There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And you can find your way to it, if you have selfless desire, blind faith and soulful conviction. Or so goes the folklore. Dhanak is that fairy tale in which, all your dreams come true.
Set in the sand dunes of Rajasthan the movie beautifully captures the raw beauty of the desert and the simplicity of the lives of the desert-born. Being a typical low budget film, it relies on the authenticity of the locales to make the canvas believable, and excels at achieving that effect. Nagesh Kukunoor, as a director, never fails to impress. Each character is painstakingly sketched and defined, with the smallest of roles seamlessly feeding into the plot. This is a rare feat for any director to achieve. Perhaps that’s the advantage of not having some big names on the frame whose screen-time pre requisites defeat all other agendas. What you have here instead are two marvelously adorable child actors, who pull the weight of the script and how.
Chotu (Krrish Chhabria) is an 8 year old boy blinded by misfortune at a young age. His sister Pari (Hetal Gadda) is the divine light of his life. She is his soulmate, his support, his walking stick and his punching bag. The two siblings live in a small village in Rajasthan, where they dream big dreams about Salman and Shah Rukh Khan, their respective favourite actors. From walking him to school to feeding him, Pari takes care of her little brother with devotion and dedication. She translates movie scenes for him, fails exams to study with him, and smothers him with motherly affection that the sibling duo miss from the evil chachi (aunt). Chotu is a smart alek, with a clever answer to every question. Pari is an exasperated, yet doting sister, constantly squabbling and then making up in a way that only a brother – sister duo does. Inspired by a Shah Rukh Khan poster on eye donation, and encouraged by his unexpected film shoot in the dunes of Rajasthan, Pari is determined to meet Shah Rukh, with the innocent conviction that he will help Chotu get his eyes back. Thus, begins a journey across Rajasthan to meet their divine hero, a journey to find the golden pot at the end of the rainbow (dhanak).
The two actors have such fabulous chemistry that it’s hard to remember you are watching a movie. The humor is effortless, and natural, and keeps you smiling, giggling and rolling with laughter all throughout. There is nothing complex about the movie. That’s why it touches the very chords of your soul. The story has the good, the bad and the ugly, and it’s all real and believable. Yet, the movie instills your faith in humankind and makes you smile and believe that all will be well at the end of the two hours.
Dhanak is the story about love and laughter, it is a tale of hope and spirit, it is a saga of desire and determination. But above all, it is a simple story of the bond between a brother and a sister, pure and deep. It’s a movie that feeds the soul, cleanses the mind, and warms the heart. In short, it’s a movie that you just can’t miss.
By PRIYAM MAHAJAN KHAN