Dhamaka Review: Kartik Aaryan confidently carries an overly-dramatic film on his shoulders


Film: Dhamaka

Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Mrunal Thakur & Amruta Subhash

Director: Ram Madhvani

OTT: Netflix 

Rating: 3 Moons

'Jo Kahunga Sach Kahunga,' that's the mantra of Kartik Aaryan's life in Ram Madhvani's thriller Dhamaka. Starring Kartik, Mrunal Thakur & Amruta Subhash, Dhamaka is an overly-dramatic adaptation of Kim Byung-woo's The Terror Live.  The film, which released on Netflix, revolves around a news anchor chasing TRPs while the city of Mumbai is under attack by a terrorist. And while the opportunity may bring in a chance of his career comeback, it may also cost him his conscience.

The 1 hour 40-minute long film is not that simple. It begins with Arjun Pathak (Kartik Aaryan) remembering the good old days spent with his wife Soumya Mehra Pathak (Mrunal Thakur) right before signing their divorce papers. Soon after, Arjun, who has been a prime-time news anchor for 5 years, gets a cue from his colleague to start his radio show. But this morning is different. The first caller on Arjun's show warns him about a bomb blast at Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai. At first, Arjun does not take it seriously but a blast within seconds of the call leaves him shocked. But instead of calling the police, Arjun plays it smartly to get his career back on track.

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The anchor starts negotiating with the channel head, Ankita (Amruta Subhash), to return as a news anchor after he gets a tip about the bomb blasts. Assuring high TRPs, Kartik addresses the nation and even connects with the terrorist on his show. However, his life takes a turn when Soumya, who is a reporter, is sent on-ground to cover the blast live. The terrorist tells Arjun to call a minister and tell him to apologize otherwise he would blow up the remaining Sea Link and kill everyone there, including his wife Soumya. Torn between rising TRPs and the love of his life Soumya, Arjun takes one wrong decision that changes his life forever. 

Dhamaka is definitely an unconventional film and not what one would expect it to be. It showcases the harsh reality of TV channels, its TRP-hungry bosses and how people today 'sell news' instead of 'reporting it'. The film rightly compares TV anchors to actors as well. However, what it lacks in it is realism. Dhamaka's storyline is weak and non-convincing. The film gets illogical at several points but when the going gets tough, Kartik saves the day for all. 

Kartik gives a dhamakedaar performance in the film but unfortunately, it is somewhere overshadows by a weak storyline. The actor is relatable as a news anchor turned RJ and makes sure to pull off his role with much conviction. 

But the one who disappoints in the film is Mrunal. Even though the actress has a special appearance, there is nothing special in her role. The makers have undoubtedly wasted a talented actor for a role like this one. Except for a dialogue or two and appearing in a pre-recorded video, Mrunal as Soumya has nothing much to do. The show-stealer as usual here is Amruta Subhash. As Ankita, Amruta plays a tough boss effortlessly. She is bold, strong and convincing, as always. 

Ram Madhvani's direction is not as expected and his writing with Puneet Sharma pulls the thriller down. Filmmaker Ram's earnest effort at making a realistic thriller with absolutely no songs or spice backfires as the storyline is weak & overly dramatic. Due credit to Manu Anand for the apt cinematography. He has shot the film at only 2 locations brilliantly, without making it feel repetitive or boring. Monisha Baldawa & Amit Karia's to-the-point editing serves the purpose. The tense and thrilling music by Vishal Khurana maintains the seriousness of the plot. Watch Dhamaka for a decent thriller & Kartik Aaryan's honest performance. 

PeepingMoon gives Dhamaka 3 Moons!