‘Sadak 2’ review: Sanjay Dutt is back in the driver’s seat

Sanjay Dutt’s best thing about Mahesh Bhatt’s Sadak in 1991 and his sequel. Sadak 2, which is streaming on Disney + Hotstar, is directed by senior filmmakers and co-written by Suhrita Sengupta. In the first film, the sleepless and intrepid taxi driver Ravi becomes older and more melancholy. Pooja (Pooja Bhatt), who has freed Ravi from the clutches of a gruesome pimp, is now an aesthetic photograph on the wall. Ravi, who is shattered by her death, also tries to erase herself, but finds a new purpose in the young woman’s mission to expose the charlatan goddess.

Arya (Alia Bhatt) is trying to raise public opinion against Camp Guru Jnani Prakash (Makarand Deshpande), who dresses as an orientalist ballet. Jnana Prakash hypnotizes Arya’s father Yogesh (Jisshu Sengupta) and stepmother Nandini (Priyanka Bose). The godman also has cops and robbers in his pocket.

Arya’s team includes Ravi and her guitar playing boyfriend Vishal (Aditya Roy Kapoor). Vishal proves to be quite useless in protecting Arya, and Ravi is the one who lends her help whenever needed.

The 133-minute over-the-top and slow-paced film does no favors by over-selling the villain of Jnana Prakash. The journey that Ravi, Arya and Vishal take is often met with obstacles. Where is the army of fanatics who hunt Aryan? They can be found on the neighboring platform MX Player, where a similar content series is streaming the monastery.

Alia Bhatt, Sanjay Dutt and Aditya Roy Kapoor in Sadak 2 (2020). Courtesy Vishesh Films / Disney + Hotstar.
When evil finally presents itself, no one is happier than Ravi. The smirk on his face when he finally sees the weapon is contagious. When the rifle was pressed against Ravi’s head and he blinked, the doors of heaven were finally open to me.

Ravi is passive and good at crying. The spirit of Ravi from Sadak is very much alive in the second film. Sanjay Dutt provides continuity between films and a full-throttle performance that compensates for the lack of energy among his co-stars.

Alia Bhatt is fast-paced, but her natural acting style and millennial approach do not suit the 1990s vintage dramas of the film. Priyanka Bose tries to shake things up – there’s a hilarious scene where she enters a room with vermilion plastered on her forehead for reasons that are more familiar. Jisshu Sengupta hammers it, but Makaranda Deshpande struggles to emerge from the original film with the shadow of Sadashiv Amrapurkar’s disgusting villain.

It doesn’t help that the sequel has several flashbacks to its predecessors. Sadak’s unselfishly frequent reminders of flower paths make compliance even more anodyne and carefree by comparison. The only person who can get Sadak 2’s Raison DeAutre is the actor who shines and shines in Sadak. Ravi’s suffering for his lost love, Arya’s tactile affection for him, and his solo march on the goddess prove that Ravi is very much around – old, not wise, and still a full-fledged comic taxi driver.