Everyone has had their Dabangg say; now is my turn. For those of you still clueless about what Dabangg means, here’s the meaning – ‘one who cannot be suppressed’.
The dubangg man, Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan) who loves to call himself Robin Hood, is an incorrigibly corrupt police officer in a place called Lalganj in UP. This ‘Robin Hood’ is always warring with a local small-time goon politician over territory and money. Mostly money.
So, he and his team of all moustachioed policemen chase the goons for their own means. Typically, as is the case in the movies aimed at UP-Bihar masses (or for that matter, movies of South), rest all policemen are sidekicks and it is the one-man-army-hero Salman who bashes them all.
At home, even though Chulbul Pandey is a typical doting ma-ka-ladla, he has an on-and-off inimical relationship with his stepbrother and stepfather. So, Salman gets to spars some more at home.
As if that is not enough, he goes on to woo Jabraat Rota Rajo (Sonakshi Sinha) in a cringing, chauvinistic style. (For those who are not scared of possible spoilers, look for the reasons in the notes at the bottom.)
That’s pretty much the plot –whenever scriptwriter woke up he added few subplots and some connecting threads, almost as an afterthought. You wonder why they bothered. And sometimes, they explained too much as if we are too dumb.
But then Dabangg is not at all about a good story, it’s meant to be entertainment. It is ‘Wanted’ with UP ka tadka. UP dialect sometimes tapers to Bihari and at times, you hear Haryanvi. As my friend commented, consistency of dialect is too much to ask for. 🙂
Hmm, the cast –where should I begin? Except Salman and Arbaaz, rest of the entire star-studded cast is underused. Contrary to most opinions, I felt Arbaaz was alright as idiot, hammy brother. Dimple, Vinod Khanna, Mahesh Manjrekar, Anupam Kher and Om Puri – all of them were there with little to do. It took me sometime to even realise that was Mahesh Manjrekar. Oh, and there was Mahi Gill (from DevD) in a teeny role opposite Arbaaz. [Tell me, is it just me that whenever I see her on screen, I remember her riding a bicycle in fields with a mattress tied to the carrier. ;)]
As for, Sonakshi, except for one song where she looked divine at places, I didn’t like her much. Mostly because she wasn’t required to do more than be a village doll with vacant stares. Some might add she doesn’t look like a doll –it’s hard to tell that she is so much younger than Salman.
Music: I like hud hud Dabangg even though Munni badnaam hui is current hit. Two other songs, according to me, were wasted, not needed in the movie.
What is in it for you – Well, there is Salman Khan, his antics –the chutzpah, his thumkas – which are no less than munni Malaika’s, the rip-off action scenes (they’ll look familiar), and some money shots –shirtless Salman. Then, there is some educational info about various holes in your body and their purpose. Bit of hygiene and use of left hand. If that kind of humour works for you.
Rating: 2.5/5 (Add 0.5 for your company in the theatre)
P.S: I can say your company does contribute to your experience of watching such movies. Watching it in a packed theatre with cat calls booming all over and friends with whom you can joke around is best way to get to it. It’s going to be hard to watch with a serious crowd that stares at the screen agog.
More notes, possible spoilers: One entire extra sequence – one in the thane (police station) followed by that song-dance in yellow shirt should have been cut out; it was neither funny nor important to the plot.
Weird editing – for example, the flight scene after wedding night.
Salman Khan’s attire at home is hilarious – thick-soled floaters and lungi. Add to that his expression.
Inhaler is either pump or fusfus. 😀
My take away dialogue: Cast your vote, but don’t vote your caste. 🙂
Cringeworthy wooing: Once, Salman tells Sonakshi – I’ll wait for your father to die so that I can marry you. On her father’s death, he shoos away the mourners and asks her to pack her bags saying, tumhari life bana rahe hain. Hmm, tell me why didn’t she slap him? 😦
Interesting that DevD strains flow in the wedding scene and a song from Wanted is used as a ringtone in a funny ‘action’ scene with a goon. I laughed at that one, it was beacon of more of silliness to arrive.
As an aside, I am still employing some of my grey cells to conclude which part of his character was ‘giving to poor’, after all, wasn’t that what Robin Hood did. No, don’t tell me that episode about sharing his booty with that policeman; it was not charity.