Dhanak is a very sweet film by Nagesh Kukunoor. Dhanak means Rainbow. Dhanak makes us believe that there is no dearth of goodness in our society. Dhanak has already garnered lot of appreciation at various international film festivals viz. Berlin Film Festival, Montreal International Children’s Film Festival, International Film Festival at Los Angeles, Toronto International Film Festival etc. It beautifully portrays the story of a brother-sister duo, who embark on a journey of their lifetime across the deserts of Rajasthan in an attempt to meet the superstar Shah Rukh Khan. I could not stop myself from comparing it with 2015 release Barefoot to Goa, a film by Praveen Morchhale (Click here to read my Preview as well as Review of this film). Indeed the objectives of the travel of the brother-sister duo in both the films are different, but, the tone of the film, various positive experiences of the kids during their journey are almost parallel.
Two protagonists of the film are orphaned siblings - Pari (Hetal Gadda) and Chotu (Krrish Chhabria). Pari is elder to Chotu. They lose their parents in an accident and now stay with their Chacha-Chachi i.e. uncle-aunty (Vipin Sharma and Gulfam Khan). Pari is very protective of Chotu who has lost his eyesight at the age of four. Pari is a die-hard Shah Rukh Khan fan and Chotu, a Salman Khan fan. It is interesting to watch them walk to the school everyday with stories of either Shah Rukh Khan or Salman Khan. Chotu tosses coin everyday morning before going to school and that is how they decide that whose story to be told that day, whether Shah Rukh’s or Salman’s. Pari does not even mind failing in her class for consecutive two years so as to be in the same class as that of Chotu so that she can take care of him. Vipin Sharma as Chacha is very much attached to children and they have their fun moments watching film or roaming around. Gulfam Khan as Chachi is not very tolerant towards kids. But this hardly bothers Pari and Chotu, they are always full of life and enjoy each other’s company.
Pari decides to write letters to Shah Rukh Khan when she sees an advertisement of Shah Rukh for eye donation campaign. She feels that Shah Rukh can help her bring back Chotu’s eyesight. When she comes to know that Shah Rukh is there at Jaisalmer for film shooting, she decides to go to Jaisalmer, though very far from her place, along with Chotu to meet Shah Rukh Khan and ask for his help. Pari feels that it would be the best birthday gift to her kid brother, who was going to be 9 years old.
Rest of the story is about how these two kids tread the unknown path. Whom all they meet during their journey, most of them being good samaritans, how their journey shape up? Pari and Chotu’s constant banter about Shah Rukh and Salman is interesting. They do face challenges as well, be it some people with bad intention or the heat of the desert. Dhanak showcases the beauty of desert clubbed with Chotu and Pari’s journey, musical performances in between, their new friendships, associations with different people, and yes dangers too. The innocence of children is captured beautifully. It is amazing to see, how the film is woven beautifully with kids’ one simple wish and their journey for the same. Ultimately, do the kids manage to meet the superstar ?
Chotu’s high energy performance and Pari’s lovely innocent performances add lot of value to the film. Both the kids are adorable, innocent as well as mature. Another kid who has given a very sweet performance is the one who played the role of Shamsher, whom Pari-Chotu meet during their journey. The way three kids bond is awesome. How Vibha Chibber, Suresh Menon and others become a part of their journey is for you to explore. Rajasthani folk Music in the film is soulful.
Dhanak, a beautiful story about the journey of a brother-sister duo, is woven around one simple wish, and it encompasses the goodness existing in and around us. Not only various human emotions, relationships are explored in the film, but the beauty of deserts covered is also breathtaking. It makes one believe in one’s dreams and write one’s own destiny or atleast take efforts for the same. Dhanak would make you fall in love with the rainbow. Enjoy this film, it is certainly going to bring big smile on your face.