Dabangg 3 Movie Review: A tired, overlong potboiler that suffers from lack of surprise

Updated: Dec 20, 2019, 16:55 IST | Vinamra Mathur | Mumbai

Salman Khan tries his best to elevate the material but Dabangg 3 cannot escape from the clutches of boredom.

Salman Khan in Dabangg 3
Salman Khan in Dabangg 3

Dabangg 3
U/A; Action
Director: Prabhu Deva
Cast: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Saiee Manjrekar, Kichcha Sudeepa, Warina Hussain, Mahesh Manjrekar
Rating: Rating 

The surprising parts first. There are a lot of revelations in Dabangg 3. Ever since the film has been announced, there has been a considerable amount of excitement among Salman Khan and the franchise's fans to see how one of Bhai's most celebrated and charming characters became what he is. The journey of Chulbul Pandey to Inspector Chulbul Pandey was set to take the cinematic nation by amazement.

Saiee Manjrekar, who makes her debut with the actioner, plays an instrumental role in shaping up the protagonist's personal and professional life. Our hero was actually named Dhaakadchand Prajapati Pandey, but his first ladylove feels the moniker doesn't suit his personality, she feels he's very Chulbula, so she gives him the name Chulbul Pandey. Also, she's the one who places his Ray-Ban sunglasses behind the collar of his shirt.

There are some other bits of humour too, a henchman mocks Pandey by saying the 'Hum Tum Mein Itne Ched Karenge' dialogue, Pandey laughs, is highly impressed with the line and says one day he'll use it. But Prabhudeva fills the film with slapstick gags, cringey humour, and way too many slow-mo shots. The first Dabangg marked the rise and reinvention of Salman Khan, and it made him the infallible celluloid star that can never be overpowered, neither in confrontations nor combats.

When we first saw the fictional residents of Lalganj, we bought into their chaos and their idiosyncratic lives since we saw the milieu for the first time. It was Khan like never before, portraying a character that nicely married his persona and prowess. But as the franchise proceeds towards its third part, it's bogged down by its sameness and lack of surprise. Khan is in a very tricky territory in his career currently; his hardcore fans want him to be as magnanimous as possible, even though he may be criticised for being monotonous.

Watch the trailer of Dabangg 3 below:

As stated above, we get a glimpse of how he became an Inspector. But I expected more from the film, the conflict between the two stepbrothers that was at the centre of the narrative in the first film, what led to Sonakshi Sinha's father, Mahesh Manjrekar, take to alcohol.

But Deva and Khan, credited for the film's story and screenplay, seem more keen to flesh out the leading man's romantic side and his sweet love story with Saiee, which ends on a horrific note. The antagonist this time is Kichcha Sudeepa, who pretty much repeats the menace he displayed in the fantastic Eega seven years ago. But the biggest problem with Dabangg 3 is its lack of surprise and tension. The makers nearly gave away the entire plot in the trailer itself, leaving very little room for intrigue and interest.

And unlike the first two films, the slickness and style in the action is missing, it seems more farcical than ferocious, and even Pandey's antics seem tedious and tiring now. What hurts the film even more is the soundtrack. Not everything is mercifully unwatchable, though.

The interval point carries the emotional charge that displays Khan's vulnerability, and the climactic battle is bigger than what you saw in the first two films. Dabangg 3 is a treat for Bhai's fans, the question is, what's next and how much more infallible a star can get?

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