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The Bangggg

First things first – I have never been a great fan of Salman Khan’s acting skills, be it comedy or action and it has been some time now that I have watched a movie along with a hooligan crowd. But watching Dabangg along with the so called ‘non family’ audience was an experience in itself. The crowd was literally cheering each and every time Salman was making an entry into the scene (For that matter, the crowd even cheered some of the Child Salman’s dialogues 😛 ).

I had watched Salman in ‘WANTED’ and liked it. The so called ‘Tollywood’ touch was there to be seen in Wanted as it was made by Prabhudeva and was basically a remake of Pokiri. But interestingly enough, there were glimpses of the Tollywood action to be seen in Dabangg too. Salman Khan to his credit has for the first time (at least to my memory) played a character with negative shades. And he has sported a moustache for the first time (Technically He had sported a beard for Suryavanshi as well as Heroes).

Coming back to the movie, Dabangg is set in rural part of North India, probably UP – where power and politics hold sway. Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan) is a corrupt cop who usually steals from the thieves themselves and calls himself Robinhood Pandey (Though he almost never ever is seen giving anything to the poor). He is utterly fearless (the literal meaning of Dabangg) and is very confident of his capabilities. Most importantly, his childhood experiences have been shown as the major reason of him being that way. He had lost his father at an early age and his mother (Dimple Kapadia) had married another guy (Vinod Khanna). They together have another son – Makkhi aka Makahnchand Pandey (Arbaaz Khan, who incidentally is the producer of the movie). As usual, his step father hates Chulbul and Chulbul grows up to be an angry young man. The emotional discord between Salman and his Step fathr and half brother sets the tone for the movie. During the course of the movie he falls in love with Rajjo (Sonakshi Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha ‘s daughter) and eventually marries her. There is also this political leader – villain Cheddi Singh (Sonu Sood) whose interests clash with those of Salman and quite predictably they end up in a bang-bang fight till death climax. But between all these, Sallu’s original style action and dance sequences, the umpteen witty dialogues and some interesting twists and turns keep you engaged.

Acting and presentation – Full marks to the whole costume, styling and presentation of Chulbul Pandey. Almost throughout the movie, Salman is seen wearing full sleeves, which in itself must be a first<!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]–>. The shirt does come off eventually in the climax (the shirt is ripped apart by his angry, tensed, taut musles). The moustache, the hairstyle and some amount of personal touch from Salman himself makes the end result just so perfect for the character. Salman’s role, I must say was not a very difficult one but still he is probably the only one in the industry who could carry this character with such panache. The attitude and personality of a bad cop combined with perfect comic timing is executed superbly by Sallu. Other actors – Arabaaz Khan, Dimple Kapadia and Vinod Khanna were no great shakes. But Sonu Sood as the antagonist did complete justice to the role. Few words about debutant Sonakshi – apart from donning the role of a completely homely – gaon ki gori in her debut movie, which many of the current crop of heroines would find it difficult to do, she has put up a very decent performance in the limited number of scenes she has got. Her eyes do the talking most of the time and I must say, she looked extremely pretty in the film. Anupam Kher and Mahesh Manjrekar were royally wasted.

Cinematographer Mahesh Limaye I felt has not put in great efforts to capture the rustic charm of the countryside but yes, the main focus of the film being action, the cinematography has been commendable in that respect. The action sequences have been choreographed by the much experienced stunt director from Telugu cinema, S Vijayan who had also done it for Wanted.  Now we know from where the Tollywood touch was coming. The opening scene of Salman is a mis-mash of action sequences lifted from Shanghai Noon, The Matrix, and The Transporter etc. The music by Sajid Wajid and Lalit (Of erstwhile Jatin- Lalit fames) was awesome to say the least.  As expected, the crowd went mad when Munni Badnaam hui started off. The background score (not sure who has done it) was very catchy – a kind of music you have in those Spanish tap dances and it really gelled well with the film. Thinking about it, the tune was such that it was indifferent to action, comedy or romance and was easily fitted into any context.  Direction by Abhinav Kashyap was quite good, considering the fact that he had to direct such a big personality in his debut movie.  Being Anurag Kashyap’s (My fav 🙂 ) brother must have helped him a lot I suppose.

Dialogues- the film had some great dialogues – some very cheeky one liners and some serious ones.  The comic timing of Salman made sure these dialogues have the kind of effect intended. The dialogues where Salman tries to woo Sonakshi are also full of subtle sarcasm and dry humour.  And the fact the main protagonist is a pretty ‘patthar dil’ guy, we are saved from those endless melodramatic dialogues. In fact, in a supposed to be very emotional scene, Salman comes up with a really silly dialogue (and the next moment he bursts into tears too).  One famous dialogue which comes to my mind is “ Thappad se darr nahin lagta saab, pyaar se lagta hai” and also the famous “hum tummein itne ched karenge ki conphuse ho jaoge ki saans kahaanse le aur …..”. This one appears twice in the film 😛

In short, a must-watch film. All you Salman Khan believers and non-believers – please go and watch this movie. Specially non-believers to start believing. A sure shot hit and by the way, to quote Wikipedia under the RECEPTION head

“Early reports indicate that Dabangg could record the highest gross for the opening day, beating the previous high from “3 idiots”. Dabangg is likely to be the top grosser Hindi movie of all time.”

I am loving this…..

<!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]–> <!–[endif]–>Salman is seen wearing full sleeves, which in itself must be a first. The shirt does come off eventually towards the end (the shirt is ripped apart automatically by his angry, tensed, taut muscles).
  1. Saptarshi Basak
    September 11, 2010 at 8:59 am

    I almost agree with you.
    The reason Dabangg will be hit is the same for movies like Tere Naam, Wanted etc.
    Its because of Salman Khan…his attitude, personality (how little it might be) and above alll his mass fan following.
    It won’t be wrong to consider it as Wanted 2 (the hindi one 🙂 ). There is a strong “caller tune” connection between the two movies.
    So, about the plot.

    Welcome Chulbul ‘Robinhood’ Pandey. Who steals from the robbers (actually he stole just once in the movie) and gives it to poor (hey Rajjo is poor, isnt she, along with Arbaaz, though technically he stole from him 🙂 ).
    So, the loot creates friction between Salman and Cheddi Singh (Sonu Sood). And thus the stage is all set for action, emotion and paisa vassol entertainment.
    One thing I like to point out is warrier has completely missed one character, Mahi Gill as Makhan’s girlfriend (how can you be so callous!!). Anyways, she was completely wasted.
    There is enough masala to keep you hooked and the fast pace of the movie keeps boredom at bay. Though the rustic charm cannot be matched with movies like Omkara or Gangajal, but is enough to make you believe that its rural India.
    According to me, the best scene (and the real twist) of the movie is when Salman and Sonakshi gets married in the mandap meant for his step brother.
    Others are when he gives promotion to his junior, dances to his jalwa tune from Wanted, says the dialog “Mote wale us taraf, Patle wale is taraf, aur jo fit hai woh mere peeche” and finds no one behind him (well inspired from Sholay, and has more effective sarcasm).
    The first half is engaging and though second half is equally good, it becomes predictable.
    And a word of caution. For all those filmi purists, who gives watching movies a devotion angle, please don’t go with high expectation. You will surely be disappointed. Don’t be Dabangg in this respect.

    Go, watch Dabangg for the following reason:
    Salman Khan, Salman Khan and Salman Khan….(and I am not Gay 🙂 )

  2. Pratik Prakash
    September 11, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Hmmm….sounds interesting. Will prolly watch it in Ajanta, to get the ‘right’ crowd 😛

  1. January 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm

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