ravings, rantings and ramblings
An insane Wild Wild West cutout, out and out swashbuckling, masala, knock-out entertainment, leave-your-brains-at-home kinda film! That is Dabangg! And it would be incomplete without a mention of Salman Khan, without whom this film would just not have any flavour.
Now let us begin chronologially.
This film totally rests on the bulked up shoulders of Salman Khan. In fact, Salman has delivered one of his career best roles, where his slightly hammy style and wooden demeanor fits the character Chulbul Pandey to the tee. It was important to be a bit woody in this role; take note Neil Nitins and Johns of tinsel Town. Talking of Chulbul Pandey, I know of people who are already referring to Chulbul Pandey as a common noun as opposed to proper noun. After this film, Salman now is a mix of Rajinikanth and Clint Eastwood. Is that being too generous?
Ok, now let me get out the knives.
Technically, Dabangg is a sound film. However, the screenplay lacks momentum. At times, the film was as slow as Salman taking a turn. The storyline of this film is as thin as Salman’s moustache or maybe as waning as Anupam Kher’s hairline. Salman’s lip-synching is as stiff probably because of the strong spirit used to stick his moustache to his lip. Sometimes I felt the under-paid background dancers were singing more than Chulbul himself. Songs were force-fitted. Absurdity was king. Much as it was in the 70’s.
Dabangg was more of a Salman showreel. See Salman strut his stuff in trousers. See Salman strut his stuff in a vest. See Salman strut his stuff without his shirt. Haven’t we seen Salman strutting his stuff enough in Wanted?
The other thing that works for this film is location, location, location. Dabangg boasts of a perfect location; in the heart of Uttar Pradesh, a state in India. In fact, it is probably the second most correct thing in the film after Salman. This cow-belt of India is has been a hot seat to some hot and happening films; and a few not so hot ones. Think Bunty Aur Bubli, Omkara, Tashan, Ishqiya and now Dabangg! The benefits are aplenty as well. Costumes are less expensive as the men are usually topless or casually clad with a shawl on top. Neither do the actresses don’t need glam make-up nor do they require designer nothings to adorn them. Goons and cattle are aplenty to make the set look real. And there you have it, another sure-fire film to run.
Sonu Sood is good and effective as Chedi Singh, the Ray-Ban toting villain. Sood certainly has been showing some good range, right from his Yuva days with Mani Ratnam, to Jodhaa-Akbar and City of Life (that was the highlight of Dubai International Film Festival).
Shotgun Shatrughan Sinha’s daughter makes her debut in this film. Good for her, but I doubt she is going to get her second film anytime soon. Unless of course, Arbaaz Khan decides to make Dabangg part 2.
And I must give it to Arbaaz Khan for coming up with such a lovely revenue model for making a film. The money invested in making a film, keeps rolling within the family. How does he do that, you ask? Simple, I say. He has a brother who is a hero, he has another brother who directs and also doubles up as an actor, he himself acts (although that sentence was a joke) and dons the role of a villain at times and he has a wife who does a sweaty sleazy item number. So, the money stays in the family.
Good move for an Eid launch, Dabangg has raked in more money than the opening of 3 Idiots, which was the last standing record. Does Dabangg have that much of a bang, you ask? No, I say. No repeat value. No DVD value. One time watch. Throw some popcorn and forget about it. However 3 Idiots certainly has some serious repeat value and DVD value as well.