Dhokha poster

Dhokha

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV/online (?)

quick review:

Dhokha gives a different treatment to the religious terrorism issue that has been dealt with by many movies. It manages to retain interest despite a preachy lecture time and again. Muzzamil Ibrahim and Tulip Joshi give good performances.

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Director: Pooja Bhatt
Running time: 115 minutes
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Dhokha - Preview

- meeta, a part of the audience

Dealing with an oft-repeated theme of the Hindu-Muslim situation in India without ruffling many feathers is a challenge in itself. Dhokha not only takes this challenge up, but also dresses it in a different background, and accessorizes it with a convincing back-story. And yet, it sticks to its mission of getting a message across.

The script flows reasonably well. The 'ups and downs' that build towards the climax manage to retain the curiosity that is aroused in the first five minutes. Actually, that should be 'downs and downs' - yeah the theme at hand is dark and so is the story. The climax does feel a little rushed but again, given the sensitivity of the topic it is difficult to imagine any other way to end the movie.

Unfortunately, a few plot points seem contrived. Also the movie gets border-line preachy every once in a while. And sermons equal boredom. Nevertheless there are a few thought-provoking philosophical one-liners that make the dialogues a little above average.

It was exciting to watch the two main characters unfold and they were deftly kept consistent - which is a rarity in itself now-a-days. Muzzamil Ibrahim grasped the nuances of the character pretty well. His good looks and the perfect physique is going to set many a heart thumping. I am sure not many are going to mind the multiple number of showers he takes. Tulip Joshi does not have too many lines but performs wonderfully in the one scene of substance that she is given.

That said, the side characters are absolutely underdeveloped and seemed really functional. In fact, Nandini played by Aushima Sawhney does not even have a fathomable function. What was Nandini doing in the story except showing off Aushima Sawhney's shoulders!?

While walking out of the theater, I was wondering what is it that makes a gloomy subject a pleasant watch. It’s not as if the performances were breathtakingly mesmerizing, or the screenplay was so taut that you didn't notice the sadness of it all. I think along with other positives mentioned above, it is the mature camerawork and lighting that added to the experience. It was also refreshing to hear some good lyrics set to decent tunes.

Unfortunately, this is one of those movies that will go unnoticed by more than many. I hope it is not because people have lost their belief in cinema as a form of entertainment because of a catastrophe called Aag that hit our industry this week.

- meeta, a part of the audience

18 reviewers(?) - 9 yays 4 so-so 5 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, All Bollywood : ..."Dhokha" with its renewable but non-derivative topicality washes away the sins of excessive inspiration that plagues present-day cinema in Hindi.... full review

Thumbs up, by Rachel Fernandes, Bollywood Mantra : ...Mahesh Bhatt’s story and script is impactful and he has weaved several real life instances extremely well into the narrative... full review

Thumbs up, by Ruchika Shah, Business of Cinema : ...she carries off the mystifying character smoothly... full review

Thumbs up, by Angel Rani, Deccan Herald : ...Dhokha has a message and conveys it in the simplest of ways.... full review

Thumbs up, by Praveen Lance Fernandes, indiatimes : ... A lot of scenes are executed with élan... full review

Thumbs up, Indicine : ...Pooja Bhatt excels as a director... full review

Thumbs up, Movie Talkies : ...The director attempts to distinguish between the good, patriotic Muslim and the terrorist and makes a clear demarcation between the two.... full review

Thumbs up, by Hanumant Bhansali, Radio Sargam : ...A few events come as a surprise with a lack of introspection.... full review

So-So, Cybernoon: ...If there are some well-handled scenes ...there are oddball scenes too... full review

So-So, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...The director and her competent writer open the cards at the very outset, within 10 minutes of the start... full review

So-So, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...sentiments are laudable but the writing and performances are too inconsistent to do justice to an issue this complex.... full review

So-So, Times of India : ... Dhokha might have worked magically, like Chak De India , if the film had not been didactic and indulged in long soliloquies about integration, assimilation and one nation.... full review

Thumbs down, Bollyvista.com : ...Tulip Joshi enacts her role with ease but without going overboard.... full review

Thumbs down, by Indu Mirani, DNA : ...Pooja Bhatt's attention to the nitty gritty in production design is obvious as she paints pretty pictures with her scenes even as she batters your mind with what is happening... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times : ...Newcomer Muzammil Ibrahim, in a tough role, is promising.. he has a strong screen presence.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Despite a solid premise, Dhokha fails to realise its potential because the screenplay is often contrived, often convenient, and at times just hopelessly idealistic.... full review

Thumbs down, by Syed Firdaus Ashraf, Rediff : ...film fails mainly because it does not give attention to details... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Warning: this section has some details that could distort your experience while watching the movie. I strongly recommend reading this only after you have seen the movie or if you have decided not to see it.

Plot Summary

Zaid (Muzzamil Ibrahim) is a police officer who finds out that his wife, Sara (Tulip Joshi), has passed away in a terrorist bomb explosion. A few other things that he never knew about his wife unveil with her death.

What Worked

  • The characterization of Zaid and Muzzamil's performance. Even though you know his wife is the terrorist, you really hope that she isn't, for his sake.
  • The rape scene - it has the impact that it desires to achieve.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • The number of times Gulshan Grover says "manushya" in his introductory scene where he is giving an interview on TV. I think the point was to make sure everyone realizes he is a Hindu, the Ganpati idol in the background was enough to do that. Using a pure Hindi word, that too repeatedly, in otherwise normal Hindi language was out of place.
  • How come only the muslim driver needed to be searched, not his mother and car?
  • Sara's face was blue and hair all spread out decoratively. Granted you want to create drama, but it shouldn't be at the expense of the otherwise realistic look you are trying to give the movie.
  • How does the police know that Sara drove in a white Ambassador? Did the bus driver wait till he saw where she was going? If so, why did he wait?
  • How come a police officer doesn't get worried about his wife who has been uncontactable for two days? Especially when he claims to love her so.
  • Doesn't Zaid have too lavish a life for a ACP? Wedding in Udaipur, et al?
  • The silhouette lighting at Zaid's release. It was visually alright, but it didn't serve any specific purpose. It seemed very random.
  • There was no particular reason for Zaid to yell, "I have had enough of you two" at Nandini and her friend, when they have barely exchanged a few lines.

Nitty-Gritty

This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • The bloody hand-prints on the walls of the hospital looked artificial.
  • Why was the wedding in Udaipur? The guy lives in Mumbai, the girl in Nashik.
  • How come Zaid ordered another drink at the bar, when he had not finished his first one?
  • The road on which Zaid is being chased is divided and undivided alternately even though his own movements are continuous.

Dhokha - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Producer:
Director:
Screenplay:
Cinematography:
Background Score:
Action Choreography:
Music Director:
Running time:
115 minutes
Reviewer:
Language:
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Review - Dhokha...

Dhokha gives a different treatment to the religious terrorism issue that has been dealt with by many movies. It manages to retain interest despite a preachy lecture time and again. Muzzamil Ibrahim and Tulip Joshi give good performances. ...

[...] Original post by meetu [...]

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