Yes, the growing prominence of ‘dharam gurus’ (Godmen) is a pressing concern. Dharam gurus have been selling baseless (and idiotic) spiritual ‘healing’ techniques for quite a while. Their power keeps growing at a rate of knots because a large portion of the Indian population still believes in faith healing, black magic, and miracles.
Sadak 2 marks the first collaboration between the father-daughter duo ‘Sadak 2’, a sequel to Mahesh Bhatt’s ‘Sadak’ (1991), begins on a promising note but ends up falling flat, all thanks to the veteran filmmaker’s uninspired direction. The movie showcases immense potential, albeit in patches, but fails to hold the viewers’ attention for long.
Aarya (Alia Bhatt) is a damsel in distress who is on a mission to bring down a powerful godman after her mother dies under mysterious circumstances. She wishes to bring down the ‘dhongi baba‘ and kickstarts an online campaign to put the fake ‘gurus’ to the sword. Our leading lady wishes to go to Kailash and hires a cab driver to take her there. The rest of the story deals with Aarya’s adventures (and misadventures).
The story begins on a largely pessimistic note. Five minutes into the film, we see an aged Ravi attempting suicide. The fan comes crashing down and our dear protagonist is left in a state of turmoil. Here’s a guy who wishes to reunite with his lost love in the afterlife. Also, the story, for the most part, sounds dated and predictable. The screenplay isn’t compelling either. Just when you think the story is gathering momentum, it goes into melodrama mode and the viewers aren’t left with much to admire, alas!
Simply put, the story is interesting, but a below-par execution ends up ripping the heart out of it. Also, ornamenting the movie is an incredibly high degree of melodrama. Not that melodrama hasn’t worked for Indian movies in the past, but Sadak 2 is a snooze fest that fails to hold the viewer’s attention.
Sanjay Dutt is the star of the show and one of the two actors to infuse sense (of some sort) into the movie (the other one being the ever-dependable Jisshu Sengupta). Here’s a suicidal cab driver who’ll go to any lengths in order to protect his passengers. Coincidentally, the taxi service that he owns guarantees 24*7 safety and security. Ah, this taxiwaala takes customer service a bit too seriously. He plays a ‘sarfira and ghamzada aashiq’ (a lovelost and passionate lover) and does so with effortless ease.
Alia Bhatt tries hard to look brave and bold, but a mediocre script doesn’t let her spread her wings. Also, the dialogues she’s been given are outdated. When was the last time you heard someone saying, “Bhagwaan hamaare saath hai, iss sadak pe?” (God is with us on this journey) Sadly, papa Bhatt couldn’t provide ‘beti‘ Alia with something credible to work with. How can you leave your daughter on tenterhooks, Bhatt Sahab?
Aditya Roy Kapoor plays the smoking hot stud (with a guitar in hand) and keeps playing second fiddle for the most part. Also, he takes the backseat during the business end of the movie. So, you can say that his character is redundant (more or less). Jisshu Sengupta, who plays Alia’s evil dad in the movie, packs a few heavy blows at various junctures during the course of the film. He’s a powerhouse of talent and makes good use of whatever he has been provided with.
His eyes are filled with demonic lust, and he won’t think twice before bludgeoning his beloved daughter to death.
Storytelling is turning into a lost art (no pun intended). Gone are the days when Mahesh Bhatt was a name associated with quality cinema. It is indeed hard to believe that Bhatt sahab gave us a number of classics, right from ‘Sadak’ to ‘Zakhm’, in the 90s. The film, for the most part, appears nothing more than an elongated suicide-awareness campaign. Bhatt sahab returned to direction after a couple of decades in order to collaborate with his daughter.
Why, Bhatt sahab, why? That is the only thing I want to know.
You can watch the trailer here.