Saturday, January 7, 2017


Movie Review : Dangal
Released : 2016
Language : Hindi
Director : Nitesh Tiwari
Genre : Biography
Starring :  Aamir Khan, Sakshi Tanwar, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Aparshakti Khurana, Zaira Wasim, Suhani Bhatnagar
My Rating : 9 out of 10

Movies about Sports pose interesting challenges. They have to do a balancing act between focusing on the sport and focusing on the characters. The actors have to take on intensive efforts to appear believable. The drama around the sporting scenes has to be exciting, but should not feel far fetched. Last but not the least, if the ending is predictable, the movie has to ensure that the viewers stay engaged till the end.

Dangal wrestles these challenges (pun intended) and scores a gold medal. It walks the sport movie tightrope without ever losing its balance. Its focus on wrestling is unwavering, but it also manages to pack a social message. While taking us along on a near straight-line journey of Geeta Phogat towards the Gold Medal, it still manages to make us visit the special bonds between all the characters. It ignites nationalism without being melodramatic. Most importantly, it keeps us on the edge of our seat even when there is no real villain and we know how it’s going to end. Yes, it fabricates an exaggerated fictionalized ending for the cinematic effect, but doesn’t push it beyond the borders of believability.

This success is a result of the entire team. The director Nilesh Tiwari never lets the movie go out of his control. The actors, all of them, from Aamir Khan to the kid actors, have put in phenomenal efforts in their roles as wrestlers. The music sticks to taking on a just a supportive role. The picturization of the wrestling scenes is undoubtedly the highlight of the movie. They can be described with one word - electrifying. That’s because of efforts of actors, wrestling consultants, director - and the camera crew and the editors. In presenting such high octane sports scenes, so much depends on camera angles and skillful editing. Hats off to the technical crew.

As must be obvious, I really enjoyed this latest Aamir Khan movie. He is one of the rare Bollywood stars whose movies I look forward too. I have been very happy with hist last few movies, such as PK, or 3 Idiots. Only Dhoom 3 was a huge disappointment for me.

Dangal is another feather in the cap for Amir Khan. I still remember watching him sing “Papa kehte hai”. This journey from a chocolate hero to a super serious dedicated actor has been a delight to witness. Here he plays the middle aged humorless father perfectly. A lot has been and will be talked about his physical transformation. I was equally impressed by his acting effort. The way he talks, the way he sits on the scooter, the way he runs at the end of the movie. Everything is perfect. This is perhaps his best performance. 

He presents the real life story of wrestling champion Mahavir Singh Phogat and his efforts to earn a gold medal for India via his daughters. This is a fairly recent story, with both the daughters still active as athletes. It’s a story of dedication, hard work and courage to fight against the social norms.

It’s impossible to talk about this movie without talking about the acting performance of the two child actresses. They are adorable, and admirable for the amount of effort they put in. Both  Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra have done justice to their roles as elder Geeta and Babita. Even the unenviable role of the cousin is played superbly by Aparshakti Khurana.

I absolutely recommend this movie. It’s fast, does not extend longer than needed and safe for kids. Actually, it’s a great family movie. Do not miss this one.

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