DANGAL Movie Review : Why You Should NOT Miss This One !

There are  good films , bad films , average films , classics, masterpieces and then there is Dangal … Its a movie that not only inspires and motivates you as an individual but also entertains you with clean humour and terrific dialogues which is quite a rare combination when it comes to biopics .. Dangal is one such movie which is a must watch for everyone irrespective of whether you are a fan or not .. Its a movie where you can just see the characters going through their emotions and not once you are reminded of the actor playing them ..

Dangal is Not only best film of the year but also best sports film ever made in bollywood so far .. And simple reason for it is because its not just a sports movie but also a move on father-daughter’s relation and the different layers of emotions they go through in their life with sports as the backdrop which makes the movie so special …At times I felt so pissed off with Mahavir for forcing his daughters into wrestling and almost torturning them but then as the movie went on , I realised his reasons and today we got a Geeta Phogat for our country thanks to her Hanikarak bapu Mahavir Phogat ..Its easy to root for a hero who is picture perfect but its extremely difficult to understand a grey shaded character like Mahavir Phogat as u will never root for such a person but when you see his daughters today , you just admire and thank him for giving us such gems .. thats where Dangal scores for me over other sports films as it had many layers and emotions involved too which can b discussed and debated

I went to my nearby theatre which had all 40-45 shows housefull this Sunday and while watching the movie in a packed theatre , I could see the live audience reaction when they burst out either laughing for the hilarious story telling of Mahavir’s nephew Omkar or cheering for Geeta-Babita when they fight the boys in their first Dangal or getting emotional during the father-daughter wrestling scene where the father looses to his daughter and realises he has become old while his daughter has drifted away to his new couch or standing up for the national anthem during the climax of the movie with respect and admiration towards the movie … These reactions in theatre are enough to conclude that the movie has blockbuster written all over it since the audience including myself could not only connect with every single scene and emotions that the characters go through in the movie but could also feel it very well ..

There have been lot of biopics and sports movies in the past too but what sets Dangal different from the rest is the way it wonderfully balances out the entertainment factor and the technicality of the particular sport to perfection , thus keeping a balance of both and making sure in the end it remains a commertial cinema which the audience can enjoy during the festive period …Aamir’s movies are always known for good humour like in 3 Idiots we are always reminded of the classic Chatur and the famous Pricetag , similarly in Dangal , we will remember the famous nephew of Mahavir Phogat who brings in all the humour as he goes onto narrate the story of a hitler father and their 2 daughters in his own witty style which is one of the best part of the movie , that is the story telling and unique idea of narrating the whole journey of 2 wrestlers and their Hanikarak bapu …We cant stop laughing remembering the 3 idiots scene where Chatur gives the chamatkari speech , similarly in Dangal we cant stop laughing when Aamir’s character Mahavir demonstrates the scoring technicalities of a wrestling match to his daughters and while doing so he asks his nephew to come for the demo and then he shows his daughters how to score 1 , 2 or 3 points during a wrestling match by wrestling with that poor fellow (his nephew) who dunno abcd of wrestling , in the end when Mahavir goes onto show how to score 5 points with one move where one need to lift the opponent in air and twirl him in rainbow style on the gorund , hearing this his nephew who already got too many dhobi pachads from his Tau , runs away in fear and seeing this scene the entire theatre were in splits .. This Scene not only brings smile to everyone’s face with the humour element but makes sure public who are unaware about wrestling , also gets to know everything about the sport but without making it preachy and this is where Dangal scores… Every scene has a beautiful combination of entertainment along with the story telling and technical knowledge about the sport without being preachy or too serious and this is where movie gets the repeat value too ..

