Film critic Rajeev Masand reviews Pooja Bhatt’s Dhoka. Here is what he says to say about the movie.
Noble intentions alone don’t make a good film, and that becomes clear as crystal while watching Pooja Bhatt’s new film Dhokha, this week’s other new release. The film, her third directorial outing after Paap and Holiday, is unarguably the most relevant of her three films because it touches upon themes that are significant and critical.
Newcomer Muzammil Ibrahim stars as a young Muslim police officer who learns that his cute-as-a-cupcake wife Tulip Joshi may have been a suicide bomber responsible for the death of many innocent people.
It’s a discovery he can’t quite come to terms with because it dawns on him that he may have never really known this person he shared his home, his heart and his life with for two whole years.
Determined to get some answers, he sets off on a mission to trace why and how she may have led this double life.
Now with this film Pooja Bhatt makes an earnest attempt to address so many urgent issues – everything from communal prejudices and cultural stereotyping to terrorism in the name of religion and exploitation at the hands of the establishment. Problem is, in her over-enthusiasm she forgets that key rule that movie directors can never really afford to forget – feature film is a popular medium, it must engage. It mustn’t become a bhashan that bores the audience.
Despite a solid premise, Dhokha fails to realise its potential because the screenplay is often contrived, often convenient, and at times just hopelessly idealistic.
An everyday policeman just tumbles into a full-fledged terrorist outfit. A suspicious spiritual leader shows up out of thin air to participate in a never-ending question-answer session on the relevance of jihad. And a suicide bomber strapped with kilos of RDX gets to go home scot-free after he’s persuaded not to blow up VT Station. If only the world were so simple.
Pic : Dhoka Movie Review