Netflix’s ‘Dhamaka’, directed by Ram Madhvani, revolves around a former celebrated journalist who attempts to get his place back at a prominent news channel by providing an exclusive.
Arjun Pathak (Kartik Aaryan) receives a call from someone claiming to be Raghubeer Mhata, who warns him that he’s about to execute a blast on Sea Link. Although Arjun passes it off as a prank call at first, the blast actually happens.
Opting not to inform the police, he decides to use the caller to promise the channel TRTV an exclusive, where he used to be a prime time journalist before.
Raghubeer demands an apology from the minister in charge for the death of his fellow construction workers, who died repairing the Sea Link.
As the caller reveals more tricks under his sleeve, Arjun finds himself caught under his pressure for an apology, the minister’s reluctance to appear and the channel hounding him for an increase in ratings.
To complicate it further, Saumya Pathak (Mrunal Thakur), Arjun’s wife who’s also a journalist, is sent by the channel to the Sea Link for reporting, with Raghbeer having planted more bombs on the bridge.
The majority of the films is based on Aaryan’s character, and he doesn’t miss a single note. The rawness and intensity of his character are brilliantly captured by the actor.
Madhvani has a history of getting the best out of his actors; Sonam Kapoor in Neerja and Sushmita Sen in Aarya, and he’s successful once more, as the viewers see a side of Aaryan they haven’t before.
Mrunal Thakur, despite limited screen time, is extremely convincing as the amicable wife who’s suffering from betrayal.
Amruta Subhash, who plays Arjun’s boss Ankita, is too rigid with her approach, and the character doesn’t seem real at all.
The pace of the film makes it a very easy watch. Right from the onset, there’s a lot happening and the viewers will not find a single slow moment throughout the film.
The narrative is gripping, and a critique of the news industry is the need of the hour, with the fourth pillar of democracy currently in a dire state, as numbers get prioritised over important stories in many organisations.
Despite most of Dhamaka taking place inside one room, Madhvani and cinematographer Manu Anand use a number of different camera angles to augment the visual aspect.
The music is very neatly placed and doesn’t intrude on the narrative at all, only being used at the start and the end.
The concept of a caller threatening someone with a stained past is a concept that’s being extremely overused at the moment.
Although the critique of the media industry is essential, it lacks nuance and is very in-your-face.
Dhamaka is an engaging watch and deserves at least one viewing. Kartik Aaryan’s never-before-seen version is a treat and will hopefully result in him getting to display his potential in better films in the future.