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Robin Hood Pandey aka Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan) is one crazy cop you don’t want to cross paths with. Pandeyji doesn’t care about the law or the poor or the rich or even himself as long as he gets to kick the bad guys, crack jokes and make oodles of money on the side. His life is all about loving his mother (Dimple Kapadia), hating his step father (Vinod Khanna) and avoiding his dumb half brother Makhi (Arbaaz Khan). Pandey falls in love with Rajjo (Sonakshi Sinha), a local potter woman but she doesn’t reciprocate her feelings as openly as her fearless or ‘dabangg’ suitor and tells him in no uncertain terms that she can’t marry him as long as her drunkard father (Mahesh Manjrekar) lives. While Pandey woos Rajo he incurs the wrath of Cheddi Singh (Sonu Sood), the rising local politician who takes it upon himself to destroy Pandey’s life. The sudden death of Pandey’s mother severs his familial ties and Cheddi uses this opportunity to pit Makhi against his own brother. What Cheddi doesn’t realize is that the bond between the brothers might be stronger than what is seems.
Salman Khan as Dabangg
For some time now a Salman Khan film generates the kind of buzz that none of his contemporaries can even image. Unlike the other Khans who proudly display the tag of thinking actors or even plain media savvy and don’t shy away from going overboard when it comes to promoting a film, Salman never really bothered about anything and that’s perhaps exactly what makes him a darling of the masses. Not that Dabangg is great cinema but truth be told it would have been a mediocre flick had it not been for Salman Khan’s presence.
Think of all the standard ingredients of a typical Hindi masala film of the 1980’s. Now imagine them two decades later and what you get is Dabangg. Abhinav Singh Kashyap’s debut film is an ode to the larger than life heroes, the devil incarnate villains, the good for nothing dimwitted younger brothers, the loving mothers, the nubile heroines, the ironclad fathers and just about everyone who adorned ’80’s Hindi fare. Kashyap manages to round up a pretty decent cast including a stellar Om Puri who shines even in a strangely edited cameo, but more importantly with Chulbul Pandey comes up with a protagonist that is really fun to watch.
Stylized to the hilt and played over the top with caution thrown to the wind, Salman Khan’s performance might not be a master class in acting but it sure is one crazy rollercoaster of a ride. Dabangg’s Chulbul Pandey is highly reminiscent of Vikram’s bravura performance in Samy but barring the mood the two can’t be compared.
Final Words about Dabangg
Infused with adrenalin right from the word go, Kashyap ensures that there is hardly a dull moment in the film. Even in the climax when nothing more can be expected the revelation about his mother’s death has Chulbul so stirred up that his shirt tears by itself! The narrative structure of the film is almost like a western (further aided by background score) or a B film in its execution and while Kahsyap tries to inject some sort of layering in the characters this isn’t a film that is script dependent. The setting of the film might be rustic but even that seems like a concerted effort beyond a point; where in small town India does an earthen pot sell for 250 bucks! For those who have watched Wanted, Dabangg might come across as the former redux with some action sequences, the background score and even shots replicated but what makes Dabangg tick is the sheer audacity of Chulbul Pandey’s character. Some highly nuanced writing that is a throwback to the classical escapist fare of yesteryear commercial Hindi cinema, Dabangg is truly unapologetic and highly enjoyable.
Dabangg Rating: 3.5/5
Dabangg Cast: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Arbaaz Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Vinod Khanna, Om Puri, Mahesh Manjrekar and Sonu Sood
Dabangg Written by: Dilip Shukla and Abhinav Kashyap
Dabangg Directed by: Abhinav Singh Kashyap
Dabangg Genre: Action
Dabangg Music: Sajid-Wajid
write by Alva