Tadap Movie Review: A middling remake but a decent star vehicle
Since this is essentially a star vehicle for Ahan Shetty, there are enough moments written in the film for elevating the newcomer as the next action star of Bollywood
It is understandable why films like Arjun Reddy and RX 100 have tremendous remake value. They have the potential to launch or relaunch the careers of leading men. Such films feature "alpha men" whose only vulnerability is the love of their lives. They are bolstered by a solid soundtrack. They get to showcase their physical attributes and are given the space to deliver pining performances. So yeah, it makes sense why Suniel Shetty zeroed in on RX 100 for his son Ahan Shetty’s big Bollywood debut, Tadap.
Director: Milan Luthria
Cast: Ahan Shetty, Tara Sutaria, Saurabh Shukla, Kumud Mishra
A largely faithful remake of the 2018 sleeper hit, Tadap acts as the perfect showreel for Ahan, who does a decent job of embodying Ishana, a brooding, bearded, beefed-up violent youngster. We are shown how one look at his towering physique is enough for women to swoon over him. And the first one to swoon is Ramisa (an impressive Tara Sutaria), whose gaze at Ishana is a gender reversal of sorts. The camera moves from his bulging biceps, his chiselled chest, and flat abs, and if not for Ramisa’s lust-filled glances, this might seem like just another hero-introduction scene. While showcasing a woman’s desire might seem like a step forward for an industry that thrives on a man’s ‘love-at-first-sight’ romance, Tadap doesn’t really do much to change that status quo.
In fact, there is nothing spectacularly new in Tadap. We have the done-to-death love story between a rich and influential girl and a common man. We have that ONE friend who encourages the hero to pursue the girl despite the overwhelming odds. We have that ONE voice of reason that is not paid heed to. We have a hummable soundtrack by Pritam. But what made RX 100 stand apart is a couple of twists that no one saw coming, and this is exactly what keeps Tadap afloat too. While director Milan Luthria and writer Rajat Arora hit the same highs and lows of the original, it is a surprise that the makers toned down the lust angle in Tadap. What made RX 100 refreshing was the portrayal of Payal Rajput’s unabashed desire for Kartikeya Gummakonda. Here, it is all rather toned down between Ishana and Ramisa. And the proverbial twists in the tale are forced to carry the burden of adding freshness to a generic love story.
Since this is essentially a star vehicle for Ahan Shetty, there are enough moments written in the film for elevating the newcomer as the next action star of Bollywood. While the stunt choreography doesn’t rise above repeated punches and third-degree torture techniques, Ahan gives it his all, and his physicality justifies the action hero tag. Tara shines in an interesting but thankless role. It is Kumud Mishra and Saurabh Shukla who bring in the necessary gravitas to Tadap. Even these veterans can’t really save some of the lines, which are just too outdated. Be it the random rhyme schemes or the ostentatious attempts at poetic lines about eternal love, most of the dialogues are more distracting than engaging.
At the end of it all, we do warm up to Ahan, Tara, and their love story, and Tadap too is mildly effective when it follows the beats of a template love story meets a star vehicle. However, just like the lead Ishana, Tadap too is, unfortunately, bogged down by its belief that it is not a generic tale of star-crossed lovers but an epic romance.