Dabangg - Movie review

Sep 11, 2010, 08:00 IST | Sarita Tanwar

Welcome to the world of full-on masala entertainment.

Dir: Abhinav Singh Kashyap
Cast: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Sonu Sood, Dimple Kapadia and Vinod Khanna
Rating: ***

What it's about:
Welcome to the world of full-on masala entertainment. Don't look for logic, for story, and don't expect the unexpected. Dabangg is the kind of cinema that made Amitabh Bachchan -- paisa vasool action, dialogues that evoke ceetees and the leading hero's one-man-show.
Only this time, it is Salman Khan carrying the film on his shoulders in his typical style and swagger. Last year's Wanted established him in the ranks of a Chuck Norris and Rajnikanth, with his own niche audience.
Dabangg is a reloaded and multiplied version of the same --  heroism at its masala best. The story goes like this: Chulbul Pandey (Salman) aka Robinhood Pandey is a corrupt police officer but he has a heart of gold. He loves Rajjo (Sinha) and his mother (Kapadia) but has issues with his step-father Prajapati Pandey (Khanna) and step-brother Makhan-chand or Makhi (Arbaaz).
The local baddie Cheedi Singh (Sonu Sood) uses this to further drive the family apart and almost succeeds. Until Chulbul Pandey realises his motives and decides to strike back.

What's hot:

The script of Dabangg is such that it could've been handled in two ways -- either the director (Abhinav Kashyap) could've followed the Shool route and made it realistic or gone all the way making it a commercial over-the-top action drama. With Salman Khan on board, he decided to go with the latter option. The action, the dialoguebaazi and the overt heroism is on the same lines as Wanted. The screenplay moves at a brisk pace, the editing is sharp and with a total length of two hours.
Here's a massy entertainer with a clear intent and sprinkled with the tried-and-tested spices -- fight scenes, bad guys, item songs, a long-suffering mother, an indifferent father and a sautela bhai. Action director Vijayan's stunts (most of them are spectacular) and Sajid-Wajid's music (one of their best scores) are a major plus.
The songs are a treat -- the title song establishes Salman's character immediately, Munni Badnaam Hui has a rustic and earthy charm thanks to Farah Khan's choreography and Taakte Rehte Hain is the pick of the lot. Sonakshi Sinha makes a confident debut and shows restraint for her first film. Arbaaz Khan manages to hold his own. Sonu Sood gets the role of a lifetime and lives up to it. Watch him in the fight sequence in the climax. But Dabangg works big time only because of Salman Khan.
He's having fun, and that's fun to see. This is Salman at his best.

What's not:
The director had everything going for him. The crucial aspects of the film (action and songs) were also taken care of. What Kashyap needed to do was establish the relationships among the main characters and that he leaves loose. Dabangg is essentially a formula film and the script could've done with some more highs. With such a strong hero at the forefront, Kashyap also needed an equally powerful characterisation for his main villain.
But Sonu Sood's Cheedi Singh comes across as confused. Sometimes, he's passed off as a local goon, sometimes as a buffoon (especially in the Munni Badnaam Hui song) and then suddenly, his machoism is on display with the muscle-show. The film's second half is a drag.

What's that!
Sonakshi's dialogue: "Thappad se darr nahin lagta, pyaar se lagta hai" is the kind of line you expect a Zohrabai to mouth. And what's with Salman's shirt ripping in the climax? Too inspired by the Hulk

What to do:
Made for Salman Khan's fans. Watch it to see the Big Boss in action -- literally!

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