Maybe someday Mahesh Bhatt will be watching something with Alia Bhatt, one of the most exciting actors of this generation. Sadly, Sadak 2 is not that movie.
The Sadak 2 is available on Disney Plus Hotstar.
Sadak 2 Movie Star: Sanjay Dutt, Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Jishu Sengupta, Priyanka Bose, Makrand Deshpande, Gulshan Grover
Sadak 2 Film Director: Mahesh Bhatt
Sadak 2 Movie Rating: A Star
All those who dare to like Sadak 2 are kindly left out. The movie is, in a word, scary: why would anyone in this day and age want to do something so dated, so ragged?
Returning to Sadak in 1991, a romance between a taxi-driver and a mischievous girl on the rails brings back memories of a time when Bollywood knew how to tell stories. There was nothing insane about Sanjay Dutt-Pooja Bhatt’s performance, but a mixture of pulp plot and performance, the incomparable Sadashiv Amrapurkar was recognized as the evil queen, one of the most memorable films of that era.
About thirty years later the sequel will come, and you know right away that it was lost. Sanjay Dutt, who is reprising his role as Ravi, a taxi-driver at heart, is now suitably old and attractive, missing nothing. As Aaliya Bhat’s successor, Arya, desperately needs to hit the road, it is not a performer.
The supporting cast are not too obnoxious: Jishu Sengupta, who makes a steady entry into Hindi cinema, is Arya’s father, Priyanka Bose’s bad mother. The usually credible is Makrand Deshpande, who gets the chance to strike it as Dhoni’s Baba. And nostalgia in the late 80s, early 90s, summarizes Gulshan Grover.
But nothing credible can be done for one of these actors. Who has seen this rabbit-brain plot? Of course, it is perfectly acceptable to have evil mummies and greedy lovers hunting down confused daddies and innocents. And there may be brave girls, who, with their faithful swines (Roy Kapoor), want to go against the ungodly. It is good to fight against Andhwa’s Vasal as Sadak 2 patiently wishes, but this way? Is there a scene, or character or twist, that is believable?
It is hard to believe that this comes from Mahesh Bhatt’s baton, who has given us classics like Arth, Nam and 1999’s Jakhm, which is very eloquent and emotional about the growing rift between religions and people. That’s a landmark film. In his best work, Bhatt was capable of drawing the flavor of the moment and translating it into smart mainstream fare, and it was a wrench when he decided to stop directing.
Dutt is the only person fighting the Leiden storyline. Those with long memories may remember Dutt, who was never a great actor, and how he and Pooja Bhatt (as we often see in flashbacks in the sequel) did the duo we cared about. In these intervening years of experiencing personal and professional turmoil, Dutt learned how to fill a role and make us believe. In Sadak 2, despite all the ridiculousness, he is the last man standing. But that doesn’t make the film incredibly sticky, at least.
Maybe someday Mahesh Bhatt will watch something with Alia, one of the most exciting actors of this generation. Sadly, Sadak2 is not that movie.
Sadak 2 is airing on Disney Plus Hotstar.s