The sibling factor in Bollywood in a particular aspect of film making is not a new phenomenon. The sibling pair of Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle in the Bollywood musical arena is by far the most successful; in the acting arena, we have numerous examples of which the Karishma-Kareena sister pair, the Khan brothers (Salman and Arbaaz), the Deol brothers (Sunny and Bobby), the Khanna brothers (Rahul and Akshaye) and the brother-sister team of Saif and Soha are better known. In the directorial arena we have two brother-sister teams: Farah Khan and Sajid Khan; Farhan and Zoya Akthar and till DABANGG came on the scene, there were no two brothers who wielded both the megaphone and the pen. Anurag Kashyap is well known for his critically acclaimed works such as BLACK FRIDAY and DEV D and his younger brother Abhinav Kashyap has entered the directorial arena with DABANGG which is also co-authored by him. And as the name of the movie as spelled in English seems to suggest, Abhinav has arrived with a BANG!
DABANGG which means fearless has all the necessary ingredients to make it a remarkable commercial success; in fact it perhaps will be the biggest hit of 2010 for Bollywood. Were it not for the impending release of Shankar’s tri-lingual Rajnikanth-Aishwarya starrer THE ROBOT, which is also expected to be a huge hit, DABANGG could easily become the biggest hit amongst all the Indian movies in 2010.
DABANGG has a pace which is unrelenting; it is difficult to get bored even if you know which way the story is headed. It has just the minimal element of crudity and vulgarity to make sure that there is the appeal to the front benchers without shooing away the families; it has a theme based on the eternally successful formula of revenge and avenging of all the bad deeds by the villain (played by Sonu Sood, whose six-pack structure could give an inferiority complex to the other villains); an item number by Malaika Arora Khan with raunchy lyrics (did the age-old Indian home remedy for colds and fever Zandu Balm sponsor this?); a honeymoon sequence in Dubai to appease the Middle East market; a new and fresh and pretty face sported by debutante Sonakshi Sinha (Shatrughan Sinha’s daughter); a set of oldies like Aupam Kher, Dimple Kapadia, Vinod Khanna and Om Puri to appease the older generation (although it was tragic to see a thespian like Om Puri play such a inconsequential and mediocre part) and power packed one-liners.
But you could have all the above and it would have just made up just about one-fifth of what DABANGG is as an offering. And the remaining four-fifths is what Salman Khan has contributed to the movie. Playing the role of a Robin Hood type of cop as Chulbul Pandey in a small town of Uttar Pradesh, Salman Khan excels in the role which seems to have been tailor written for him when he unleashes his dialogues, creates a new pelvic movement in his dances, swirls his dark glasses to place them on the collar at the back of his neck, when he is raining blows on the bad boys and of course when he displays his bare chest! The scene in which his shirt begins to rip at several places in response to the bulging of his muscles caused by his anger is a must watch for all hard core Salman fans.
Arbaaz Khan, who has produced this movie, must be laughing all his way to the bank, despite putting up the most pathetic performance in the movie as Salman’s step-brother. The movie could have done with lesser make up for Sonakshi, and the elimination of the Dubai shots and the crudities, but as long as the cash registers are ringing, who cares?