DHADKAN tells the story of Dev (Sunil Shetty)
and Anjali (Shilpa Shetty), who are in love with
each other. Anjali's parents (Kiran Kumar and
Anjana Mumtaz) are against this match as Dev is
not only poor but also a child out of wedlock,
while Anjali belongs to the upper crust. Dev's
dependence on Anjali is tremendous, as he has
none but her to call his own.
When Anjali leaves Dev to marry Ram (Akshay
Kumar), Dev is heart broken. His worries
multiply when his mother (Sharmila Tagore) also
dies, shocked to hear about her son's split with
Anjali. However, Dev continues to hope for
Dev feels that he lost Anjali to Ram because he
had nothing to offer her in this materialistic
world, so he decides to become rich and get her
back. In the meantime, Ram and Anjali are
anything but a perfect family. After all,
Anjali's heart yearns for Dev, but she slowly
starts loving and respecting her husband, Ram,
whose love for Anjali knows no bounds.
Enters Sheetal (Mahima Chaudhary), a
sophisticated girl from London, who falls in
love with Dev, knowing fully well that Dev is in
love with an already-married woman.
DHADKAN is a modern-day love story that talks
about the lengths an obsessed lover can go to,
to win his love. His obsession knows no limits;
winning back his love is all that matters.
DHADKAN is an intense love story and director
Dharmesh Darshan has handled it with the
sensitivity it deserves. The initial few reels
make the base for a love triangle. Sunil and
Shilpa parting ways, Shilpa and Akshay's
marriage and the turbulent times their marital
life faces – Dharmesh Darshan comes to the point
straightaway, not meandering on various tracks
at all. The re-emergence of Sunil Shetty at the
interval is a turning point and one eagerly
looks forward to the second half of the film.
The second half has its share of strengths and
weaknesses. The intense sequences between Sunil
and Shilpa have been handled with maturity, but
the screenplay leaves several questions
* From a humble beginning to a millionaire
overnight, Sunil's rags-to-riches story has not
been explained at all;
* Sunil's partnership with Mahima and how they
got to know each other, also remains a mystery;
* The power games indulged by Sunil in reducing
Akshay to a pauper, could've been simplified for
the common man to decipher;
* For a man who is obsessed with Shilpa, his
willingness to marry Mahima in the end seems a
bit far-fetched too. Was he planning to enter
into a relationship (with Mahima) on a rebound,
is the feeling the viewer gets at the end.
The ending also leaves the viewer confused.
Anpam Kher is introduced as Mahima's father and
when she talks about her plans of marrying
Sunil, Anupam gives a not-too-happy look at the
mention of Sunil's name. But a minute later, the
film ends abruptly.
Moreover, the goings-on get so grim towards the
latter part of the film that the viewer yearns
for respite from the goings-on. But there are
hardly any light moments to balance the tense
ones. Also, a few characters in the story tend
to get loud and theatrical at times. The Sushma
Seth – Manjeet Kullar track, which looks
straight out of 'Cindrella', should've been
controlled for a better impact. Ditto for Naseem
Mukri, who goes overboard in the second half of
Yet, despite the flaws, one has to acknowledge
the fact that Dharmesh Darshan succeeds in
melting the heart at several places. The entire
marriage song-sequence in the initial reels,
prior to it the scenes involving Sharmila Tagore,
Sunil's portions in the second half, clearly
indicate that the director knows his job well.
He relies more on close-ups to capture
expressions, which is the hallmark of a seasoned
Nadeem-Shravan's music is another asset. The
film has haunting tunes and the ones that linger
in your memory are 'Dil Ne Yeh Kaha Hain Dil
Se', 'Aksar Is Duniya Mein' and 'Dulhe Ka Sehra
Suhana Lagta Hain', rendered by the late Ustad
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, which is undoubtedly the
best song of the film – lyrically as well as
The only song that throws a spanner in the
smooth sailing of the film is 'Na Na Karte Pyar',
which conveys Shilpa's feelings for her husband.
However, Shilpa's change of heart would've had a
better impact had it been revealed as part of a
scene, with dialogues, rather than this song.
W.B. Rao's cinematography is top class yet
again. The film is rich in visuals and the
outcome is splendid. The background music (Surender
Sodhi) is very effective. Dialogues are
first-rate. They sound fresh to the ears and
elevate the emotional scenes considerably.
And now to the performances! The life of the
enterprise is undoubtedly Shilpa Shetty, who
looks good, delivers her lines effectively and
emotes with utmost conviction. DHADKAN should
catapult her to the big league instantly and she
should concentrate more on roles of substance
Akshay Kumar shows vast improvement as an actor.
He is very controlled and handles this difficult
role with sincerity. Sunil Shetty scores yet
again! His role has shades of grey and he
handles this complex role with flourish. An
actress of Mahima Chaudhary's calibre deserved a
better role. Her characterisation is not well
defined. She is wasted in an inconsequential
Sharmila Tagore leaves an impression in a brief
role. Kiran Kumar is superb as Shilpa's doting
father. Anjana Mumtaz is equally nice. Sushma
Seth tends to get loud at places.
On the whole, DHADKAN is targeted at the gentry,
not the masses, which will restrict its
prospects to a major extent. Trimming the film
in the second half is a must.