Onto the next release of the weekend and I managed to sneak in a theatrical release. Now many of you would be eagerly awaiting the grand weekend of 14th April where we will see the clash of the Titans. So we’ll have KGF 2 vs Beast Vs Jersey and it will be a mouth watering encounter. And so this weekend has been slightly subdued. Yet, there is a hindi film which has released titled Hurdang starring Sunny Kaushal and Nushratt Bharucha. Its trailer seemed interesting despite zero marketing and a low key release. Does the film manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Hurdang is the story of an aspiring IAS who starts his fight against caste based reservation. The story is powerful but it needed to be done right. Loosely based on the Mandal Commission of the 1990s, the film falls prey to some shoddy writing. I think this is something which Bollywood needs to learn and take note of. If you are making a film on such a powerful subject then you need not always introduce a love story. Just focus on the narrative which will propel the film(Article 15 and The Kashmir Files are two great examples of focussed narratives). Secondly, we live in times where with the exposure to different OTT platforms, the intellect of the audience is changing. So if a film is being made on caste reservations(or against it), a thorough research needs to be done in trying to get to the depth of it. A simple surface level treatment will not suffice the cause. Here, a balanced narrative was required in further understanding as to why the reservation was introduced in the first place with data points. Instead, you are served an opiniated surface level argument which just doesn’t seem impactful enough.
There are still a few engaging moments where every character has an agenda in the film and is trying to manipulate the protagonist which was pretty good. But the constant switch to the love story not only lessens its impact but also conflicts the audience of what message itvis trying to convey. The middling writing has a few loose ends as well although it ends in a decent final act. This screenplay may have worked in the early 2000s. But in 2022, this surface level treatment to an otherwise powerful subject will never work.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are well written and they manage to keep you invested in the drama. The music is decently good with some good melodies nicely woven in the narrative. Director Nikhil Nagesh Bhat does a fair job. His direction is not bad as perceived by some reviewers. It has its moments but all it needed was a little focus in the message it was trying to convey with data points to back it.
The performances are pretty good here. Vijay Verma as Loha definitely makes a mark despite a character which could have been written better with an arc. Nushratt Bharucha as Jhulan looks pretty and does a splendid job but I wish her love angle was left out of the edit and instead she could have been one of the other students protesting or opposing the reservations(like Pallavi Joshi in The Kashmir Files). Sunny Kaushal is a talented actor. He puts his best foot forward as Daddu. But he should be smarter with his script choices and have the ability to understand the flaws of a script despite a good subject at hand.
Despite good performances, Hurdang is half baked primarily due to its surface level writing. Available in a theatre near you.