October issue 2010

By | Arts & Culture | Movies | Published 14 years ago

I have never been a Salman Khan fan, but after watching Dabangg I must confess that I may have overcome my aversion to the machoman who plays the role of a corrupt and conceited police officer and pulls it off with undeniable flair.

Predictable and straightforward, the story ofDabangg is certainly not its strength. Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan) feels much like an orphan when his widowed mother marries an unloving man with whom she has another son Makhancand Pandey (Arbaaz Khan), lovingly referred to as “Makhi” who is dim-witted and naïve to the core. After the tragic demise of his affectionate mother, Chulbul breaks ties with his remaining half-family and goes on to pursue a life with his love interest, Rajo (Sonakshi Sinha). Enter Cheddi Singh (Sonu Sood), the menacing villain who must eliminate Chulbul to succeed in his own right as a corrupt politician. Using the spite that exists between the brothers as a means to forward his own agenda, Cheddi capitalises on Makhi’s veneration of him to wreak havoc in Uttar Pradesh, until one day, Makhi realises he has been betrayed by the very man he used to worship. Charred, he turns to Chulbul in a desperate attempt to gain retribution against Cheddi, something which not only mends the brothers’ relationship, but helps them to fight a common enemy. No points for guessing the ending!

Salman Khan is clearly the star of the show with his tight-fitting khaki uniform, gold-rimmed Ray Bans and sharply trimmed moustache and his facial expressions which are timed to a T. But the supporting actors are also worth applauding for impacting the movie while never overshadowing Salman’s stellar performance. It took 22 years of acting for this Khan to finally deliver a rave-worthy performance. For an action film, Dabangg has an outstanding musical score by the composer duo, Sajid-Wajid. However, the hit item number to which Malaika Arora gyrates with abandon, ‘Munni badnaam hui, darling tere liye,’ has been composed by Jatin Lalit. And yes, there is also a number by Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan ‘Tere mast mast do nain,’ which is doing the rounds of music charts. Debutant director-writer Abhinav Kashyup has created a stir with this innocuous action flick that has beaten the box-office records of this year’s biggest hit, 3 Idiots, in just a week.

If not for Salman Khan’s bad-boy swagger, watch Dabangg for debut-actress Sonakshi’s enigmatic performance. Well-known actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha’s daughter Sonakshi is not only a looker, she brings a fresh attitude to the attractive village damsel role and plays her character with such aplomb that even male audiences will not be disappointed!

This review was originally published in the October issue of Newsline under the title “Masala Magic.”