Post-September 11, 2001, Zaid Ahmed Khan lives a wealthy lifestyle in Mumbai and resides in an apartment at Shanti Kutir, Juhu Tara Road, Mumbai, and works as an Assistant Commissioner of ...
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Post-September 11, 2001, Zaid Ahmed Khan lives a wealthy lifestyle in Mumbai and resides in an apartment at Shanti Kutir, Juhu Tara Road, Mumbai, and works as an Assistant Commissioner of Police. He is of marriageable age, and his marriage is arranged with Sarha, who is the daughter of Parvez, sister of Dhanish, and grand-daughter of Saeed Noor Bux, who are based in Nasik. The two get married in Udaipur, and subsequently Sarha re-locates to live with Zaid in Mumbai. One day terrorists strike at a club, killing 20 people, & critically injuring several others. The Police are put on alert, and Zaid is summoned to Police Headquarters to identify a body. To his shock the body turns out to be that of Sarha - who was not a victim but was a suicide-bomber. Before he could get over this shock, Zaid is arrested by Anti-Terrorist Squad Chief Raj Mehra and questioned for several days. The media, his friends, including fellow police officers, already believe that he is guilty. Finally, after ...Written by
In many ways, the star of Dhokha is model Muzammil Ibrahim who makes his acting debut as the betrayed husband.
Noble intentions alone don't make a good film, and that becomes clear as crystal while watching Pooja Bhatt's film Dhokha. The film, her third directorial outing after Paap and Holiday, is unarguably the most relevant of her three films because it touches upon themes that are significant and critical.Newcomer Muzammil Ibrahim stars as a young Muslim police officer who learns that his cute-as-a-cupcake wife Tulip Joshi may have been a suicide bomber responsible for the death of many innocent people.It's a discovery he can't quite come to terms with because it dawns on him that he may have never really known this person he shared his home, his heart and his life with for two whole years. Determined to get some answers, he sets off on a mission to trace why and how she may have led this double life.Now with this film Pooja Bhatt makes an earnest attempt to address so many urgent issues – everything from communal prejudices and cultural stereotyping to terrorism in the name of religion and exploitation at the hands of the establishment. Problem is, in her over-enthusiasm she forgets that key rule that movie directors can never really afford to forget – feature film is a popular medium, it must engage. It must not become a lecture that bores the audience.Despite a solid premise, Dhokha fails to realise its potential because the screenplay is often contrived, often convenient, and at times just hopelessly idealistic.An everyday policeman just tumbles into a full-fledged terrorist outfit. A suspicious spiritual leader shows up out of thin air to participate in a never-ending question-answer session on the relevance of jihad. And a suicide bomber strapped with kilos of RDX gets to go home scot-free after he's persuaded not to blow up VT Station. If only the world were so simple.On the up side, I'm happy to say that unlike Pooja Bhatt's previous directorial offerings, Dhokha is not a Hollywood-film remake, it is instead inspired from real events.The case of the 19-year-old student Ishrat Jahan who was gunned down by the Ahmedabad police for allegedly plotting the murder of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is as much an inspiration for the plot of this film as is the case of software engineer Khwaja Yunus, a suspect in the 2002 Ghatkopar blast incident who was allegedly killed in police custody.This is a film you badly want to like because it's well intended and because it's got its heart in the right place, but how you wish it didn't go about its job in such a perfunctory manner.Few films these days have much to say, so when you come across a film that does, it's a pity it doesn't make its point hard enough. And by hard enough I don't mean, beating the audience on the head with a message, rather driving the point home by illustrating its repercussions.Of the film's cast, veterans Gulshan Grover and Anupam Kher lend credibility to the occasionally over-dramatic scenes, while Munish Makhija as the spiritual leader is as expressive as a block of wood.Mercifully we are spared the full range of Tulip Joshi's incompetent acting because she's barely in the film and has less than three dialogues to speak, but we must endure instead newcomer Aushima Sawhney's labored performance as the cop's ex-girlfriend who turns up just in time to lend a supportive shoulder. In many ways, the star of Dhokha is model Muzammil Ibrahim who makes his acting debut as the betrayed husband. Much in the same way that she photographed her previous leading men John Abraham and Dino Morea, director Pooja Bhatt for the most part films her new hero as a Playgirl centrespread, baring his perfect abs in romantic scenes, in shower scenes, even in fight scenes and chase scenes. But surprisingly, there's more to him that the six-pack – Muzammil delivers a confident performance and shows some genuine star potential.The film itself could have been so much more. Remember, the films you either immensely enjoy or even violently detest are the ones you're likely to remember for a long time to come. But Dhokha turns out to be one those average films that evokes no strong reaction.It's a film that you only feel indifferent towards. Pooja Bhatt's Dhokha unfolds at a pace slower than my 81-year-old grandmother.
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