'Tadap' Review: Ahan Shetty, Tara Sutaria light up this toxic romance

The plot may be problematic, but the lead pair set the screen ablaze

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Ambica Sachin

Published: Thu 2 Dec 2021, 6:35 PM

Let’s be honest here. Bollywood isn’t exactly known for bankrolling trail-blazing romances that upset the traditional status quo to reflect raw, gritty ‘love’ stories.

The industry is too often guilty of dressing up untidy relationships in a candyfloss manner with barely a misstep into real-life problematic territory.

With a few exceptions like Taapsee Pannu’s Haseen Dillruba, love stories have followed the tried and tested route of boy-meets-girl-falls-in-love-overcomes-obstacles-gets-married.

So when a romantic action drama like Tadap (remake of Telugu hit RX100) comes along and refuses to sugar coat modern day relationships and tackles ‘taboo’ topics like casual sex and infidelity, it tends to hit you in the face.

Small town boy Ishana (debutant Ahan Shetty in a role that perfectly showcases his brawn power and emotional vulnerability) and London-returnee Ramisa (a luminous Tara Sutaria), meet up in picturesque Mussoorie with the worldly-wise lass pursuing the buff lad until the inevitable happens. Ramisa’s indulgent but stern MLA dad Damodar Nautyal (the talented Kumud Mishra) can’t tolerate his family name being besmirched by his right hand man Daddy’s (the versatile Saurabh Shukla who is given some deadly dialogues) adopted son, however affable he may be.

Ishana also doesn’t seem to have a steady job to boast of, but is quick to talk marriage upon falling head over heels in love with the drool-worthy Ramisa.

The Milan Luthria directorial spans three years in the life of the young romantics, though the yo-yoing of the clock can get a tad cumbersome to wrap your head around.

For Ahan Shetty (90s star Suniel Shetty’s son) Tadap is a perfect launch pad - the ‘local darling’ gets to showcase his angry young man vibe and his muscular torso is a sight for sore eyes and for a newcomer he is pretty self-assured and has a commanding on-screen presence.

Sutaria, though only three-films old in the industry, is also an extremely confident actor and is picture-perfect for her part. Kudos to her for taking on a bold role, that many other Bollywood actresses would have demurred at.

If you haven’t seen the original, the toxic love story can give you a jolt in the second half of the movie. The twists and turns in the plot seem convoluted and in an effort to shine the spotlight amiably on one of the protagonists, the other one’s character unfortunately suffers.

By crediting the story as being based on an actual person’s life, the makers may be trying to wash their hands off the one-dimensional portrayal of a man’s blood-soaked tale of one-sided passion.

But what works for Tadap are earnest performances all around, especially from the lead stars and some great dialogues. If only they could have been more generous with the female character.

But every great love story needs a villain, we guess, even if here it comes in the form of an unexpected modern day beauty with a penchant for the high life.

Disclaimer: We have not seen the Telugu movie RX100 on which Tadap is based.


Director: Milan Luthria

Cast: Ahan Shetty, Tara Sutaria, Saurabh Shukla, Kumud Mishra

Rating: 3 out of 5

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