Tadap is All Bluster and No Payoff (Warning: Spoilers)

Dec/14/2021 / by Pratika Yashaswi

Milan Luthria’s Tadap hit theaters on Dec 3rd, starring debutant Ahan Shetty (the spitting image of his father, Sunil Shetty) and new-ish Tara Sutaria (you might remember her from Student of the Year 2). It is based on the true story of Siva, a commoner from Andhra Pradesh who fell in love with a politician’s daughter. In keeping with the longtime Bollywood trend of remaking South Indian hits, the film is a remake of the Telugu film RX100.

Ishana (Ahan Shetty) runs a cinema hall in Dehradun, while Ramisa (Tara Sutaria) is on a holiday from London to visit her father, a local politican, Damodar. Ishana’s guardian, who goes by “Daddy”, and Damodar, are friends and political allies. Boy meets girl, and they fall in love. Due to reasons unclear, girl is married off to another man and thereby ensues a symphony of inebriation, violence, and vandalism.

Ahan Shetty and Tara Sutaria promoting Tadap

Featured Image credit: boxofficeworldwide.com)

We see that our heartbroken Ishana can fight. He is all muscle and blind rage, setting fire to vehicles, walking out of explosions, singlehandedly taking on big groups of thugs, doing yoga balanced on his bike and various other stunts. Pure testosterone, and a visual treat for those who like that sort of cinema. The plot culminates in a blood-soaked climax and a tragic ending.

Shetty’s character in Tadap plays a man who is madly in love and would have no other woman. Their tearing apart brings out the Romeo, the poet, the desperate man who will stop at nothing to take violent revenge on those who stand between them. Most of the film revolves around his heartbreak.

RX100, with Kartikeya Gummakonda and Payal Rajput was a hit, but its Hindi remake is unfortunately limping at the box office. And for good reason: It’s bad. Tadap‘s plot is overdone, thin, and overcompensated by the accompanying scenes of violence. In the 80s, it would have been right at home. But here in the present, not so much.

Like all terrible plots, Tadap‘s central conflict is one that can all too easily be solved by a little communication. For unclear reasons, Ramisa is unable to communicate with Ishana or be honest about where he stands in her life. She would rather have him beaten to death than simply tell him that she doesn’t love him. And even for a politician’s daughter, it seems a bit of a stretch. She is unconvincing as a character, though Tara Sutaria does her best with it. Ishana, on the other hand is stylized on a typical Tollywood hero: he is gruff, brooding in nature, loyal, and extremely aggressive. He would sooner kill a man than allow him to lay a finger on his beloved Daddy. In one problematic bit, he is so enraged by Ramisa’s coldness that he gags her in a drunken fury and ties her up. His character is stretched to the point of caricature, but then if you wanted nuance, you wouldn’t be watching a film like Tadap.

That being said, there are redeeming qualities. The sweeping cinematography is nice. Ahan Shetty is not just able to portray Ishana’s intensity and passion, he seems made for the role, carries the film on his rippling abs. Tara Sutaria, who is soon to be seen opposite Tiger Shroff in Heropanti 2 and Ek Villain Returns with John Abraham, Disha Patani and Arjun Kapoor; appears to have a successful Bollywood career opening up for her.

Tadap is a dud, but hopefully Shetty’s career won’t be.