Lot of sports movies or biopics try to to give God-like image to the hero especially if the hero is a Khan , but this is where Dangal again stands out as not once the actor overpowers the character  ; Mahavir phogat was suppose to be a grey-shaded character , as the song suggests a hanikarak bapu who is as strict as a hitler when it comes to nurturing his dream and ruthlessly training his daughters which to some extent even makes him selfish as one will question how can a father force his daughters into something just to fulfill his own dreams , but not once movie tried to justify his ways ; There were no such scenes of sympathy shown for the character as he is suppose to be the hitler father for his daughters and so the director or the writer never tried to justify his actions by forcing any sort of melodrama ; Aamir as Mahavir in the movie himself says “I can either be a father or a coach , but cannot b both at the same time ” , he says this when as a father he feels bad for his daughters seeing them so tired and even goes onto press their legs while they r fast asleep which I feel is a beautiful emotional moment but in the next minute he realises that he need to control those emotions of a father and become a tough coach if he had to succeed in nurturing his daughters into successful wrestlers ; Later the daughters themselves realise why their father is doing what he is doing after they see a minor girl forced into marriage  ; As kids many times we dont realise what exactly we want to do in life and its our parents who show us the direction after discovering our hidden talent  ; In the movie Mahavir does the same after he sees his daughters are capable of beating up their school boys that is self-defence if they dare any sort of eve-teasing ; As a father he discovers their hidden talent and also sees this as a means to fulfill his dream of winning gold for the country via his daughters.. Does this make Mahavir phogat selfish ?? Its debatable because if he wasn’t selfish , then probably Geeta and Babita in real world would have been married off today at the age of 15-16 like any other girl of Haryana during the 90s era instead of winning golds for our country today .. Movie just shows every coin has two sides in a beautiful manner ..

Most biopics are focussed just on one man and thats the main hero or the heroine of the movie but Dangal is based on the journey of an ensemble cast which consists of a father who can go to any extent to nurture his daughters into successful wrestlers , two daughters Geeta and Babita who slowly go onto become a revelation in the field of wrestling fighting all the hurdles and their inner weakness , a wife who silently lends support to her husband but not afraid to raise her voice and confront her husband when she sees anything unfair towards her daughters ..In short Its the journey of this Phogat family and hats off to Aamir for not once taking away the limelight from the two central female characters of the movie ; In fact the entire climax is  rest on the shoulder of Geeta phogat played brilliantly by Fatima Sheikh as she plays her gold medal match without her father’s presense in the final round and she remembers her father’s seekh given to her in childhood that not always he will be there to guide her , so its important to always have belief in your inner strength when your loved ones are not there with you ; How many actors just gift away the entire climax to a newcomer while himself taking the back seat  , well Aamir does that in Dangal successfully as Fatima playing Geeta Phogat shines here with her extra ordinary act , expressive eyes , outstanding wrestling moves , u cannot make out that she is not a professional wrestler at all  and sheer confidence in her body language thus giving us one of the best  talent to the film industry this year ..


A movie is nothing without one memorable scene that people will remember in years to come .. Dangal has not one but many such memorable scenes which people will definitely cherish and remember in the years to come .. Some of them are ..

1) Wrestling scene between an angry father and daughter as the daughter mocks her father’s old skills of teaching now that she got a new modern coach and in anger father challenges the daughter for a wrestling bout between the two ..In the end Geeta in anger shows her superior moves by defeating her father Mahavir and assumes he lost because of her modern techniques but his other daughter Babita realises the reason why he lost (because of his old age )and feels for her father  ..those emotions r never seen before..Aamir was brilliant here with his expressions of feeling defeated in the eyes of his daughter not because he lost to her but because he realises his daughter has drifted away from him

2) Scene where Mahavir phogat massages his daughter’s tired legs and feels emotional as a father but then realises that he can either b a coach or a father to them but not both as it will make him weak .. This scene will definitely moist the eyes of every father and daughter while watching it ..

3) Climax scene when Mahavir is locked in a room and does not realise Geeta won but realises when the national anthem is played ..That brilliant silent act of Aamir expressing ecstaticness will surely melt your hearts here..Most films would have converted the hero into a superhero breaking the door and running to see his daughter’s match but thats where Dangal scores again ; He tries to break open the door but fails to do so because he is a 60 yr old man and just helplessly waits there in anticipation for the result ..Very real ..

4) Training Scenes in the first half when Mahavir Phogat becomes Hanikarak bapu for his daughters .. Training scenes look real and very authentic ..Exactly how wrestlers are trained from childhood ..

5) Geeta’s first match with a boy in front of crowd .. Zaira playing young Geeta was simply fab here ..

6) Scene where Mahavir explains the technicalities and scoring points in wrestling to his daughters and while doing so uses his newphew Omkar for demonstration by trying all the scoring moves on him ..One of the best comic scene in recent time where the characters are all serious but the audience will be in splits ..

7) Scene when Geeta is playing her first Common wealth match and Mahavir shouts from the crowd “Haarna nahin hai Geet” and then the confident look she gives .. winning moment for the movie ..

