Sadak 2 Movie Review: Dependable cast wasted away in dense, hare-brained plot
At its two hours plus runtime, Sadak 2 unfolds like a daily soap adaptation of Wild Wild Country featuring vigilante heroes, their problematic parents and phoney Godmen.
Cast: Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt
Director: Mahesh Bhatt
Till today, I was fairly confident that 2020 won't give us a film that's worse than the Kartik Aaryan and Sara Ali Khan starrer Love Aaj Kal. Looks like this God-awful year hits a new low every time you stop looking. This Friday dropped on Disney+Hotstar, Sanjay Dutt and Alia Bhatt starrer Sadak 2. The film marks Mahesh Bhatt's return to direction after a two-decade-long hiatus. Bhatt Senior, known for path-breaking films like Arth and Zakhm, attempts to tell the story about the business of religion. Lamentably, it's inconsistent in both its writing and execution. At its two hours plus runtime, the film unfolds like a daily soap adaptation of Wild Wild Country featuring vigilante heroes, their problematic parents and phoney Godmen. At a particularly duff sequence, I had to replay the scene only to be sure that the shabby scene belongs in a film helmed by Bhatt Sa'ab.
Along with his writer Suhrita Sengupta, he borrows a leaf from the 90s style of filmmaking that gives the film a peculiar antiquated vibe. That is, in fact, a big part of the reason why you don't relate to the film. There are some cardboard characters - an heiress on the run (Arya Desai played by Alia), her boyfriend recovering from a drug abuse problem (Aditya Roy Kapoor, aptly stereotyped, yet again) and a lonely man who will protect them against all odds (Dutt). Saving the day in this otherwise tepid tale is the charisma of its leading man - Sanjay Dutt, who is a natural. He gets every beat of his character right, almost to make you reminisce about the good memories of the 1991 original.
Watch the trailer of Sadak 2
But one man holding forte in a messy story like this is far from enough. Even though the cast has some dependable actors like Jisshu Sengupta, Makarand Deshpande and Priyanka Bose, who make for a fine ensemble but like most of us, they seem too lost in this dense, hare-brained plot to make sense of it.
Given that the overarching theme of the film is religion, I was instantly reminded of the brilliance of Zakhm that poignantly told the tale of a world torn down by religion. I'd assume thematically Bhatt was going for a similar idea again, which would be a fascinating film to watch in times when bigotry has become such a prevalent norm. The political undertones of his cinema has always been a highlight for moviegoers. Too bad, Sadak 2 does not offer a glimpse of his strong views or his masterful direction. Here, the plot twists sway between ludicrous and banal. The villains, though promising actors, are comical. And our leads seem to be dragging their feet through the film looking quite bored. Moreover, right from the word go, you already know how this is going to end so you are robbed of the big climactic adrenaline rush as well. In short, it's far too dull and devoid of style to even count as a guilty pleasure.
So why should you sign up for this? I'd strongly recommend you don't. There are enough horrors in the world right now and this is absolutely skippable. At least your fiction could be better than your reality. If you still insist on a viewing, I'd say go for Dutt. The classic Sanju baba swagger works like a charm still!
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