Dabangg is possibly the most awaited Salman Khan movie of the movie of the year after the debacle of Veer, more so because the publicity and marketing of Dabangg has been more than most movies I have seen in the recent past. You look anywhere on TV, print media, hoardings etc. all you will find is Dabangg. This is Salman Khan starpower. Let's face it. A majority of cinegoers in India are idiotically Salman Khan fans, people for whom cinema is all about entertainment. They do not wish to apply their brains in a movie and they do NOT care if the movie has a storyline or cannot comprehend as much. All they want to do is to go into a theatre and re-assert their chauvinistic mindset that year after year, their hero in the movie behaves like a true hero who can possibly do anything. They go in to re-affirm that yes, its been a year and Salman can still do better stunts and kill more people. Through this write-up, I wish to urge those people to open up to real cinema and appreciate it.
So where does Dabangg stand? Honestly, I am not all negative about this Salman Khan starrer. Salman may have played a cop in 9 out of 10 movies he has done in his career but Dabangg is different and the movie will work big-time with the audience described above and beyond them also. Dabangg is slick, crisp, stylish and action-packed. Its a journey of shameless fun in which Salman is in top form. I can safely say, it took Salman 21 years to deliver a performance that would win my heart. Dabangg is shameless, because it does not care to rest on a storyline, infact it cares to rest on Salman and his histrionics. Dabangg is fun because all I was doing for those 2 hours was clapping at the one-liners or laughing at what Chulbul Pandey can do. The two biggest plusses for Dabangg are Salman Khan and the editing of the movie which has made the movie super-slick. Complete brainless entertainment package!
Dabangg tells the age-old story of a cop, his half-brother, estranged father, dead mother, simple girl, and a over-shadowing villain who is a politician. It has NOTHING new to offer except the character of Chulbul Pandey, a complete heart-winner. Chulbul is a delightful watch, he is corrupt but honest at heart. Its interesting to watch his relationship with his family, his fellow policemen, his rivals and his wife. It gives you the raw uncouth feeling coupled with someone who doesnt intend harm. Dabangg could have been much better had Abhinav, the director, focused on putting in more storyline content. The first half is very stagnant. The second half atleast dares to pitch in something different but what they offer is merely an excuse for a good story and its nothing out of the box. The action scenes are unrealistic from first reel to the last reel but they still make you laugh all through. The stunts have been co-ordinated very well. Direction is weak in most part but Salman tries to lift it up. Cinematography is good, if not great. I must mention again, the editing of the movie does wonders for it. Dialogues are cheap and those which would work well to invoke seetis and claps in all theatres, but they do strike a chord to develop the character of Chulbul who calls him Robin Hood Pandey. Music of the movie is actually good and is working well with the masses, however too many songs interrupt with the screenplay a lot. I also feel its redundant for Salman to dance on a song and call himself Dabangg, they should have rather used it as a background. Munni is a hit and the song is the only well fit in song of the screenplay. Lalit Pandit can take a bow for this composition.
Arbaaz Khan knew he had to cast Salman to pull off a no-brainer as a hit and he did it rightfully to ensure that his debut production venture is a hit. And yes, Salman does live Chulbul Pandey. I saw him in a never-before avatar. He is corrupt, lovable, bad-ass, cute, dumb, superman, uncouth all at the same time. He is the lifeline of this movie. Sonakshi Sinha is COMPLETELY wasted in her debut with a screen space of 15 mins maximum. Arbaaz does okay as the second lead. Mahesh Manjrekar, Anupam Kher and Vinod Khanna are very stereotypical. Mahie Gill is impressive in a short role. The other performance which would catch your eye is Sonu Sood as the villain. He has a physique that can match upto Salman and that works well for the movie to strengthen the character of the anti-hero. He delivers a very good performance, yet again and completely lives the young bihari politician in Chhedi Singh. I wish to see more of him in movies.
All in all, Dabangg is an entertaining movie which portrays Salman like never before. Leave your brains at home and go and enjoy for 2 hours. I would just call it a commercial pot-boiler and not even a masala movie due to the lack of content. The movie has already taken a big start and would continue to set more records considering the Indian audience and the love for Salman, who is truly in great form in this one.
Rating - 3/5