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Dhaakad review: Kangana Ranaut's film swirls into a twist you only half-expect

Kangana Ranaut-Arjun Rampal's film suffers from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil syndrome. Details inside.

Dhaakad review: Kangana Ranaut's film swirls into a twist you only half-expect
Kangana Ranaut in Dhaakad poster

Last Updated: 08.55 AM, May 20, 2022


Agent Agni (Kangana Ranaut) is on a mission. She is pursuing dangerous human traffickers, Rudraveer (Arjun Rampal) and Rohini (Divya Dutta). As expected, when you enter the villain's den, things will go wrong. What will happen around Agni? Can she fight it all?


"Kheechenge nahi zyaada," Kangana Ranaut says in Dhaakad. The irony is that this film just stretches many scenes in the first half. The introduction in this movie is never-ever-ending.

However, once Dhaakad does begin, it promises something powerful and almost delivers the same too. The film commences with the vibe of Ghost In The Shell.


Kangana bares it all, literally. Before you can even blink, she gets into the action, which is not necessary but not completely unwelcomed either. Whether it's the bike stunt or the use of guns, Kangana is only fairly convincing. Her licking the blood off her face is the only gruesome thing we see.

The actor's Agent Agni is a fierce character; you have to give her that. Kangana could be the perfect fit for the role and she does justice to a great extent, but the role definitely required some more pizzazz.

Her action gets better as the film progresses. Agni's training scenes are also shown in the movie, but again, we just wished to see a little more wow factor like in Mary Kom or Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.

Despite it all, Kangana deserves to be lauded for trying out a role nobody has dared to do in Bollywood so far. She came in for a woman-centric out-and-out actioner and almost nailed it. If only she showed more confidence as her character, Agent Agni, Kangana would be unstoppable.

Saswata Chatterjee has a classic entry, but it is brief. Unfortunately, he doesn't have much to deliver in this film. He is the cutest character in the movie nonetheless. His pure, fatherly love for Agni is pretty evident through his words and actions, and even if for a brief period, he will warm your heart.

The background music in this movie is unnecessary and does not help Agni's cause. There is a heartbeat background and in a scene where you wonder why it is even placed there, especially when Kangana gets overly emotional, which is the complete opposite of her fiery character.

You get a flashback of Kangana’s Fashion and Woh Lamhe as she drinks alcohol and takes a bath in the bathtub, something that is elaborated on the right at the beginning. There is even a reference to the Queen's stealing scene.

Right after the introduction, the scenes are unrelated, random, and make you wonder what happened. Soon, you see a red-haired Kangana out of the blue, with no context whatsoever. This disrupts your viewing experience.

The cinematography in this film is not up to the mark either. For no particular reason, Kangana and Saswata are seen in the corner of the frame. In another scene, there is a shot of Europe in the middle of a conversation. I agree that Europe is beautiful and we would thank the makers for showing us such locations, but the two scenes where the focus shifted from the characters to the background were distracting.

Sharib Hashmi as Fazal is cute, but his timing in the film is a little off. We don't mean his timing as an actor, but when he has been placed in the film, things went from extremely intense to mildly funny. He should come in the form of relief, but then again, he's just cute.

This film has sensual scenes for no good reason. One of them is between Rudraveer (Arjun Rampal) and Rohini (Divya Dutta). There are many ways to show someone as a couple, but Dhaakad uses sex to show that the couples mean business and not love, and honestly, seeing that constantly is a little off-putting.

As soon as he enters, Arjun has action scenes, and they are more impressive than even Kangana's. Divya is good too, but she has the retro vibe overshadowing her action during her entry scene.

The backstory in this film never ends. Arjun and Divya's past was already never-ending and even in that, Arjun's blood-faced scene is never-ever-ending. It is almost as long as Peter Griffin sitting and screaming in pain in The Family Guy. It just never ends.

Given that agents could have some access to new technology, Dhaakad goes the unrealistic route. Agni helps a wrestler gain super-strength by poking a needle from a distance through her watch without anybody noticing anything, even when the nerves on his face are visible.

The movie also gets cringe to a very great extent. Agni deals with creeps and makes moves on them with a fake accent, which is too hard to watch. These things happen in real life and so, while we aren't questioning that aspect, it is just hard and a little uncomfortable to watch, which could also be a good thing since Dhaakad is trying to bring in a change.

Divya has an accent in the movie too. She is, however, somewhere more convincing in causing panic than anybody around her. Calling her character efficient might also be an understatement.

The film either over-explains a scene or simply doesn’t. If Arjun and Divya's scenes are overexplained, the random killings remain confusing and unanswered.

As Rohini, Divya is once again impressive when Agni gets into her business. Divya is a villain who is on par with Arjun and is, in fact, scarier. Rohini and Agni's last scene together is one to remember too.

While Arjun impresses with his action in the first half, his monologue in the second is also noteworthy. Unfortunately, though, his acting goes on in one tone.

"Dimaag ki tarah iska dil bhi khiska hua hai," 'Ringmaster' Saswata says about Agent Agni. That is one moment where everything goes wrong. It is how Ae Dil Hai Mushkil went wrong after Anushka Sharma got cancer. Before that moment, even Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was a film that appealed to some extent.

Kangana is a one-woman army in the second half. The sound effects from the artists, especially 'aah' in a roaring manner right before getting into action, are way off and, with no points for guessing, overdone. The passion between Divya and Arjun, especially from his side, on the other hand, is unmatchable. This is their one and only clear scene in the present, and it sums up the equation between the two over the years.

There comes a point where you focus on literally everything but the story, mainly because you know exactly where it is heading and there isn't a scene that leaves you impressed either. There came a time when I started comparing the eyeliner between Kangana and her temporary lover because, otherwise, nothing about the story caught my attention.

The last scene between Agni and Rudra looks like two foreigners in fur coats trying to fight right out of a garage sale, only very violently, with the intent to kill each other. From a piano to a cupboard to a huge glass shelf, the place where they met had everything and all of it was in focus too. By this point, honestly, it doesn't even matter because things simply go downhill for Dhaakad anyway.


Kangana brings a lot to the table as Agent Agni in Dhaakad but it still feels like she did not tap into her full potential for the role. On the other hand, the second female lead Divya steals the show even in her brief appearances.

Arjun has some stylish looks in the film, and while his character has a good introduction and he does justice to it too, after one point, his role becomes monotonous. It goes in one direction, even if he performs well.

As a director, Razneesh 'Razy' Ghai could have executed many scenes in a better way. If only he tapped into Dhaakad's full potential, or what we saw of it from the trailer, then this film could have become a masterpiece, or even somewhere close to that.

As a viewer, you would want to go and watch Dhaakad only for Kangana, Arjun, Divya, and, to an extent, Saswata. They have put in the effort in their roles, and it more or less shows throughout the film. So, if acting is what you want to see, then Dhaakad is the film for you. If it is the package that you want, though, then you might be in for a disappointment.

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