A coherent, smooth action movie is hard even for Hollywood to crack. Dakad Then there is the achievement of doing both of those things well, ditching the melodrama for bloodletting, heading to a relatively new location in and around Bhopal, adjusting the mood through the coal mines there, and even giving us a glimpse of this City life, where there are mixed communities of all kinds that live together seamlessly. It shouldn’t be so rare, but it is.
While About Dhaakad (an awesome name indeed) is a rare female-centric action movie in India, there are actually two women who do most of the heavy lifting here, and it’s fairly light-hearted – Kangana Ranaut As protagonist Agent Agni, Divya Dutta as Rohini, brains, economic minds, emotional support and more, more criminal gangs deal with coal and trafficking in women.
The two confrontations between Agni and Rohini are the highlight of the movie, although the Dhaakad makers are clearly overpowered for Agni’s fighting prowess and Rudraveer’s villain, by Arjun Rampal. We’re so used to this lopsided Rampal by now, full of tattoos, rings, fur-lined long coats and experimental hairstyles.
WATCH | DAKARD TRAILER IS HERE
But the surprise here is Kangana Ranaut, who is very dour and very low-key as an agent escaped from a painful past — not as the movie promo itself suggests, or as the actor has been thinking about himself lately. Of course, Dutta is not bad. Her “Rohini” is no exception, and her former prostitute character is now run with an iron fist, with little mercy and cunning, suggesting layers and layers worth a movie. Now here is a kothewali with dirty hands, dirty words, dirty knowing, not like Kathiawadi’s original purity.
The simple and simple storyline is that Agney became an agent after a shocking incident in childhood when her parents were shot and killed by a man she had vague memories of. Now, she’s leading the agency’s investigation into a trafficking ring out of central India, to Budapest (almost like Bhopal’s backyard that keeps popping up) and a chief with Middle Eastern origins.
Agni led the search from Budapest to Bhopal and beyond, with the help of Bhopal resident Sharib Hashmi (a household name). For obvious reasons, Agni immediately finds himself pulled by his motherless daughter Zaira.
With the help of their own whistleblower, however, the seemingly quick evacuation and termination was not so simple as Rudraveer and Rohini unleashed the carnage.
As the film goes into twisty territory and becomes a woman’s revenge saga, Duckard doesn’t offer any surprises. We know that no matter what you throw at Agni, she will bounce back, no matter how improbable or unthinkable it is.
If the first 20 minutes of the film are a copy of Hollywood assembly-line action thrillers, where people are killing and dying before you even settle down for popcorn, the last 20 minutes of Dhaakad are overkill.
Being in the middle so well is a tribute to its cast, that it gives us some human character effort, and that its story trots nicely (credit to debut director and co-writer Razneesh Ghai). In one place, we learned of a medical condition in which a person’s heart tilts more to the right than normal, which can save their life. Dhaakad’s heart is in the right place.