A typical day for hesitant radio station personality Arjun Pathak (Kartik Aaryan) is going to flip around. He is flung into the centre of a tremendous emergency. A man calls in asserting he will explode the Mumbai Sea Link. Subsequently, there’s a boisterous bang and outside his window, somewhere far off, Arjun sees portions of the milestone span falling into the ocean.
Thriller is a class of film that one relishes assuming it is all around created. Dhamaka, which stars Kartik Aaryan, Mrunal Thakur and Amruta Subhash, attacks news channels that are about the ‘news business’ rather than journal ethics and morals.
A negative, disappointed and vain, Arjun Pathak is an ex-prime time news channel show anchor who has been downgraded to a Radio Jockey. Additionally, his own life also is going through a troublesome landscape. His significant other, Soumya Mehra Pathak (Mrunal Thakur) has sought legal separation on shared assent. Soumya is working with Arjun in the same organisation, TRTV, as a senior reporter. She is known to be a columnist who follows the standards of news-casting in her work.
One day, Arjun gets a threatening call and this changes his life. Taking it as a chance for making a career comeback, Arjun decides against informing the police about the caller and negotiates a deal with the channel head, Ankita Malaskar (Amruta Subhash). He asks his prime-time slot back in exchange for this exclusive story. Eventually, tempted by the opportunity to rake the ratings of the channel, she agrees.
‘Dhamaka’, a remake of the 2013 Korean film ‘The Terror Live’’ lays out an increasingly familiar collision course. It shows the differences between TV channels with their insatiable greed for higher ratings and ordinary people lacking financial and social clout. These are people who find themselves out of the orbit of profiteering corporations masquerading as media that only peddle sensation. It is a theme worth exploring but was lost in the clunky execution.
Satisfactory Portrayal of Characters
A positive of the film is the acting of the leads. Kudos to Kartik Aaryan, Mrunal Thakur and Amruta Subhash for playing their character well. It’s encouraging to see Kartik stepping out of his comfort zone of being a romantic hero. His character forever lives in the quandary between ethics, success and limelight. He depicts the hypocrisy of Arjun Pathak when he transitions through his key phrase: Jo Kahunga Sach Kahunga (Whatever I say, will be the truth).
Also, Ankita Subhash gets into the skin of the vicious and manipulating head of a channel. Her spiteful personality always reminds her employees: We are not doing journalism. We are in the business of news!
Further, Mrunal Thakur pays her due in the screen-time. Although her screentime was smaller, it doesn’t appear too little to be dismissed. She holds a grip on her character of a righteous and ethical journalist.
Anticlimax End to Kartik Aryan’s Well Starting Thriller
As a disgraced TV anchor who wants his prime-time slot back, donning zero power glasses ‘to look serious’, Kartik starts well enough. So does Ankita, with not a single empathic bone in her body, barking orders to ‘go live, go live’. But soon enough, you realise that the crucial elements of a thriller – the urgency, the tension, the terror that the characters on screen are meant to be feeling are missing.
That’s because everything that’s happening on-screen feels contrived and improbable. None of the ‘breaking news’ situations, the tragedy unfolding on the damaged bridge, or action happening within the newsroom feels real. The whole film feels like a set. And everyone feels like they are acting out set-pieces.
TV channels in real life with their shrieking guests and debates have more drama than the fictional Bharosa 24/7. Ram Madhvani’s ‘Neerja’ and ‘Aarya’ worked so well with creating believable characters, interesting scenarios while keeping us on the edge. However, here’s a man teetering on the edge of sanity and another who is confronting his demons. Their lives are hanging by a thread but we don’t buy a thing.