Yesterday evening i had the opportunity to finally watch Dabangg, finally because I had plans laid out to watch it on the first day itself, that never materialized.So let me start out by why I was so eagerly awaiting this latest bollywood offering-
- Salman Khan in his full glory. Greek God meets Rajnikanth avatar.
- Blown out stunts imported from Tollywood and Telugu movies.
- Debutant Sonakshi Sinha (she looked super confident in the trailers) and
- Abhinav Kashyap's directorial debut ( The Kashyap surname surely has set high standards)
The premise of the whole movie goes like this, Chulbul Pandey is a corrupt cop who beats up local goons and steals their money, but he does not keep all the money to himself. He generously distributes it to deserving villagers and his police force, aka your desi Robin Hood. He lives with his loving mother (Dimple Kapadia), a step-father (Vinod Khanna) who cant stand him , and a step-brother who he bullies to no end ( Arbaz Khan). The antagonist is Chedi Singh (Sonu Sood), a local politician who uses Chulbul's brother and father against him because he has faced humiliation from Chullbul and also suffered monetary losses dues to his exploits. The leading lady is Rajo( Sonakshi Sinha), a potter who Chulbul falls head over heals with.
There is nothing much actually to write about this wafer-thin script and shoddy screenplay. I admit it is always tough to wove a meaningful story around a larger-than-life character, ask the directors from the south. So the benefit of the doubt can be given to Abhinav Kshyap i guess.Because i don't think anyone made this movie for screening at International Film Festivals. Performance wise, Salman steals the thunder. Sonakshi looks amazing in a sari.....performance???oh sorry, that was also pretty good, considering that she was paired against someone who is twice her age. Arbaz Khan should stick to film production and Sonu Sood flexes his biceps throughout sending his facial muscles to sleep.
A special mention has to made of the stunt sequences. They are easily the best you have ever seen in bollywood. Hats off to Mr Vijayan ( the stunt director from Telugu movies) and Abhinav Kashyap for picturising these dramatic sequences in such a manner that they draw all the whistles, hoots and claps possible. Those were clearly the best moments of the film. Kashyap is truly inspired by Tarantino ( the look and feel of the movie),hindi movies of the 70s and 80s(with the importance given to punch dialogues) and spaghetti western inspired background score. The songs in the movie are earthen ( the title track), soothing ( Tere Mast Nain) and raunchy (Munni!!!!!). Clearly adds weight to the overall cause.
On the whole, leave your brains behind, get your note garlands and coins, and clear your throat for the loudest hoot, Chulbul Pandey will knock the Dabanng out of you.!! Go watch it!
P.S.- I want a sequel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!