Review and Story
The fight between good and bad has been the fodder of many a Hindi film of 1970s and 1980s. In fact, it wouldn’t be erroneous to state that these films dominated the cinema of yore and a lot of us, who have grown up on masala films/wholesome entertainers, will vividly recall the serpentine queues outside cinema halls and a mad scramble to book the tickets of those films. Hardcore masala films were relished with glee by the audience then.
However, for some inexplicable reason, masala films became extinct or should I say, disappeared from the face of Hindi cinema over a period of time. Ghajini and Wanted revived this genre, bringing back memories of the bygone era. Now Dabangg takes this genre one step ahead.
Be forewarned. Dabangg is rustic, has loads of action, harps on the age-old mother-son and varied relationships (half-brother, step-father), eventually turns into a vendetta fare, has a number of songs placed smartly in the narrative (including an item number)… but the packaging is slick and polished. Sure, it’s old wine, but packed in a brand new bottle, with a new brand ambassador (Salman Khan) endorsing this masalathon.
Most importantly, it has Salman like never before. Breathing fire and venom, Chulbul Pandey aka Robinhood Pandey taps Salman’s star power like no film has and the result is sheer magic. In fact, Dabangg stands on three pillars – Salman’s star power, smashing stunts and super music.
Final word? Salman fans, rejoice! You walk in Dabangg with 100% expectations and you exit with 200% gratification. Entertainment guaranteed. This film will create a pandemonium of sorts, a mass hysteria, crushing old records and setting new benchmarks at the box-office.
Set in Uttar Pradesh, Dabangg is a story of Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan), a totally fearless but corrupt police officer with unorthodox working methods. But even the most fearless at times face a tough fight with their innermost demons. Chulbul has had a bitter childhood. His father passed away when he was very young, after which his mother (Dimple Kapadia) married Prajapati Pandey (Vinod Khanna). Together, they had a son Makhanchan (Arbaaz Khan).
Prajapati favors Makhanchan, which does not go down well with Chulbul. He decides to take control of his destiny and detaches himself from his step-father and half-brother. His sole attachment is his mother. However, after his mother’s demise and an unsuccessful attempt to mend wounds, Chulbul snaps all ties with his step-father and half-brother.
Rajo (Sonakshi Sinha), with her unique perspective of life, enters his world and turns life upside down. Chulbul starts to see life more positively and also gets sensitized to the value of a family. But his detractors, especially the dubious Cheddi Singh (Sonu Sood), have their own vested interests and emerge as spokes in the wheels, putting one brother against the other. Makhanchan ends up carrying out an act oblivious to the consequences.
When Makhanchan realizes he has been used, he turns to Chulbul. Will Chulbul take his extended hand? Will the brothers be able to thwart their detractors?
The job of a promo is to give a gist of the film and prepare the audience well in advance about what to expect when they saunter into an auditorium. The promos of Dabangg have sent the right signals to the audience about it being a paisa vasool entertainer. Let’s face it, Dabangg has nothing ground-breaking to offer as far as its plot is concerned. We’ve visited similar stories in the past, but what makes Dabangg shine, and shine brightly, is Salman’s star power, which camouflages the aberrations wonderfully. The darling of the masses has been cast in a role that his fans love to see him in, which explains why this film works from start to end.