Dhamaka - 2021


Arjun Pathak was once a top news anchor, but gets demoted due to an unsavoury incident. Pulled from primetime TV news and recently divorced, he is now the jaded and bitter host of a current affairs radio program. One day during his morning show, Arjun receives a peculiar phone call threatening to blow up the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, a major bridge which is also visible from Arjun's studio building. At first, Arjun takes it as a joke or prank call and tells the terrorist to proceed. He watches in shock as the caller follows through on the threat and detonates explosives that cause the bridge to collapse, killing innocent people and trapping others.

Realising this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make his comeback as a newscaster, Arjun purposely doesn't call the police. Instead, he sets up a makeshift television studio from his radio station, and negotiates with his former boss, the profit- and ratings-obsessed news producer, Ankita Malaskar who'll do anything to beat the other TV stations in their coverage of the bombing. Then Arjun strikes a dangerous deal with the terrorist to exclusively broadcast their phone conversations live, in real-time, as the whole nation watches.

The newsroom erupts in chaos as Arjun, Ankita, the police, other broadcasters and the government all exploit terrorism for their own agenda. The only exception is Soumya, Arjun's ex-wife, a reporter who volunteers to report from the site of the terrorist attack. As the live show progresses, Arjun gradually realises how little control he has over the situation. The terrorist, who claims to be Raghubeer Mhata, a 50-something construction worker who lost three of his co-workers in a senseless industrial accident while fixing the bridge, says the families of the victims weren't compensated and demands a public apology from the minister for the deaths of his colleagues. With several people remaining on the bridge as hostages, the terrorist threatens a second explosion. He also reveals to Arjun alone that he put a bomb in the anchor's earphone, and that if the minister doesn't apologise, the bomb will explode in his ear, live on air.

Arjun promises to the caller that he will request the minister to come to their studio and give him an apology. The minister's deputy, Subhash Mathur, arrives at the studio but refuses to apologise to the caller and asks him to negotiate. He also calls him a terrorist, which angers him, and threatens to expose him. Arjun realises that there is a bomb in the minister's earpiece as well, and warns him discreetly. But caller observes this through CCTV footage and immediately explodes the bomb in Mathur's earpiece, killing him. This leaves Arjun extremely scared and nervous. But Ankita orders him to keep going and tells him to not make any negotiations with the caller, as they are tracing the location of the call and would get hold of him soon. The caller threatens to detonate more explosives at the bridge which could kill many people, including Arjun's wife. Arjun decides to go ahead with fulfilling the caller's demands and requests him to come to the studio where the minister would give him an apology. This angers Ankita, who leaks information of Arjun having accepted a bribe to cover up the news of the same incident of the construction workers losing their lives while repairing the bridge, which had led to him being demoted. It is also revealed that sometime earlier, Arjun had won the "Journalist of the Year" award, for a report which he had actually stolen from Soumya, which had led to their divorce. Ankita exposes this truth as well, which is telecasted by another news channel. Ankita blackmails Arjun by saying that she can still handle the situation and he can save his career and reputation, if he acts as per her orders. The compensation money is sent to the caller, as per his demand.

The ATS traces the caller's location to a nearby building, but it's a trap, and the caller blows up the building, the impact of which causes the studio to also get nearly destroyed. Arjun is alive but gravely injured. He suddenly realises that the caller is actually Raghubeer's son, who wants to avenge the death of his father and coworkers, and that he has been calling from the same building. Arjun summons him to the studio, while everything is still being telecasted live. The caller arrives and reveals that he has planted an explosive in the same building and intends to blow it up. Just then, he is sniped down by the ATS from a nearby building, instantly killing him. Arjun finds out that the bridge has collapsed and many people have lost their lives, including Soumya. On having found out that Arjun, instead of informing the police first, had decided to exclusively cover this news, to get back his position as the prime time news anchor, Ankita leaks this information. Another news channel telecasts this news adding a false story of Arjun being actively involved in planning the attack, labelling him as an anti-national. Arjun, devastated, sends a voicemail to his ex-wife apologising and then he detonates the explosive in the same building, causing it to collapse, killing him as well.

Cast & Crew

Ram Madhwani
Ronnie Screwvala, Ram Madhwani, Amita Madhwani
Vishal Khurana, Prateek Kuhad
Puneet Sharma, Prateek Kuhad

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