Things just seem to happen in Sadak 2 and the audience is supposed to just go along with them. In a much outdated, crazy fashion, the film explores the world of corrupt god-men and the rich and powerful. Sadak 2 is the sequel to the 1991 film Sadak, and honestly, it belongs in the 90s. Directed by Mahesh Bhatt and starring Alia Bhatt, Sanjay Dutt, Aditya Roy Kapur, Jisshu Sengupta and Makrand Deshpande, Sadak 2 is probably the most unbelievable, absurdest movie I’ve seen all year.
I suppose the real problem with Sadak 2 lies in the story and direction. Even a cast as talented as this isn’t enough to redeem the limp, lazy, wonky writing. Let’s begin with the narrative: The Desais, a greedy, rich couple (Sengupta and Priyanka Bose) are involved with a Guruji named Gyaan Prakash (Makrand Deshpande). Their daughter, Aarya Desai, runs an online platform that exposes predatory gondh babas and god-men. She is a vigilante on the run because she’s accused of being mentally unfit and brainwashed by her boyfriend, musician Vishal (Roy Kapur), and a taxi driver, Ravi Kishore (Sanjay Dutt).
But none of the story makes any sense. Or events just happens out of convenience. Scenes shift from one place to another without any real reason. Sadak 2 starts with Aarya burning an effigy of Guruji and is then chased by the followers and her parents, ends up in a psych ward, escapes to coerce Ravi Kishore into taking her and Vishal to Kailash. On the way, secrets are revealed and then just…accepted. Like when Aarya finds out that Vishal betrayed her. He was Guruji’s follower and met her with the purpose of bringing her down. But, oh well, they love each other now, so let’s move on. Then Aarya finds out that her daddy was the bad guy all along and even killed her not-so-evil stepmother. But, oh well, she found a replacement daddy in Sanjay Dutt’s Ravi Kishore.
Some things that happen are just flat out hilarious, straight out of awful 80s action thrillers. The godmen seem like caricatures donning all-black and dark mascara, with dramatic ‘evil’ music announcing their ‘evil-ness’. At one point, Vishal and Aarya are held at knife-point by Guruji’s chelas, including a one-armed man, two gundas, and they get away with the help of Ravi Kishore’s sudden fighting skills and Vishal’s owl…yeah, Vishal’s owl saves the day by attacking their attackers. When Sengupta’s character Yogesh Desai reveals his true side to his wife Nandini, he kills her in the funniest way, making me emit actual laughter. It seemed like a parody of every B-grade action thriller: the sindoor-covered woman is slammed against the mirror and killed by her evil husband. Towards the end when Ravi Kishore is fighting off the evil god-men, his yelling “Har Har Mahadev” reminded me of another awful movie, Manikarnika, which once again used the name of God while creating bad art. Aarya and Vishal are made unconscious by Ravi Kishore who wishes to take revenge on their part by himself. Again, they just faint (hilariously) and the audience is supposed to just…believe it.
Aarya is made to constantly break down and tear up or lose it or faint, because Alia Bhatt can act. That’s it. Ravi Kishore is made to fight bad guys andsave everybody at the end, because that’s whom Sanjay Dutt must always play. Vishal is a musician in love, because Aditya Roy Kapur performs this character. They are who they are with no depth, no gravitas, and no reason. And we’re supposed to just watch them do random things, like try to hang themselves or cut themselves, drive towards Kailash, fight off god-men, play guitar and run an anti-godmen website, and use owls to battle the bad guys (I cannot get over this owl). Alia Bhatt and Sanjay Dutt are known for their strong on-screen presence, but Bhatt’s Aarya comes off as whacky and Dutt’s Kishore is a slipper character that we’re unable to pinpoint and understand. Kapur’s Vishal is forgettable, to say the least. There are moments when you don’t even realise he is there and his relationship with Aarya appears forced for the sake of the story.
Sadak makes frequent cameos in Sadak 2, with Pooja Bhatt’s Pooja returning in video edits that seem like amateur YouTube montages. Supposedly having died recently, Pooja’s loss has made Ravi Kishore suicidal, but he finds a long-lost daughter in Aarya, who in turn finds a father in him. These flashbacks cannot be taken seriously, and come off as absurd and super outdated. I thought we’ve come a long way and Bollywood no longer makes cheesy, soppy, sloppy dramatised movies infused with terrible action, but turns out that this is what you get when you make a sequel 30 years later and cannot move forward in time. The writing is clunky, pulling the audience in all different directions but not allowing us to soak in any one storyline or character properly.
Sadak 2 is one of the worst movies to have come out this year. Wasting the talents of its lead cast by straitjacketing them into stock, unidimensional characters is simply an act of injustice. Arijit Singh’s ballad “Shukriya” is thrown in the end in a feeble attempt to extract emotion from an audience that is instead left angry and exhausted. There is nothing thrilling, engaging or interesting about this film. It shifts from one stock character to another, one location to another, one hilarious fight sequence to another, leaving us shocked at its audacity.
I don’t know how or why Sadak 2 entered our lives, but I sure as hell hope that this is the end of the road.