Dabangg: Fearless Winner!
By MovieTalkies.com, 10 September 2010
Some movies just seem to have blockbuster written all over them. One whiff and you know that this one is a winner. Debutant director Abhinav Kashyap's 'Dabanng' starring Salman Khan in the lead, is just one such movie. This is a film which lives up to all the hype that has been created around it, prior to its release.
The subject matter of the film and its story is hardly original, but the manner in which the director has managed to dress it up with a seamless screenplay, is indeed praiseworthy. Unlike his elder brother, Anurag Kashyap, Abhinav has preferred to stay within the parameters of the 'masala' Hindi potboiler, a formula that seems to work very well for him indeed.
Of course, Abhinav has a super ace in the form of Salman Khan. The actor just about overshadows everything in sight once he makes his entry in the movie. In a role which seems to have been tailormade for him, the actor proves why and how he still manages to be the heartthrob of millions despite so much competition around.
If one thought that Salman was great in 'Wanted', then he is absolutely brilliant in 'Dabangg'. The difference between the two films lies primarily in the quality of the writing and 'Dabanng' scores heavily in that department. It is a story which has its share of comedy, tragedy, family strife, sibling rivalry, romance and loads of action. The 'masala' has been packed intelligently and the result is an out and out entertainer.
Incidentally, the 'masala' film genre seemed to have died out in Hindi movies after the demise of Manmohan Desai and Prakash Mehra. Much of Amitabh Bachchan's soaring popularity in the Seventies and Eighties can be attributed to this genre. Just look at the list, 'Muqaddar ka Sikandar', 'Laawaris', 'Mard', 'Naseeb', 'Amar Akbar Anthony', 'Coolie' etc. But in recent times, directors from the South have revived this genre in Bollywood with films like 'Wanted' and 'Ghajini', both of which did phenomenally well at the box office. One expects 'Dabangg' to follow suit.
The film's story is set in heartland of Uttar Pradesh, where politics and corruption is the norm. It revolves around Chulbul Pandey, a corrupt but fearless officer, who fancies himself as the Robin Hood of the poor. Chulbul has no love lost for his stepfather, Prajapati Pandey (Vinod Khanna) and his half brother, Makhanchand or Makhi (Arbaaz Khan).
However, like all good Indian men, he is thoroughly devoted to his mother, played by Dimple Kapadia.
During the course of his duty, Chulbul crosses swords with a local politician cum goon, Cheddi Singh (Sonu Sood), who becomes his sworn enemy. After the death of his mother, Chulbul parts ways with his father and brother and sets up house with his wife, Rajjo (Sonakshi Sinha). However, arch enemy, Cheddi Singh jumps into the fray and adds more fuel to the bad blood simmering between Chulbul and Prajapati.
Wanting to mend bridges with his father and brother, Chulbul ties to warn Makhi against Cheddi but the latter falls into the villain's trap, realising only much later how he was being used against Chulbul. But since it's a Hindi film, the brothers join hands and vanquish the enemy, thus giving 'Dabangg' a 'happy ever after' ending.
The director hits upon the perfect setting for this very macho drama by situating it in the heartland of UP. The language and flavour of UP adds just the right amount of colour and provides a perfect backdrop for this action drama. The film's music, which has been composed by Sajid Wajid and guest composer Lalit Pandit, is already a rage, especially the title track, 'tere mast mast do nain' and the 'munni' number.
The songs have been picturised very well indeed. While Malaika Arora Khan adds the required sizzle with the 'munni' item number, Salman's star power fuels the other two tracks. The other outstanding feature of the movie are its stunts and action sequences, which have been choreographed by S Vijayan. The final action sequence and one of the earlier ones, picturised on a railway platform, are quite amazing. And finally, the film's dialogues, especially those mouthed by Chulbul Pandey, are punchy and colourful, and bound to go down very well with the general public.
The cinematography by Mahesh Limaye is competent and so is the editing by Pranav V Dhiwar. Despite peddling old wine in a new bottle, the debutant director makes his presence felt in the manner in which he manages to keep a lid on anything that is melodramatic and over the top, except of course for the action!
The director deserves credit for his clever casting, especially in managing to rope in Dimple Kapadia and Vinod Khanna for the roles of Chulbul's parents. The veterans are in fine form and despite their brief appearances, they manage to create quite an impact. Newcomer Sonakshi Sinha may not have much to do in the movie, but she impresses with her confidence and poise, never for once being overwhelmed by her co stars.
Arbaaz Khan, the film's producer, does a sincere job in the role of Makhi. Mahie Gill, who is paired opposite him, is there very fleetingly in the movie, so it would hardly be fair to talk about her contribution to the movie. Another veteran, Anupam Kher, also makes a fleeting appearance, but is competent and so are Mahesh Manjrekar and Tinnu Anand.
But the real star is of course, Salman, alias, Chulbul, whose swagger, dialogues and action sequences are just inimitable. Salman is in full form in this movie and it is his star power which fires the proceedings in 'Dabangg'. His Chulbul is perfectly matched by Sonu Sood's Cheddi Singh. The latter delivers a very good performance as well and proves to be a perfect foil for Salman.
'Dabangg' is full on entertainment with hardly a dull moment around. This is what they used to call 'paisa vasool' movies in the good old seventies and eighties!