8) Climax scene when Geeta remembers how her father in childhood pushed her in water during one of the training session and asked her to come up on her own because not always her father will be there to protect her ; While remembering it , she makes the final move on her opponent using her own presense of mind in absense of her father from the stadium and wins the gold ..It takes guts to give the main climax to a newcomer and hv faith in her to carry it on her shoulders , only Aamir can hv such guts and pass with flying colors ..Fatima as Geeta nailed the scene too ..

9) Scene when Mahavir decides to cut Geeta and Babita’s hair while they are screaming and pleading not to do so..U feel anger for the father and thankfully makers dint try to create any sympathy for the father either just because he is Aamir Khan .. Brutally honest and real ..

10) Silent Telephone Convo between father and daughter where both dont say a word but the emotions were clearly visible in their tears with Geeta saying just one word “sorry” to her father which will definitely bring tears of joy to your eyes ..Aamir and Fatima once again nailed the scene ..

Apart from these 10 memorable scenes , every single song stands out in the movie whether its the Dangal title track sung by Daler Mehndi which just pumps you up whenever it plays in the background or the brilliant Dhakkad song which is all about girl power or the tender Gilehri song which is about the girl discovering herself or the Hanikarak bapu song which is peppy and funny at the same time or the emotional Naina song which will definitely bring some tears in your naina when it palys in the background after Mahavir leaves his daughter in NSA ..When was the last time , a move on sports had such beautiful songs ? ..Again Dangal stands out in this department ..

Dangal

Coming to the performances , it was not just a Aamir Khan movie but a movie where every single actor has given award winning performances ..It has got one of the best ensemble cast in recent years ..

Talking about Aamir Khan’s performance  how does this man just does it again and again  ..how can he be so damn peefect ..I wont even exaggerate if I say this is his best performance till date because he was not really a hero in this movie but a character who had different shades to portray and he just nailed it all ..Not to forget his amazing body transformation from a 30 yr old to a 60 yr old ..

Coming to the girls Zaira and Fatima playing young and elder Geeta phogat respectively , both deserve best newcomer award hands down ..What superlative performance by both the girls ..Very natural , fearless and spontaneous ..Both girls are definitely to stay here ..It takes guts to give the main climax to a newcomer and have faith in her to carry it on her shoulders , only Aamir can hv such guts and pass with flying colors as Fatima dint let him down ..She actually outshines Aamir in many scenes which is nothing sort of a big achievement for the girl ..

Sakshi Tanwar as Aamir’s wife is a pleasure to watch ..She is a complete natural ..Has limited screen presense but she makes her presense felt as the mother and wife both ..

Guy playing Aamir’s nephew might just go on to win some best supporting actor awards as he was brilliant in the role of a funny narrator and cousin of Geeta-Babita  ..

Direction was brilliant and so was the editing and camerawork ..Those wrestling matches look so real..no vfx nothing..how on earth those girls did it..how how ..no wonder Aamir took 2 yrs to make this Movie ..the training ,hard work everything  is so damn visible in the movie by every single actor  ..It might go onto win few national awards too ..

Every movie has its fair share of flaws too but a movie like Dangal is so beautifully made that even the flaws can be overlooked .. Some of the flaws that I felt during the coarse of the movie are ..

1) I wish Babita’s Commonwealth matches were shown too instead of limiting her screen presense to just being a spectator in the climax ..I wanted to see how Babita went onto win her silver medal too ..Mayb movie would have become 30 mins long then but I dont think the audience would mind it here ..So yes thats one of my issue with the movie

2) I am not sure if showing Geeta’s coach as slightly negative was a fact or just for the sake of drama ..Mayb it could have been avoided especially the pre-climax when he locks Mahavir making sure he cannot see Geeta’s final match out of jealousy ..Main purpose was to show how Geeta wins it without any guidance from her father but to do so , they could have brought in some other twist instead of locking up Mahavir ji ..

But above 2 flaws can be overlooked because rest of the movie is simply flawless ..

Overall my rating will b 5/5 simply because its a complete movie with great performances , amazing screenplay and writing , wonderful use of the ensemble cast , brilliant dialogues , amazing background score & music and first rate performances by everyone .. Its certainly the movie of the year and will go down as one of the best sports movie bollywood has ever made in the years to come .

 

– Gagori Chatterjee

 

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