First things First: The last Bollywood release of 2016 comes first! If you are interested to know why, read on. Otherwise, just go to the nearest movie house screening DANGAL and watch it.
In the true tradition of movies produced by Aamir Khan, DANGAL, co-produced by UTV and Disney, comes to us in the last weeks of the calendar year. And manages to sweep you off your feet; it could well be Aamir’s best effort till date.
Bollywood biopics about sports personalities have begun to hold audience interest, ever since SRK’s CHAK DE INDIA started this phenomenon in 2007 and won for him, deservingly, the best actor award on a few platforms. After that, we had well-made productions like PAAN SINGH TOMAR (Irrfan Khan) in 2010 and BHAG MILKHA BHAG in 2013 featuring athletics champions, and MARY KOM (Priyanka Chopra) in 2014 on Boxing. And 2016 has brought in a flood of such movies: the very average AZHAR, the not commercially successful BUDHIA SINGH: BORN TO RUN about the world’s youngest marathon runner, M S DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY and now, DANGAL.
Curiously, DANGAL’s biggest appeal comes from its total lack of star filled glamour. And even the star Aamir Khan has deglamorized himself by putting on 30 kilograms of flab to play the role of the ageing Mahavir Singh Phogat who successfully created wrestling champions out of his two daughters, Geeta and Babita. It is not merely the story which is inspirational; not also just the fact that it celebrates the victory of two girls from Haryana, where the birth of girls isn’t greeted with much joy, like in many other places in our country. It is in the virtually flawless execution that DANGAL scores. The credit for this goes to the director Nitesh Tiwari, whose earlier effort was an ordinary BHOOTHNATH RETURNS. Nitesh who has co-scripted the presentation, has re-created the ethos permeating the real life saga in such a faithful and entertaining manner, that you don’t actually mind the 160 minutes running time of the movie. The narration is linear and simple and will therefore appeal to all audiences. Of course, such a creation wouldn’t have been possible without the actors. It is difficult to say as to who has acted better: whether it is Aamir Khan or the equally brilliant performance by Fatima Sana Shaikh as Geeta. Even the child artistes who have played the role of Geeta and Babita are superb.
Pritam’s music matches the tempo of the skillful editing (particularly of the wrestling sequences); and the “Bapuji Haanikarak” lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharyya is an example of how humour can be woven in even a serious biopic.
And on the topic of humour, if anyone is considering a biopic on Priyanka Gandhi, one doesn’t have to look around for an actress to play that role. Fatima Sana Shaikh is an exact look-alike!
RATING: 4.5 out of 5
December 23rd, 2016