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Dabangg (2010) – Movie Review

Dabangg movie poster

Written by: Abhinav Kashyap & Dilip Shukla
Directed by: Abhinav Kashyap
Starring: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Tinnu Anand, Sonu Sood

The movie which has gained unimaginable hype and fame through its interesting and attractive trailer has finally arrived. The trailers did suggest that the movie was to be a complete masala action entertainer with Salman Khan as never-seen-before. Most of the movies do have excellent trailers and create a lot of buzz, but things fizz out once the movie releases due to lack of content. But now, here is a movie which exceeds all the expectations set by its trailers! It just provides a power-packed punch!

Dabangg is a story set in a village of Uttar Pradesh and revolves around the life of an inspector Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan) who stays with his mother (Dimple Kapadia), stepfather (Vinod Khanna) and dimwit stepbrother Makkhi (Arbaaz Khan). Chulbul is a street-smart cop who robs from the local thieves and gangsters and uses that money to help out people in need (including himself). Cheddi Singh (Sonu Sood) is a corrupt leader of the ruling political party’s youth division. Cheddi hates Chulbul’s guts and sees him as a roadblock to continuing his illegal activities in the village–which is right, because Chulbul wants to put an end to them. What happens when their paths cross and how everyone involved in Chulbul’s and Cheddi’s lives get sucked into their struggle to get the better of one another forms the crux of the story.

[ad#longpost]Salman Khan just rocks the movie: it’s his movie all the way through and HE DELIVERS. This will certainly count as one of his best performances of his career. And all the better, because just when one counts him out, thanks to the duds and crap movies which he has been a part off in the recent past, he comes back with a BANG. He is restrained for once, does not overact (other than some of the dance sequences, but which are thankfully enjoyable), and kudos to the first time director Abhinav Kashyap for ensuring it. One can see he thoroughly enjoyed playing the role and plays it perfectly. He has got the best one-liners and delivers them with the right attitude and ensures their perfect impact. He is great in the action sequences as well.

Sonakshi Sinha debuts as Rajo, Chulbul’s love interest in the movie, and has a small role–but she makes her presence felt in the little scope she has. Arbaaz Khan performs his role adequately. Veterans Dimple Kapadia, Vinod Khanna, Anupam Kher and Om Puri have their share of moments and do well. Mahie Gill is in a blink-and-miss-it role and plays Makkhi’s love interest: surely a step backward in her career. Sonu Sood as the villainous Cheddi is top class. He stands up to and matches Salman in all the fight sequences which adds to the intensity of the scenes.

Praise goes to Abhinav Kashyap, who got everything right as the director and co-writer. He gets the best from all, creates the desired call-back to the Hindi movies of the 70s and 80s, promises the audience loads of “over the top” action and masala entertainment then delivers all of it in style! The music is done by Sajid Wajid. There are a bunch of songs, placed at regular intervals, which will be a must for any masala entertainer. “Tere mast mast do nayan” is pleasing, and “Dabangg,” the item number “Munni Badnam” (with music by Lalit Pandit) and “Peeni hai” are enjoyable with excellent choreography. You get to see Salman at his witty best in all the songs.

And the action sequences! WOW! They are all excessive and dramatic but that’s why this movie was made in the first place. They are simply mind blowing! Salman’s introduction scene and the climax fight scene stand out. The background score suits the atmosphere of the movie and is superb and well used. This is to the Hindi film industry what movies like Grindhouse and Machete are to Hollywood.

Overall, this is an ode to the movies of the 1970-80s where the hero is actually a hero and can do anything and everything! It is an “actual masala movie” for the masses, and a good one at it! Above all, it has Salman at his best! If you are game for such a film–with loads of action, humour and excellent performances–this one is just for you!