“Whenever I will say, I will say the truth”– This simple line projects multiple aspects that navigate into countless perspectives. The expectation of truth is expected from politicians, government, media, and nearly everyone in normal life. The role of media in society is irreplaceable. It is often addressed as the fourth pillar of democracy. There is trust in the Media to keep in check the most powerful personalities, too.
The common people look up to the media that connects it with the government and gives it a platform to address its concerns. For years, several journalists have become a source of trust to present unbiased and vital information to the people. People look up to them for accurate information in times of crisis. What will happen when the trust of common people is broken?
Dhamaka has a protagonist who is firmly a villain, and he knows it. He is unconcerned about social responsibility; all he wants is to advance in his career and achieve success at any cost. Arjun Pathak (Kartik Aryan) is top league news. He was demoted for some objectionable incidents in the past. This fact irks him to the core. He met with an unexpected incident that allows him to take back whatever he has lost in the past, and he does not want to give this away.
One day, in his morning radio show, Arjun receives a bizarre phone call that threatens to blow up the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. It is a significant bridge that happens to be outside Arjun’s studio building. Initially, Arjun considers it as a joke or prank call and tells the person to proceed. To his shock, a blast takes place at the bridge that collapsed, killing and trapping others.
Instead of calling up the police, Arjun uses this opportunity to his benefit and asks his former boss to give him back his prime time seat in exchange for the exclusive story. His former boss, Ankita Malaskar, is very dedicated to improving their channel ratings, and getting herself promoted. They take the conversation ahead in live TV that leads to a chain of twisted, intruding, and some shocking incidents that follow.
But, an exception to this world of unethical journalists is Soumya, Arjun’s ex-wife. She presents the ethical and socially responsible side of the media world full of compassion, honest service, and humanity. On the other hand, there is the terrorist or common man Raghubeer Mhata. He presents the side of poverty that is unapologetically exploited by the elite class. It truly depicts how the life of the poor has no value for the rich, government authorities, and politicians busy in themselves and unconcerned of others. Little do they understand that this unconcerned attitude that exploits the poor. It can anger them to an extent when they are forced to leave their morality and go to all kinds of extents.
In the case of climax, this film is different from regular Bollywood films. It defies the concept of ‘Happy Ending’. The film is full of binding twists and turns. Similarly, the unexpected end full of surprises will hook you up. It will leave you with lots of thoughts and questions that will force you to think about it after the film ends. The film makes one realize how the poor and less powerful get sidelined in front of ’eminent personalities’. It raises an important point that when the trust of the masses is broken from the “system”, it can often result in big rebellions.
The film has been filmed with a fast-paced storyline, and it’s an adaptation of the Korean film The Terror Live (2013). It has a crisp storyline that is to the point without unnecessary exaggeration. At some point, the film gets a little soft instead of being fierce, and it feels that it could have been more explosive. A reason for it is that in recent times, the news channel debates and discussion has become more toxic. In comparison, the ones in the movie are less intense. One point that could have been better is the lack of originality because none of the scenes is newly added to this film.
The protagonist Arjun Pathak played by Kartik Aryan does not let you take your eyes away from him. The direction is accurate and planned. The acting performances by Kartik Aaryan, Mrunal Thakur, and Amruta Subhash are to the point and their convincing acting does not let you find flaws. Kartik portrays the layers of his character in detail with complete perfection, while Mrunal delivers yet another amazing performance. She makes the viewer connect with her character by her convincing acting skills despite her special appearance in the film. Amruta is a surprise factor who has captured the perfect essence of her character.
Overall, the film is packed with strong performances. In the Music part, it has 2 songs that play in the background. They complement the anxiety, regret, and helplessness in the film. The writing feels a bit lost. A striking component of the film is the great special and visual effects that complete the film. The 1 hour 40 minutes does not let you get bored, and you will leave you some sought of discomfort over the question it raises. Another good aspect by the makers was that the teaser or trailer does not reveal the storyline and even the plot is crisp with good editing.
In the end, the film is unique from the regular Indian films and presents a breath of fresh hair. It is a must-watch for audiences looking for something interesting.
Cast: Kartik Aryan, Mrunal Thakur, and Amruta Subhash
Director: Ram Madhvani
Release: 19 November 2021 on Netflix