The first female led action film for Bollywood is not as Dhaakad, and it will definitely leave you disappointed.
The film is marketed as a high-octane, action thriller and it is just that. It will remind you of Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde in parts and Black Widow, but Razneesh Razy Ghai's directorial is a terrible take on the girls with guns genre.
The film follows special Agent Agni (Kangana Ranaut), a spy, who is tasked with finding and bringing down Rudaveer, an international human trafficker who operates out of Bhopal. Rudraveer is played by a heavily- tattooed Arjun Rampal. Arjun essays his role with conviction and does his best to embrace Rudraveer's manic ways, but the lack of a well-sketched out character betrays him.
As Agni embarks on this mission and comes face-to -face with Rudaveer, she discovers a truth that connects her past to him.
We also have Divya Dutta essaying the role of Rohini, a victim of sex trade herself and who is currently Rudaveer’s girlfriend and aide. The actor yet again proves that she can play any role to perfection. The scenes between Agni and Rohini give the film a slight facelift.
Agni’s mission makes her don several disguises through the film, as she travels from Budapest to Bhopal. The spy, who doesn’t care much for protocol, is ambushed every time she is on a mission and single-handily takes down her opponents.
As the story moves ahead and events unfold to acquaint us to Agni's tragic background, you want to feel attached to her, but you feel nothing. Not because I am cold-hearted, it's just that it doesn’t hit home. Even though Agni nails the action sequences, her character isn't well-sketched. The film is mores style than substance.
Dhaakad’s stunt choreography and camera work by Tetsua Nahata is impressive and that's what makes the film somewhat bearable.
Even though Agni delivers blows and wields guns with much ease, but the dull script, weak characterisation and direction ensure that the movie never takes off.
The script falls short in the story line and screenplay. This 2 hour and 10 minute-long movie felt longer than it actually is.
Sharib Hashmi, Agni’s work associate, and Saswata Chatterjee play their roles with ease. Dhaakad’s climax also does nothing for the film because it lacks logic and sounds laughable. Through the movie, a lullaby (“So ja re”) is sung by different characters, and by the end, I don’t think one would need a lullaby.