Bollywood-born Robinhood, Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan) is capable of crying but still masculine to the core, in true Hindi cinema style. And did anyone say 'fear'? That is certainly a concept unknown to this 'Dabangg' hero (I can still hear a trail of ladies sighing as they come out of the cinema hall).
Cop... lover... rebel Chulbul happens to lose his attachment to family in his childhood when his widowed mother, Naini (Dimple Kapadia), marries Prajapati Pandey (Vinod Khanna), with whom she has son Makhanchan (Arbaaz Khan). Chulbul will only find the worth of family ties later down the line, once he meets and decides to marry exquisite Rajo (Sonakshi Sinha).
Pure masala is not usually my cup of tea as I often suffer from Western-cinema-viewer's syndrome. However, 'Dabangg' had me cracking up from the very first action scene and grooving to its fantabulous soundtrack (by Sajid-Wajid). Salman's mass appeal and power is absolutely undisputable in this film, where he rules the screen non-stop, surely getting cinemas packed with his cool macho quotient, comic timing and spot-on performance.
Abhinav Kahsyap directs a mad roller coaster of emotion, action, romance and almost every other genre he wanted to explore in 'Dabangg' making it a hardcore masala that is evocative of 70s Bolly/Tollywood flicks while managing to throw some truly slick action effects for a more modern experience. "Where did the script go?" some may wonder. And we reply: "Who cares?!". Salman Khan is so brilliant at playing his character that it becomes difficult to tease them both apart. Hats off to Khan, who indeed truly becomes not only Chulbul Pandey - the man who can grab the sun in his hand - but also single-handedly succeeds in INCARNATING the entire film!
Sonakshi Sinha is paired as Salman's love interest and can set the screen ablaze with her eyes, proving that she is a promising actress whom we look forward to seeing more of soon. Senior actors such as Anupam Kher, Om Puri, Dimple Kapadia and Vinod Khanna are of course always a pleasure to watch. However, with 'Dabangg' one should not expect a meaningful film with complex roles that may bring their deepest talent to the fore.
All this said, go ahead: get that ticket, sit back and don't forget to put on your seatbelt. The 'Dabangg' ride is not mind-stimulating but it sure can entertain the wits out of many an audience. Expect vintage masala, a Dharmendra-like climax and lots of 'Matrix' type action with smart alecky lines brilliantly delivered by Salman Khan and you will be ready for a delirious and fun ride.
Director: Abhinav Kashyap
Producer: Arbaaz Khan
Banner: Shri Ashtavinayak Cine Visions
Music Director: Sajid-Wajid
Lyricist: Jalees Sherwani, Faiz Anwar and Lalit Pandit
Cast: Salman Khan, Sonu Sood, Sonakshi Sinha, Arbaaz Khan, Mahie Gill, Vinod Khanna, Dimple Kapadia, Om Puri, Anupam Kher, Tinnu Anand, Mahesh Manjrekar, Amitosh Nagpal, Murli Sharma
Dabangg official website
Buy the 'Dabangg' soundtrack