The film Dhadak, which came out July 20th, has been the buzz of the industry – since filming began, everyone has been wondering about the quality of Janhvi Kapoor’s debut role amid criticisms of nepotism. She admitted that she landed the role because of her family ties, but was determined to prove audiences wrong about their expectations that she wouldn’t be a stellar actress. Having grown up around actors and film industry people means she must have learned a thing or two about acting just by osmosis. However, now that the movie has been released, reviews are mixed. Some hailed Janhvi’s performance as the highlight of the film, while others dismissed the movie as “garbage.”
Criticisms of the film argued that the performances and storyline were dry, and didn’t do enough justice to the themes of caste politics and honour killings. Critics say it fell short of the original film, Sairat, that it was based on, lacking the emotional poignancy that it had. Many of the nepotism accusations are also informing audiences’ reception of the film, saying that Janhvi and Ishaan are miscast in these roles because of their privelege, so don’t have enough perspective on the struggles of their characters.
Janhvi has argued that the film strays from typical mainstream narratives which have glorified the conflict, noting that the film doesn’t end happily like other films of its genre. Although she’s had the privelege of being a Kapoor, she’s no stranger to adversity. She has dedicated the film to her late mother Sridevi, who passed away during the making of the film – she says she hopes Sridevi’s legacy lives on with her performance. The film opens with a note she wrote to Sridevi, who had encouraged Janhvi to make her own decisions about the role rather than trying to tell her what to do. There was a special screening of the movie last week which her family attended, and they loved Janhvi’s performance.
Looking far and ahead! A new path and an exciting journey awaits them…great films and constant learning! Welcome to the movies you too!!! All of us at @DharmaMovies love you! ❤️@ShashankKhaitan @apoorvamehta18 pic.twitter.com/aS56t2B3F6
— Karan Johar (@karanjohar) July 28, 2018
Although the film isn’t Sairat, critics who enjoyed the movie have argued that moviegoers shouldn’t expect it to be. Since it’s a blockbuster movie, viewers should expect something more polished and flashy, and undoubtedly this means that some of the grit of the original will be lost. However, audiences should be able to anticipate something visually stunning, with a great soundtrack by Ajay-Atul. People in the industry are expecting Dhadak to be a box office hit because of the pull of the young co-stars and the popular movie it’s based on. We’ll see how it pans out over the weekend, but for now it looks as though Dhadak will be a strong launching pad for Janhvi’s career in spite of naysayers.
Janhvi and Ishaan have taken the nepotism accusations gracefully, and their resilience shows in their acting in the film. After all the criticism, many are hailing it as a stellar performance from both of the actors, and we’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds for these two!