At the very outset, I sincerely thank my friend Suketu Shah for inspiring me to write a review of this emotional musical which was released in the year 2000 and I had watched it in the theatre (at Jodhpur) with my family (my wife and my little daughter).Dhadkan (heartbeat) is based on triangular relationship between a husband, his wife and her ex-beau. Dev (Sunil Shetty) is poor and is in love with a comparatively well-off girl, Anjali (Shilpa Shetty) who gets married to Ram (Akshay Kumar) as per the wishes of her parents. After getting troubles in her married life for some time, she is able to adjust there and starts loving her husband too. Her idealistic husband is totally alone in the hostile environment of the family consisting of his step-mother (Sushma Seth) , step-brother (Parmeet Sethi) and step-sister (Manjeet Kullar). Anyway, three years pass after their marriage when the twist in the tale comes.
The twist is the return of Anjali’s erstwhile poor ex-beau, Dev who is no longer poor and has become a big businessman, working in association with Sheetal (Mahima Chaudhary). Dev feels that he can win Anjali back from Ram through his wealth and he makes attempts in this direction through many negative steps. However, in the end, he realizes that Anjali can’t be his now and without any bitterness in heart towards Ram, he moves back abroad with an intent to marry Sheetal now (who had been loving him in her heart despite knowing about his passion for Anjali).The story starts interestingly and there are many impressive sequences in the movie, beautifully intertwined with the melodious songs. However there is little doubt that the direction is poor on overall basis. The story could have been told much more convincingly. Instead, it has been told in a stupidly theatrical way and appears utterly unreliable even on the screen. All the supporting characters appear like robots having human faces with mechanical gestures, activities and dialogues. In the scene of wedding of Ram and Anjlai, Navneet Nishaan has been shown as the sister of Ram. However in the very next scene (and for the balance part of movie), Manjeet Kullar is shown as playing that role. Well, the viewer can only pity at the brains of the director for this continuity-jerk.It is told that when Anjali had left Dev, he had only 50 paise in his pocket. After three years, he is showed as owning a business empire worth Rs. 500 crores which is the height of exaggeration. Further he goes abroad so comfortably as if he had to go to Chinchpokli through a local train. He is so egoistic that he meets Anjali’s father (Kiran Kumar) wearing a slipper containing a hole. Even this is not sufficient, he shows that hole to his prospective father-in-law with pride. While watching that scene, I was feeling like taking that slipper (with the hole) from Dev and hitting the moviemaker hard with that only.
The face-saving grace of this movie are Akshay Kumar and music. Nadeem-Shravan have composed highly admirable songs for this emotional saga. Dil Ne Ye Kaha Hai Dil Se, Tum Dil Ki Dhadkan Mein Rehte Ho, Na Na Karte Pyar Haay Main Kar Gayi, Aksar Iss Duniya Mein and finally the wedding song – Dulhe Ka Sehra Suhaana Lagta Hai, all are worth listening to again and again. The picturization of the songs is also good.Cinematographer has done a remarkable job. There are several eye-soothing scenes capturing the beautiful landscapes. The art-direction is also praiseworthy. The movie is not unduly long but the editing still leaves a lot to be desired (the continuity-jerk mentioned above is an example of the poor editing).
Akshay Kumar has excelled in the role of an idealist. His character has been crafted on the lines of the name given to his character (Lord Rama). His restrained performance evidences that his acting talent remained unexplored during his initial years in Bollywood. His perfomance in Dhadkan is unarguably one of his best acting performances. Sunil Shetty and Shilpa Shetty (today’s birthday babe) have also delivered admirable performances. Mahima Chaudhary is strictly ok. However the complete supporting cast has done NAUTANKI in the name of acting. Everybody is over the top and irritating.
Still I recommend this movie to the audience liking emotional stories and family dramas. The music and the performances of the key characters have made it worth a watch despite its flaws. And it is also not to be missed by the fans of Akshay Kumar (and the fans of Shilpa Shetty and Sunil Shetty as well).
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