ApunKaChoice : Bollywood


DhokaDhoka : Movie Review
01st Sept 2007  21.34 IST
By Nikhil Kumar  

Pooja Bhatt picks up the most burning issue of the day, terrorism, and tries to ask some pertinent questions regarding it in her third directorial attempt Dhoka .

The movie, although not as hard hitting as it could have been, is nonetheless a fairly engrossing watch. The issue it deals with touches the lives of almost everyone today. And it also attempts to clear some misconceptions.

On the one hand, 'Dhoka' shows how people tend to suspect or blame the Muslims everytime there is a terror attack. On the other, the movie shows that a person is not born a terrorist, but becomes one after facing injustice and atrocities. The movie also brings forth another side of the issue, the so-called state terrorism, unleashed by men in uniform.

A subject of such serious and grave a nature needed mature, sensible and sensitive handling by the director. Pooja Bhatt , with help from her writer father Mahesh Bhatt , manages some of these departments well. But in some she falters.

'Dhoka' tells the story of a suicide bomber and an honest Muslim cop.

Zaid Ahmed Khan ( Muzammil Ibrahim ) is a dedicated cop in Mumbai police. A terror attack rocks the city and kills dozens of people. Among the dead is Zaid's beautiful Kashmiri wife Sarah ( Tulip Joshi ).

Much to his shock, Zaid is told that Sarah was not a victim but the suicide bomber herself. Zaid is arrested on suspicion of terrorism and is thoroughly interrogated. Even though he is later declared innocent, Zaid is not able to believe that his wife was a terrorist.

As Zaid digs into her past, he gets to know things that shake him from within. He realizes that behind the beautiful face of his wife lay a woman scarred by atrocities. He also gets to know how some fundamentalists provoke such people to unleash terror in the name of Jihad.

There is also a lengthy dialogue between Muzammil and Munish Makhija in the second half in which these issues are discussed.

'Dhoka' manages to stir you but not shake you. The reason is that Pooja fails to tell her story with a strong element of realism. An element of fantasy creeps in now and then within the narrative, thereby making the story less believable and less hard-hitting.

Secondly, newcomer Muzammil Ibrahim fails to deliver up to the mark. Sure the guy is handsome and looks intense at times, but he tries too hard to act. And that effort is visible in his performance.

Tulip Joshi is impressive. Even though she doesn't have many dialogues, she has a very expressive face.

Anupam Kher delivers a natural performance. Gulshan Grover is brilliant.

Pooja Bhatt has certainly grown as a director since her first movie Paap . But there are still some rough edges visible in her work.

The film's music passes muster.

'Dhoka' is not a path-breaking film, but it deserves to be seen solely because of the secular message that it gives. The movie, sort of, holds a mirror to the society.

A fairly watchable film.

Rating: **1/2

Pooja Bhatt
Mahesh Bhatt
Muzammil Ibrahim
Tulip Joshi
Anupam Kher
Gulshan Grover

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