Despite a slow second half DHAMAKA is an edge of the seat thriller that boasts of fine performances


Dhamaka Review {3.0/5} & Review Rating

DHAMAKA is the story of a prime time reporter getting the biggest scoop of his career. Arjun Pathak (Kartik Aaryan) was a reputed TV reporter of Bharosa 24×7. He is married to Saumya Mehra Pathak (Mrunal Thakur). All is going well but due to an unsavoury incident, Arjun is demoted and is given the post of a radio jockey on Radio Bharosa. His marriage with Saumya is about to end as their divorce proceedings are going on. One day, during his morning show, Arjun receives a call from a man called Raghubeer Mhata (Soham Majumdar). He claims that he has planted a bomb on the Sea Link in Mumbai. Arjun assumes that it’s a prank call and abruptly cuts it. The next moment, he hears a loud blast. He looks out of the window and sees that a part of the sea link has exploded. Raghubeer calls again and wants to talk. A scared Arjun immediately phones the cops. But he cuts the call when he realizes that this is his chance to get back his position as a prime time news anchor. He requests Raghubeer to wait for some time. He immediately dials his boss, Ankita (Amruta Subhash), and informs her about the situation. He also gets an assurance from her that he can go on air with this story. A temporary studio is set up in the radio station. Arjun goes on air and begins to further talk to Raghubeer. At this point, Raghubeer informs that he wants an apology from the minister Jaydev Patil immediately; or else he’ll do more blasts. He also tells Arjun that there’s a bomb in his earpiece and that he’ll execute the blast if he moves from his seat. To add to Arjun’s fears, he learns that Saumya is the one who has gone to the Sea Link to cover the story on the ground. Another blast rocks the Sea Link and now Saumya and the rest of the people present there are in danger. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

DHAMAKA is based on the Korean film TERROR LIVE [written and directed by Kim Byung Woo]. The story is unique and one of its kind. DHAMAKA is a thriller but it starts on a sweet note. Soon, the tone changes as Arjun gets the call from the mysterious caller. The first half will give you no reason to complain as the makers neatly explain the setting, the dynamics between the various characters and why Arjun has got demoted. The way Arjun uses his divorce papers to make notes is quite assuming and shows that the director has tried to make the product stand out. The scene where Jayant Patil’s deputy Subhash Mathur (Vishwajeet Pradhan) comes to the studio and speaks to Raghubeer is a terrific scene and will leave viewers astonished. Another heart-in-the-mouth scene is when Saumya attempts to save a girl from a car before it falls off the Sea Link. The second half, too, has its share of good scenes but due to the above-mentioned glitches, the impact is diluted.

Puneet Sharma and Ram Madhvani’s screenplay is impressive and ensures that audiences remain glued to their seats. However, some of the developments in the second half are not convincing. Even the finale is difficult to digest. Puneet Sharma and Ram Madhvani’s dialogues are sharp and acidic.

Ram Madhvani’s direction is gripping. The storytelling is such that viewers can’t help but get lost in the world shown by the talented director. He also raises the tension levels very well, leaving audiences to wonder what will happen next. His comment on ethics and the quest of news channels to get the ratings up at any cost is sure to shock viewers. On the flipside, certain developments, later on, are difficult to digest. The sequence where Ankita gets an anchor from a rival channel to expose Arjun’s wrongdoings and even compels Arjun to speak to him on the other news channel is too much. This is especially because Ankita is shown to be worried about the ratings; such a move could have hampered the channel in the long run. The decision of Arjun in the climax feels needless as he did have a fighting spirit.

Kartik Aaryan on Dhamaka: “Arjun Pathak ye character mere liye bohot hi…”| Ram Madhvani

DHAMAKA scores when it comes to the performances. Kartik Aaryan is known for comic and light-hearted roles but here; he steps into altogether new territory and comes out with flying colours. He’s sure to surprise many and proves that he’s able to portray different kinds of roles with ease. Mrunal Thakur is mentioned first in the opening credits, before Kartik. Her role is also credited as a special appearance and she does very well. Amruta Subhash leaves a tremendous mark and adds a lot to the drama in the film. Soham Majumdar has a limited appearance but his voice plays an important role and overall, he does a fine job. Vishwajeet Pradhan is memorable in a cameo. Vikas Kumar (Praveen Kamath; counter-terrorism official) gives a fine, no-nonsense performance. Anuj Gurwara (Manas Sethi; INL News anchor) is okay.

DHAMAKA, ideally, should have been a song-less fare but the three songs are neatly woven into the narrative. ‘Khoya Paaya‘ boasts of powerful lyrics and vocals by Amit Trivedi. The female version by Jasleen Royal is also hard-hitting. ‘Kasoor‘ is sweet and has the trademark Prateek Kuhad stamp. Vishal Khurana’s background score is impactful.

Manu Anand’s cinematography is a bit shaky but that adds to the tension. Nidhi Rungta’s production design is authentic. Manohar Verma’s action is realistic. Theia Tekchandaney’s costumes (associate costume designing by Ayushi Jain) are non-glamorous as per the film’s requirement. Futureworks Media Ltd and RedChillies.VFX’s VFX could have been better. Monisha R Baldawa’s editing (co-editing by Amit Karia) is slick and fast-paced but slows down a bit in later portions.

On the whole, DHAMAKA is an edge-of-the-seat thriller and boasts of one of the finest performances by Kartik Aaryan. But sadly, the film loses steam in the second half.


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