Dharmesh Darshan’s Dhadkan is a sensitively directed story that manages to raise interesting questions to which the answers often cause moral dilemmas.

DOES the past always come back to haunt you? And above all, can an Indian husband accept his wife’s past?

Dhadkan tells the story of Anjali (Shilpa Shetty), Dev (Sunil Shetty) and Ram (Akshay Kumar) and how love changes the course of their lives. Dev, born illegitimate is full of anger and resentment – the only Dhadkanhappiness in his otherwise dark life is Anjali but even this is so intense it borders on obsessive.

Trouble arises when Anjali’s rich parents decide he is an unsuitable match for their daughter and refuse to allow them to marry. They successfully emotionally blackmail Anjali into leaving Dev and marrying a man of their choice: Ram.

Instead of facing a life of misery in a loveless marriage, Ram turns out to be the perfect husband who manages to win his wife’s love in no time at all, until soon Dev is nothing but a distant memory. Of course, this is the point in the film where Dev is re-introduced into the story to upset the status quo.

Dhadkan though, doesn’t take an entirely predictable route; it manages to provide an interesting twist on the love triangle.The plot is admittedly a little run of the mill but Dharmesh Darshan’s direction manages to set the film apart.

Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty also turn in very fine performances, surprisingly adept with the strong emotions they need to show in roles that are far removed from the traditional action man parts they normally inhabit. Shilpa Shetty more than fulfils her role. Rather than merely looking pretty she turns in a strong performance that is going to win her a fair share of applause and audience appreciation. Darshan also makes effective use of Mahima Choudhury who adds an interesting angle to this complex love triangle.

A definite must-see, Dhadkan is three hours well spent.

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