Synopsis – Agent Agni, a highly trained and deadly field agent is entrusted with the mission to gather Intel and eliminate Rudraveer, an international human and arms trafficker who has been off the radar for ten years.
My Take – With she continues to indulgence in dishing out dispensable political statements by especially targeting a specific community of the democratic country, all in order to curry favor from the central government, Kangana Ranaut, despite a humble start, has well proven herself to be quite a detestable human being.
Yet, there is no denying the fact that when given the right script and the opportunity to perform, as an actress she delivers strong, adding curiosity to her every new release.
In her latest role too, we can see Ranaut pushing the envelope hard, delivering blows and wielding guns with much ease, in an action-packed espionage thriller which has been stylishly mounted on the lines of films like Columbiana (2011), Atomic Blonde (2017) and Black Widow (2021).
Though, while the film delivers on the technical front, it is mightily letdown by a script that is predictable, dull and most surprisingly unengaging, making this directorial from debutante Razneesh ‘Razy’ Ghai a classic example of all style no substance kind of product. While the film shockingly comes free of political overtones despite its lead star, it is anchored by several lose ends that just don’t allow things to stick together, never allowing the proceedings to find a footing.
Yes, despite its simplistic approach the story is still convoluted and takes many cinematic liberties all in the name of emulating international productions, however, the weak characterizations and meandering screenplay just robs the film of any sense of time and place.
The story follows Agni (Kangana Ranaut), an Indian field agent working for an International Task Force, tasked with assignments involving human and arms trafficking, and who is well known for being ruthless in her tactics of handling terrorists and criminals. But when her latest mission sees the death of a colleague, her handler (Saswata Chatterjee) sends her on a case from their HQ in Budapest to Bhopal, India, despite still being traumatized by the events of her tragic childhood in the country.
Reluctantly accepting the assignment, Agni get in touch with Fazal (Sharib Hashmi) who would assist her in her endeavor in gathering information on the mysterious Rudraveer (Arjun Rampal) and his flamboyant partner, Rohini (Divya Dutta).
Two career criminals who operate from Sohagpur Coal Fields and have a major hand in trafficking of woman and children. However, things get more complicated when Agni finds shocking links of her former life to Rudraveer.
Right from the first scene, director Ghai ambitiously introduces multiple fighting styles into play. That are both astutely choreographed and appealing. But all the skilled, convincing-looking kicks and punches in the world, all the wig and costume changes, all the switches in hair color cannot possibly compensate for superficial characterization and a hollow script.
While director Ghai and his writers thankfully never digresses into needless subplots or song and dance sequences, and do offer a few edge-of-the-seat moments, the overall tediously bleak take on the girls with guns genre with relentless appetite for violence is just colorless and soulless.
With endless and repetitive flashbacks or the tone and feel, the film is singularly unimaginative in its presentation and execution. Making the 131 minute film feel longer than it actually is.
Expectedly, the performances are terrific. Kangana Ranaut once again brings her best, never losing her grip on the character, and pulling off the action sequences well. Arjun Rampal too as a menacing baddie is quite convincing. He mercilessly goes on a killing spree for reasons well known to him. A scene where he smears his face in blood after stabbing a guy multiple times, sends chills down your spine.
Divya Dutta carries most of the film and proves why she can pull off any character with equal ease. In supporting turns, Saswata Chatterjee and Sharib Hashmi play their roles with ease. On the whole, ‘Dhaakad’ is a disappointing espionage thriller that despite being high on action is letdown by a shabby and unengaging script.
Directed – Razneesh Ghai
Rated – R
Run Time – 131 minutes