Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Celebrating Dabangg

At first, it might sound surprising that Dabangg is still running houseful and after a little less than two weeks since its premiere, it's still not easy to get tickets. But once you watch the movie, you'll know.

Dabangg mainly caters to the front benchers, and God knows there are plenty of those in India. But what really helps Dabangg is its simplicity. Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan) is a cop in a small town in Uttar Pradesh. He's street smart, practical and devious in his own way, with shades of grey but also has a heart. There is a baddie who goes about his extortion and illegal business. As Chulbul goes about punishing small time criminals, before laying hands on the big baddie, he falls for a damsel, marries her, at the same time fighting fires in his own backyard.  

Dabangg entertains; there's no doubt about it. It's classic old school Bollywood at its best. It celebrates Bollywood. Not necessarily the kind I subscribe to, but atleast it's great time pass. The story is okay, the movie is no cinematic excellence. It's not something that we can showcase to the international audience. But then, who cares? The movie caters to the quintessential Bollywood fan and it doesn't disappoint. There's romance, action, dance. And then ofcourse, there's Salman Khan. Plenty of him; he's all over the movie. He's beating up the baddies, he's singing, dancing, mouthing dialogues like he's never mouthed them before and as if that is not enough- especially for Salman fans- his bare chest with (believe it or not) his shirt ripping apart and flying away as he flexes his muscles in the climax before delivering the final punch to the chief villain. Don't  ask me for logic; it's all happening.

And oh, speaking of action, they might at first seem a novelty in Bollywood in the way that they are intelligently crafted, choreographed and executed, seem to be influenced by southern flicks- Rajnikant types- and also very loosely lifted from the Sherlock Holmes (2009).

Dabangg is not for you if are looking for a great plot and want to tax your brains, trying to solve some mystery. It's a mass entertainer. The story is well told and is backed by a good script, but a weak story. As the front bencher would say; paisa vasool. Go watch it, once.

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