‘Tadap’ movie review: Ahan Shetty’s debut leaves the audience groaning

A still from 'Tadap'  

In a rare light-hearted scene in this Milan Luthria film, two ‘lovers’ throw novels of Hindi literature and pulp fiction at each other. The novel scene almost becomes a metaphor for a hodgepodge of unprocessed ideas that are tossed at us, in this twisted love story, drawn from a Telugu hit.

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Luthria and writer Rajat Arora are competent purveyors of pulp, as we have seen in films such as Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai and The Dirty Picture, but here, it seems, their primary job is to launch yet another star son, Ahaan Shetty, rather than telling a cogent story. When characters are named Daddy and LOL, you realise it early that the writer-director will keep the characters one-note and won’t scratch the surface.

Shetty has a booming voice, but lacks the mien to showcase all the rasas that he has been asked to portray in his maiden venture. The makers try to cover his limitations by beard and blood, and create a strong support system around him, with reliable performers like Kumud Mishra and Saurabh Shukla, and action choreographers. The camera focuses on Ahaan’s muscular bike and chiseled body, but the vroom seldom translates into anything compelling.

Over the years, Hindi films have stories where a foreign-returned babu comes to town to entice a village belle. Here Arora has reversed the trope. Ramisa (Tara Sutaria) returns from London and finds the local Mussoorie boy Ishaana (Ahaan) attractive. As expected, her politician father Damodar (Mishra) finds the match problematic. Ishaana is the adopted son of an activist called Daddy (Shukla) who works for Damodar. Sparks fly and punches are thrown but the sound and fury amount to nothing.

Tara seems to have mistaken the feature film to be a series of ad films and music videos. Despite a couple of soulful Irshad Kamil-Pritam numbers that remind of their previous hits, the lack of verve between the lead pair ensures that when the twist comes in the second half, its impact is hollow. Luthria resorts to atavistic ideas that celebrate the drowning of lover’s ache in liquor, but the romance seldom turns intoxicating. Arora tries hard to inject some life through declamations on the unpredictable nature of love and women, but the yearning and hurt remain superficial and laboured. Pulverised by relentless bombastic dialogues, Tadap leaves the audience groaning.

Tadap is currently running in theatres


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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 7:09:34 AM |

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