Sadak 2 (Disney-Hotstar)
Starring Sanjay Dutt, Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur
Directed by Mahesh Bhatt
Believe it or not, Gulshan Grover in a walk-on part which he must have accepted for old times’ sake, plays a villain named Haathkatta. Because, get this, one of his hands has been severed.
Subtlety is certainly not one of the strong points of this belated sequel to a 1991 film that was ripped off from Martin Scorcese’s Taxi Driver. This Sadak swerves off the highway in no time at all. It is shocking that a script so shoddy and inane would be allowed to serve as a comeback to direction for Mahesh Bhatt, and that too to direct his star-daughter Alia Bhatt.
Both deserve better. So does Sanjay Dutt. So do we.
Sadak 2 is the kind of debilitating disappointment that Indian cinema suffers when the biggest of talents get together to deliver a certifiable dud. It happened when Kamal Amrohi made Razia Sultan or more recently when Yash Raj films made Thugs Of Hindustan.
What makes a truckload of talented people go on a suicidal mission destined to be doomed from the day someone suggested it?
I can see someone from Mahesh Bhatt’s team suggesting Sadak 2. “Let’s bring Baba back, Sanju Baba. To battle the fraud religious Baba. Let’s sign Makarand Deshpande to play the fraud Godbaba.”
Right. Got that. What else? Fatally the Sadak 2 writers forgot to join the dots in the screenplay. Most of the narrative lurches forward like a rudderless ship heaving to a bland finale that could give Lord Of The Rings The Return Of The King competition for the worst movie climax of the year.
But that’s at the end. See if you can survive the onslaught of incoherence that Sadak 2 heaps on from the opening (Alia Bhatt burning down a godman’s poster) like indigestible food at a wedding banquet. You know it’s probably going to kill you. But what the hell!
You cling on to the cornball thrills in the hope they would mend their ways and start behaving themselves.
But no. Till the end Sadak 2 behaves like an errant child that insists on embarrassing the guests who have come home for dinner. The action scenes are laughably clumsy and the acting, barring Sanjay Dutt who has a naturally grieving face, is amateurish, and that includes seasoned Bengali actors Jisshu Sengupta and Priyanka Bose. As Alia’s neurotic parents they behave like a couple on Bigg Boss hellbent on outdoing each other’s bad behaviour.
Makarand Deshpande as the imposter guru is a howl. Was he closet-funny while pretending to be sinister? In the end he suddenly dons a saree to remind us of Sadashiv Amrapurkar’s vicious transgender villain in Sadak Part 1.
Alia Bhatt looks bewildered most of the time, coming alive in her closing monologue on fraudulent godmen. Both Dutt and Alia are suicidal characters,though probably not as much as the makers of this film. Sadak 2 is our worst nightmare come true. A film whose very presence endorses the nepotism debate.