'Dhamaka' review: The one that wanes out soon after take-off
Ram Madhvani's thriller Dhamaka finally dropped on Netflix today. The remake of an acclaimed South Korean movie, The Terror Live, here Kartik Aaryan gets the chance to run nearly a one-man show. Set around a bombing attack in Mumbai and a commentary on TRP-hungry journalism, the story had great potential. Sadly, none of it gets translated in the execution. Here's our review.
Disgraced news anchor Arjun Pathak gets a call from bomber
As seen in the trailer, Aaryan plays Arjun Pathak, a disgraced television journalist who has been demoted to a radio jockey. However, an opportunity arises when a caller tells him on his radio show he will bomb the Bandra-Worli Sea Link if a certain minister doesn't apologize to him. Without informing the police, Pathak uses the exclusive call to get back his prime-time slot.
First 30 minutes are tight but then downfall begins
Madhvani doesn't waste any time in getting into the action and the first half-an-hour is tight. But as soon as the introduction is done, narration and logic take a leap into the abyss. While two on-air TV anchors converse live from each other's studios (?) and innumerable nonsensical things happen onscreen, my brain had stopped trying. There's only so much one can take.
Lurid attack on modern-day TV journalism practices lacks impact
With lines like: "We don't report news. We sell it," and, "The channel comes first, then journalism," makers have designated Pathak's boss Anita (Amruta Subhash) to attack modern-day TV journalism. But in the attempts of painting the harsh reality, the lurid presentation only causes irritation. Another prominent character is Pathak's righteous reporter-estranged wife Saumya (Mrunal Thakur). Both actors try to justify their one-dimensional roles.
The songs are touching, get used judiciously
Dhamaka has only a few songs but both Khoya Paaya and Kasoor are touching and have been used judiciously. Aaryan gives a strong performance but the lack of urgency in the one-hour-and-44-minute narrative reduces the impact of his act. This one should have been better planned. Verdict: It gets 2/5. If you still want to watch it, the Hindi movie is streaming on Netflix.