana. Aparshakti as the vulnerable terrorist Gul speaking with a Kashmiri accent is an interesting watch. In fact, most of the drama unfolds between Sanchi and Gul who comes up as one of the most interesting characters with multiple layers to it. One wonders and keeps guessing if he is the nemesis or a victim himself. Darshan Kumaar as ACP Mallik tries hard to play his part as someone who is leading an operation without any direction facing hierarchical pressure, but somehow pulls it off. He is mostly given repetitive scenes and that mars his character and keeps it shallow.
Dhokha: Round D Corner has music composed by Tanishk Bagchi, Bappi Lahiri, Rochak Kohli and Gourov Dasgupta with just two songs – ‘Tu Banke Hawa’ in the beginning and ‘Zooby Zooby’ at the end. It is interesting to note that the makers did not derail the narrative by keeping songs out of it.
The background score is composed by Amar Mohile. The lyrics are penned by Kumaar, Anjaan and Devshi Khanduri.
Dhokha: Round D Corner is an interesting take on the relationship between individuals, their situations and motives, with a thriller angle makes it different. However, the viewer could have been served with some more drama and action to thicken the plot.
Last but not the least, it is surprising to know what compels the makers to reveal that their labour of love (read the film) would be available on an OTT platform right in the beginning of its theatrical run!! Does it not hinder the prospects of the film to be experienced in a cinema hall. You see, even if there is a positive word-of-mouth, it could be with an add-on that the film would soon be available on OTT… think about it.
Movie: Dhokha: Round D Corner
Director: Kookie Gulati
Cast: R Madhavan, Khushalii Kumar, Aparshakti Khurana, Darshan Kumaar
Run Time: 112 Mins