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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Plenty of bang for your buck

Think Jackie Chan on steroids. Imagine him speaking a mixture of Bhojpuri and Hindi. And picture him performing his trademark stunts in one of his many fight scenes.

And you have Salman Khan in Dabangg.

Jackie Chan never takes himself seriously in his movies. Also, we know he is having a great time up there pretending to act.

Ditto Salman Khan. In Dabangg, at least.

That, I think, is one of the reasons I enjoyed watching (most of) Dabbang yesterday.

Dabangg is not a "drama", although there's dramabaazi aplenty; it is not a "thriller", though the movie has its share of thrills (and spills); it is definitely not a "romance", notwithstanding Salman's hook-up with Sonakshi Sinha (pictured left). I see it as a "comedy", really, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments: Salman using a fireman's hosepipe as a weapon in the opening fight scenes, Salman doing a Keanu Reeves in those same fight scenes, Salman making one of his "Besharam se yaad aaya..." cracks, Salman... Salman... Salman....

Salman is such a towering presence in the film that every frame that does not feature him has you wishing he'd be back. Every Salman-less frame, in short, appears tedious by comparison.

Well, okay, not EVERY frame. Certainly not in the opening sequences of Munni badnaam hui, that exuberant, colourful, full-of-life item number by the oomphy Malaika Arora (pictured right) — though Salman sort of steals the scene when he makes his swaggering appearance towards the end of the dance.

To reiterate, I think we love Salman in Dabangg because he does not take himself seriously; in fact, no one in the movie takes themselves seriously (except Dimple Kapadia and Vinod Khanna — both are hopelessly miscast).

And I think both urban and rural audiences in India have given two thumbs up to Dabangg because, as my wife remarked, here's a film made for Indians in India, not for Indians in the West. (KJo and SRK, I wish there was a way to make you read this.)

Finally, people my age and older will be grateful to director Abhinav Singh Kashyap for making a movie that reminds us of the films we used to watch when we were kids, and for keeping in mind that we are not now able to sit in a cinema hall for three hours or more and so keeping the duration of Dabangg down to an acceptable two hours. Shukriya, janaab!

7 comments:

  1. I watched Dabbang this afternoon and I was left rolling in splits of laughter. It is a Salman (my hero :D) 'comeback' movie for me at least. The last time I found him so enticing was in 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'.

    You were right, sir. What were Dimple Kapadia and Vinod Khanna thinking? Sonakshi Sinha probably had 8 dialogues. Btw, what was her name in the movie? But the chick is pretty and to her luck (or her father's) she can act.

    But I did not think this movie is anything like a Jackie Chan movie. You can barely hear the dialogues in his movies.I thought every dialougue in Dabanng was crisp although a few friends found it difficult to catch the lines becasue of the Bhojpuri accent.

    And those aviators sure are going to be a rage among youngsters now. And hope he keeps them on even in Dabanng 2(hope there is one).

    And last but not the least. Kudos to the one who came up with characters' names!

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  2. I watched Dabbang yesterday, its not even based on the reality from where the sequence has been taken. This movie seems to me just a copy of bhojpuri cinema mixed with south indian actions. In bihar people are liking this movie because of its action( specially because of Sonakshi Sinha daughter of Satrughan Sinha and because of Munni badnam hui). It is for the first time that Salman Khan is acting in a movie which has a background of UP and Bihar. Sonu Sood did a good job as a small leader of UP in comparison to Salman Khan

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  3. Yes Anagha, there is sequel being planned. I read somewhere that the entire cast and crew were celebrating the success of the movie at Salman's residence one night and Arbaaz Khan decided to have a sequel.

    -For the ones who enjoyed that exuberant, colourful, full-of-life item number by the oomphy Malaika Arora, there will be another one at par with it. Munni phir se badnaam hogi! ;-)

    -Chulbul Pandey ji will move to a bigger city in Dabbang 2. Most probably Mumbai.

    -The hit pairing of Salman and Sonakshi (Rajjo) will be continued.

    -Sonu Sood will come back again as the bad guy in the sequel but this time as Chhedi Singh's twin brother.

    I loved this movie! Enjoyed it thoroughly. Especially the way Salman dances with abandon in the Humka Peeni Hai song! One should watch such mindless but fun movies once in a while. Its like an escape from the real world for a couple of hours where one can just sit back and enjoy a good old Masala Entertainer without giving much exercise to the grey cells. Have suggested it to my mum too! She'll love a character like this.
    And yeah the Sinha girl is going to go places. She is not the conventional beauty. She has managed to hold her own in a Salman movie and that says a lot about her acting capabilities. I like her! Thumbs up from me too! :-)

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  4. I enjoyed watching Dabaang. Abhinav Kashyap, younger brother of Anuraag Kashyap has done a wonderful job and has increased the number of Salmaan khan fans by making this movie.
    Abhinav made sure that he dint miss-out on action, drama, comedy, a lil bit of love and emotional touch in the movie.
    It was total entertainer and jus makes the audience laugh for complete two hrs.

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  5. Ok, Ramesh Mhanth, first thing first, I hope you didn't shed tears of joy for Dabaang. Next, don't you think he sometimes gets too repetitive in his performances? You can't possibly expect the crowds to like your bell-bottom policeman with a usual shirt tearing and biceps-triceps display business? I mean aren't you already bored of him? Ask him to take a break(if possible a long one).

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  6. Well your opinion is fine but I personally don't(sorry never) want to watch Shah Rukh or Salman Khan's movies!

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  7. I think I was not in my right mind when I wrote the previous comment.
    But personally I liked Dabangg 2. It was pretty entertaining. I stand corrected. I'm now waiting for news about Dabangg 3.

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