‘Dangal’ movie review by ‘Divya Solgama’
There was a time where sport based films were considered as a jinx in our Hindi cinema. Filmmakers tried making sport based films related to Football (‘Hip Hip Hurray’), Athletics (‘Ashwini’) and most importantly Cricket (‘All Rounder’, ‘Awwal Number’ and ‘Cricketer’). Sadly, despite of a few of them being landmark films, none of them managed to establish the sport genre in our Hindi cinema. The 90’s era marked the first successful sport based Hindi film in the form of Aamir Khan starrer ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’ and established the genre by the massive success of the landmark film ‘Lagaan’. The genre kept churning out many more successful films along with bio-pics based on the life of a sport person. Despite of Cricket being the most favourite sport of our country, the filmmakers kept venturing into different sports and managed to do proper justice too few of them. Wrestling seems to be the latest flavor for our filmmakers as we saw it being partially used in Salman Khan starrer film ‘Sultan’ and now comes Aamir Khan starrer film ‘Dangal’. So, let’s find out whether ‘Dangal’ will manage to do the right amount of justice to the sport and the real life sport personalities associated with it or might be just a sophisticated and realistic version of ‘Sultan’.
‘Dangal’ is a real life story based on Mahavir Singh Phogat (Aamir Khan), a national level champion wrestler whose only dream was to win a gold medal for India. Due to financial situations he failed to fulfill his dream but settles down with a hope of his son winning the gold for the country. Mahavir gets highly disappointed when his wife Shobha (Sakshi Tanwar) gives birth to four daughters. Mahavir gives up all his hope and locks down his dreams. One day a silver lining appears in the life of Mahavir as he discovers that his two daughters Geeta (Zaira Wasim / Fatima Sana Shaikh) and Babita (Suhani Bhatnagar / Sanya Malhotra) have all the potential of becoming wrestlers. Right from their teenage days Mahavir starts a rigorous training for Geeta and Babita and what happens next is what the entire film is all about.
Screenplay & Technical Details:
The story as we all know is inspired from the real life of wrestling champion family of Mahavir Singh Phogat, Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari. We also know the outcome of the story, but the important part is its brilliant screenplay and flawless narrative style. The movie is presented in a totally gripping manner with the right amount of emotions in its perfect place. Also, the humour quotient is maintained in the film, making it an ease to watch. All the great films have several fantastic moments but in case of ‘Dangal’, the entire screenplay is full of fantastic moments. There are some best of the best scenes such as Aamir’s wrestling fight in his office followed by entire villagers giving advice to Aamir Khan for having a boy, Aamir’s disappointment over letting away his dream, Aamir knowing the power of his elder girls followed by convincing Sakshi to allow him to coach his girls for wrestling, Aamir training his girls followed by feeding them high protein and massaging them, girls complaining to Aamir followed by getting humiliated in front of the villagers, girls plotting against Aamir and eventually understanding his importance, first wrestling fight of Zaira Wasim with young boys, Fatima’s life in the academy followed by her wrestle with Aamir, Sanya’s tiff with Fatima followed by Aamir’s advice to Sanya, Aamir and Sanya inspiring Fatima for international matches, Aamir pledging to officials followed by his tiff with Girish Kulkarni, Aamir secretly coaching Fatima and Sanya, Fatima’s first match in commonwealth games followed by the most exciting and gripping second match leading to Aamir motivating Fatima for gold and the final match which ends on a standing ovation. These are some of the best of the best scenes in the film. The dialogues are heartfelt and works perfectly as per the situation required. On the flip side the training part, especially the one with the usage of the mats was shown easily. Many of Indian wrestlers failed to achieve their success due to the transformation from wrestling in mud to mat and out here it was shown in a jiffy. Also, the finale situation of Aamir was highly dramatized without any reason. This typically Bollywood type of scene was totally out of place in this realistic film. Ignoring these micro sized points the movie is perfectly flawless. The cinematography by Setu is of top notch and does proper justice to the feel and genre of the movie. It’s refreshing to see the Haryana state to be shown in such positive manner for the first time in our Hindi cinema.
The music works as an additional screenplay in the movie and songs such as ‘Dangal’, ‘Haanikaarak Bapu’, ‘Dhaakad’ and ‘Gilehriyaan’ are well placed in the movie. ‘Naina’ adds the right amount of emotions in the film. The background music is fantastic.
Director Nitesh Tiwari deserves full marks for extracting fantabulous performances from his team. He excels in every department. He narrates the film in proper manner and makes you connect with every emotion in the film. The matches and training process are shown in highly entertaining as well as engaging manner, making you feel as a part of the screen happenings. The whole bonding of father and daughters is among the best we have seen in our films. Nitesh’s name gets written in the list of great film-makers from our country and that too with non-erasable ink.
Aamir Khan is known for many iconic performances and ‘Dangal’ ends up among the top of his performances till date. His heavy body acts as an additional importance to his character and excels in every scene. Even in a small moment Aamir delivers more than a hundred percent of his caliber. Aamir as Mahavir Singh Phogat will be remembered for decades and decades. Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar as young Geeta and Babita are adorably cute. They will leave you spell bounded by their wrestling moves. Fatima Sana Shaikh is fantastic as adult Geeta and carries some of the most important scenes on her shoulders. Her wrestling matches in the commonwealth games are a treat to watch. Sanya Malhotra as adult Babita lends great support and shines in the emotional scenes. Sakshi Tanwar’s silent support in the movie is good, but wished there was some depth to her character. Aparshakti Khurrana is sweet and charming. His vocal narration is fantastic. Girish Kulkarni does full justice to his part.
On an overall basis ‘Dangal’ is a mesmerisingly victorious cinema which should be watched by every Indian, father, daughter, sport loving person and most importantly by everyone who loves and cherishes good cinema.
Rating – 4.5/5 (Source – BollywoodTimes)