Starring R. Madhavan, Aparshakti Khurrana, Darshan Kumar and Khushalii Kumar
Directed by Kookie Gulati
There is much to be said about a hostage thriller that seems to move at a breakneck speed. Dhokha, with a colonized sub-title that says ‘Round D Corner’(the ‘D’ being a wave-out to the young audience) is the kind of recreational afternoon pre-siesta movie where you can’t afford to blink.
Something is happening every minute. Some character or the other is doing a personality volte-face. If you don’t stay alert you may end backing the wrong horse.
Allegiances, loyalty and relationships are shuffled constantly. Madhavan is the only one who remains rocksteady. He plays a much-harassed husband Yathaarth Singh whose wife seems to be a bit of a nutcase. She is held hostage in her apartment by a Kashmiri terrorist named Gul(how original!).
As Gul, Aparshakti Khurana’s ‘Kashmiri’ accent keeps slipping off like trackpants two sizes too large for a morning jog. The hostage wouldn’t mind the pants slipping off. Before we can say, ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ she is making plans to run away to Kashmir with the terrorist while her poor husband is trying to put together her ransom money.
While in the compound of the apartment block husband Yathaarth and cop Malik(Darshan Kumar, fresh from the triumph of Kashmiri Files)fret over how to rescue the former’s wife from the hostage situation, up in the apartment the wife Sanchi(Khushalii Kumar) seems to be in ample control of the situation. By interval point she is seen seducing the terrorist in her home, the pallu of her saree suitably bunched up to reveal what lies underneath.
Sanchi gives a whole new interpretation to the concept of atithee dev bhavo(guest is God).
The giddyheaded vertiginous screenplay(Kookie Gulati, Neeraj Singh) is an exercise in anti-ethics. The female protagonist is a borderline psychotic anti-heroine, the male protagonist seems to be very different from what he pretends to be, the terrorist is a traitor to his cause(I mean which self-respecting Jihadi gets seduced by his hostage?) and the cop seems to have his own agenda.
By the end of the film I was thoroughly confused about who was on which side. I was also very worried about the future of Indian cinema.