The Karan Johar-produced Dhadak, which is the Hindi remake of the Marathi blockbuster, Sairat, opens in cinemas today. Directed by Shashank Khaitan, who previously made Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and Badrinath Ki Dulhania, the film features Sridevi's daughter, Janhavi Kapoor and Ishaan Khattar, who is Shahid Kapoor's half-brother and was first seen in Beyond the Clouds.
Early reviews of the film are in and here's what the critics are saying:
In his 2-star review, Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV wrote, "A muddled screenplay, bland storytelling and uneven lead performances leave this glossy Karan Johar production without a proper, palpable heartbeat. The film gets neither the love story nor the socio-political context of Sairat right."
Anupama Chopra, in her 2.5 star review, said, "The way to enjoy Dhadak is to completely forget about Sairat. But those of us who've seen Sairat know that this is impossible. Because Sairat was a landmark. Shashank (director) is the successful maker of frothy romances. Here he steps out of his comfort zone but not enough to tackle head-on, the ugly truth of caste. The hurdles are more palatable and consequently, synthetic."
She praised the performances of the lead actors, calling Ishaan a better actor 'by a mile' as compared to Janhavi, who was 'assured and endearing.'
Rajeev Masand wrote, "Dhadak is ultimately a homogenous Karan Johar production that offers comfort in the familiar...for those seeking it. For the rest of us, it's just baffling why the folks involved would choose to remake a film about the horrors of caste supremacy but erase practically every mention of caste from the film."
Hindustan Times said, "Actually, what hampers Dhadak the most is the pressure to look striking. This becomes really funny when Ishaan and Janhvi are expected to lead a tough, middle-class life in Kolkata."
Rachit Gupta of Filmfare wrote, "The strength of Dhadak lies in its freshness and innocence. That this film presents the new faces of Ishaan (one film old) and Janhvi (who marks her debut in Bollywood) works in the favor of its narrative. Like its original inspiration, Nagraj Manjule's Sairat, the facet of love trying to survive the cruel world of politics and ruthless societal pressure, makes Dhadak engaging."
In a 4 star review, Tushar Joshi of BollywoodLife called it a 'beautiful homage to Sairat.'
However, he also pointed out the places during which the performances falter. "The issues crop up with the backdrop where the film is set and the dialect. There are scenes where Jhanvi's dialogues seem to fumble and she gets out of the character. The same holds true for Ishaan where the Rajasthani dialect goes missing and you are left wondering if that is Shahid Kapur speaking."
Pinkvilla carried a positive review of the movie, saying, "Janhavi's screen presence is undeniable and she has an old world charm."
Trade website Koimoi.com gave it 3 stars, saying, "If you've watched Sairat, go and watch for some additional comical moments, heart-touching drama and honest performances."
(This post will be updated as more reviews trickle in)