‘Dangal’ Movie Review


So it is that momentous occasion again, when an Aamir Khan film releases after a gap of two years. So what are you waiting for?

Unlike his 2 contemporaries, Aamir takes that much more of an effort for his characters, resulting in his films to come maximum once a year or at times, after a gap. This time he returns after the 2014 alien comedy, PK. In the same duration, both the other Khans have given 3 releases each. Only to put things in perspective.

Dangal narrates the story of Mahavir Singh Phogat, who in order to fulfill his dream of winning a gold medal in wrestling for his country, took the unconventional route of training his daughters and nieces in the sport, in the patriarchal state of Haryana.

Jumping right into the plot, the story written by Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Gupta, Shreyas Jain & Nikhil Meharotra, uses a most unconventional manner to present the film; a narration by the nephew of Phogat, played by Aparshakti Khurana.

After directing children flicks like Chillar Party and Bhootnath Returns, director Nitesh Tiwari presents a movie that will be considered his best ever.

Quite a few facets that will appeal to the audiences.

Aamir’s intro where he shows his wrestling prowess against a burly Vivan Bathena; his earnest desire and attempts for a male child, his realization of that folly, the ruthless eagerness to transform his girls into champions, but what strikes the home run is the delicate manner in which the father is shown to care for his girls. Nitesh presents this in various manners. Be it the emotional scene where he presses his girls tired feet to the subtle teaching of 3 letter words with his younger ones.

The film is an ideal example of a movie being a director’s vision and interpretation of a good script. In this case, it is a clever presentation of the material at hand, which makes this 161 minute film, seem like a breeze in the park. With clever editing by Ballu Saluja and brilliant cinematography by Setu, Nitesh extracts a high level of performances by each member of his team, not only the actors.

The background score by Pritam, not only wrenches your heart at places, but also highlights the film’s emotional graphs so well, that it seems as an additional character, narrating the story. So do the songs, which are already a hit amongst the people of all ages.

The four girls, playing Geeta, Babita and their younger versions are a delight to watch. Whilst the younger kids, Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar steal your heart away with their innocence, the older versions played by Fatema Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra, represent a very true picture of adolescent struggle. The relationship between the 2 characters is brilliantly portrayed. One of love and mutual respect.

Sakshi Tanwar as the supporting wife, is first rate, whilst Girish Kulkarni as the national coach, brings in the negative quotient. Ritwik Sahore, playing the younger version of the cousin brother, Omkar, is again a treat to watch.

Hats off to Nitesh for pulling this one off and how. He has treated the subject, both topical and biopic in such a sensitive manner, not veering towards preaching nor just a third party disconnected view. The effort and research which must have gone in by him and his team, is there for all to see and how. He takes the film to such a beautiful crescendo, that during the final culmination, in spite of knowing the end result, your heart will skip a beat.

One of the few highlights for me, the wrestling between an ageing Mahavir and an angry, arrogant Geeta; the reconciliation phone call between Geeta and Mahavir; Mahavir’s honest confession to his wife that even though reluctantly, he has to chose the role he plays towards his daughters, of coach or father and the honest confession to the sports committee.

Yes, as mentioned before, there are a few cinematic liberties taken, which does make the climax a bit unreal, but you are willing to forego it, when you see the dramatic impact they intend to bring on screen.

Aamir, it has become customary to sing praises for the man for every performance that he brings on screen. But whatever he does, can we be guilty of not falling in love with that performance and actor, every time.

Forget the physical transformation which he underwent, something he has made a habit of since over a decade now, that we expect from him, as a given. That too, is not something easily managed. But here, yet again, Aamir stirs your heart in an emotionally charged performance. His passion for everything he does, is so beautifully conveyed in his eyes; frustration, anger, love, heart break and eventually pride. His final motivational speech, whilst reminding you of the famous 70 minute, will resonate with all who have had a desire to cross that winning post, irrespective of field, yet be emotionally grounded, highlighting the topical nature.

Undoubtedly, not only of the best films of 2016, but definitely a masterpiece for a long time to come.

The entire crew of Dangal, take a bow. ….


Why aint you in the theatre yet?