Ram Madhvani directorial Dhamaka is a critique on news media

OTT Reviews

Christopher Antony

Kartik Aaryan-starrer Dhamaka, now streaming on Netflix, is a take on the hierarchy in news channels.

Arjun Pathak, enacted by Kartik Aaryan in the role of news anchor, falls in bad books in his place of work. To add to his woes, his personal life also takes a hit with his wife Saumya, enacted by Mrunal Thakur, a reporter in the same news channel, serving him a divorce notice. Their reconciliation in the course of a live telecast of a tense situation much later in the movie highlights the poignancy of failed relationships, the only right emotional connection in the movie.

An anonymous phone call demanding that the minister publicly tender an apology for an injustice and threatening of an impending explosion is received by Arjun Pathak. Rather than reporting to the police, he selfishly seizes it as an opportunity to claw his way back in the news channel. How the politicians fail to handle a difficult situation fast enough tactfully and how it furthers larger damage is hinted. The directorial style is effective in building up tension.

It is not just Arjun Pathak, but more so his boss, the news producer, venomously enacted by Amruta Subhash as the role demanded, that hurriedly gets into the act of playing cunning games and checkmating Arjun Pathak being solely concerned with TRPs. It becomes too much, beyond a point, for Arjun Pathak to meet the demands of manufactured expressions and obeying the instructions injected through the earpiece. Kartik Aaryan convincingly enacts the varied emotions.

The film shows the goings-on in a newsroom with drama upstaging the whole process and integrity taking a back seat as an eye-opener for the public not to fall for the heroics of anchors and loud-mouthing of news channels.