Amid a tense situation, Inspector Harichandar Malik (Darshan Kumaar) is told by his superior, "Agar hero banana hain toh sirf 2 ghante milege." Likewise, Kookie Gulati's latest outing Dhokha: Round D Corner also gets around 2 hours to make a heroic impression. Sadly, it simply turns out to be a lost opportunity despite a promising plot.
What's Yay: Intriguing concept
What's Nay: Sluggish screenplay
Dhokha: Round D Corner gives us a little peek into newlyweds Yathaarth (R Madhavan) and Sanchi (Khushalii Kumar)'s love story through a series of candid and celebratory moments in a song before it ventures into the 'not-so-happy' zone where the latter asks for a divorce.
Post the heated argument, Yathaarth heads towards his office where he turns down an offer to travel overseas for work purpose. When he steps out of his boss' cubicle, his eyes fall on the TV screen which has news blaring about a terrorist Hak Gul (Aparshakti Khurana) who has escaped from police custody and seeked refuge at a building.
All hell breaks loose when Yathaarth realises that the building in question is his house and that Gul has held his wife Saanchi as hostage. Inspector Harichandar Malik (Darshan Kumaar) steps in to get a hold of this crisis. While Yathaarth and Malik hustle and bustle worrying about Sanchi's safety, the latter who has been held hostage by Gul, has some other plans on her mind.
As the narrative moves ahead, every character lends a different 'perspective' to their present situation which makes you question what's 'dhokha' and 'what's the truth.
On paper, the concept of Dhokha: Round D Corner sounds terrific. However, it falls short of being an engaging claustrophobic thriller because of its screenplay which is dreary and stretched at places. There are a few scenes which appear a tad repetitive and that kills some of the fun.
A film like Dhoka: Round D Corner needs to keep you on your toes with the tension in the air. Sadly, that doesn't happen here.
Kookie tries to tie the loose ends of the film by lifting the curtains from the multiple perspectives to lie bare some 'dhokas' revolving around the characters in the film. The revelations are dripped in deceit and bring in the shock element in the storytelling. But by them, too many yawns have been induced to care any longer. The caricature-like portrayal of media does no good either. Some of the dialogues are frivolous.
R Madhavan puts in sincere efforts for his clumsily-written role. However, it still feels that he has been underutilized in the film. Aparshakti Khurana as the terrorist Haq Gul, holds on to the authenticity of his character till the last frame even when the writing fails him.
Debutante Khushalii Kumar pulls off a decent act as she struggles to juggle between being seductive and devious. But the actress still has a long way to go when it comes to facial expressions and body language. Darshan Kumaar finds himself in another over-dramatic role that hardly does any justice to his acting chops.
Amit Roy's introductory shots bring in some thrills which ultimately fizzles out once the plot is established. The painfully slow pace of the film in certain portions seems to have escaped the editor's eye.
Jubin Nautinyal's 'Tu Banke Hawa' which plays during the opening credits, is the only track which makes a mark. The rest including the revamped version of the popular number of 'Zooby Zooby' are passable.
"I need some drama and action in this f*cking story," a news editor barks at his staff in order to boost the TRP ratings of his channel after Sanchi is held hostage by Gul. You find yourself echoing the same sentiment as banal characters pop on screen and mouth ludicrous dialogues after a certain point in the film.
We give 2.5 stars out of 5 to R Madhavan-Aparshakti Khurana's Dhokha: Round D Corner.