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May 25, 2017 Thursday     

DangalAs a widely known fact DANGAL is based on the real life inspiring story of Mahavir Singh Phogat and his daughters Geeta and Babita, who after getting the initial training from their father became the international champions fighting against all odds of the society and the system together. Beginning with the training of two elder girls (out of four), the film largely focuses on Geeta, who became the first Indian woman to win a gold in 2010 Commonwealth Games (Wrestling) and the first Indian woman to qualify for the Olympics. Later, the younger Babita also won her gold at the Commonwealth Games making the family proud.   

For friends interested in reading more about it as a book, the authorized biography of Mahavir Singh Phogat is also available now titled AKHADA.

Made on a completely familiar format of an underdog winning it in the end (as always there in a sports movie), DANGAL still successfully manages to leave an impact due to many reasons. But first would like to describe how one feels while watching it in the theatre experiencing all natural performances.

First Half

DANGAL right away begins with one of the best scenes of the film where a fight is arranged between two government employees (former wresting champions) within the office itself. And the perfectly fitting commentary running in the backdrop (coming from an Olympic telecast on TV) makes it a well-directed sequence ensuring a fine film ahead.

The next 40 minutes introduce you to an extremely talented and exceptionally chosen cast led by Aamir Khan and Sakshi Tanwar transformed into a Haryanvi couple. But this particular part of the film truly belongs to the young girls (Zaira Wasim, Suhani Bhatnagar) and their thin funny cousin (Ritwik Sahore, narrating the story too), bringing in the much needed timely humour along with showcasing a very relevant social curse of a collective displeasure felt for a ‘girl child’ by the entire village.

For the ones looking for some electrifying filmy entertainment, there is not much of that happening in these initial 45 minutes but the film does hold you well (featuring the brilliant ‘Bapu Hanikarak’ song) and pulls you in through all believable real life characters building a very fine authentic environment of a small village of Haryana and its typical dialect. Especially because of the kids handled extremely well by director Nitesh Tiwari, (using his experience of CHIILAR PARTY and BHOOTHNATH RETURNS) the film begins to make an impression, but you also feel like missing the promised, electrifying entertainment putting it in honest words.

Thankfully the calm beginning ends with an introductory dangal of Geeta with another trained boy, which is a first for the entire region full of all male wrestlers. And the fight is complete winner followed by an equally energetic ‘Dhaakad’ track raising the excitement levels in the theater. The film takes a huge spirited leap from here onwards and the girls grow up as Fatima Sana Shaikh & Sanya Malhotra taking the baton forward like in an exciting relay race.

Next, post a few moments of dragging story progression we have the intermission (on another calm note like the beginning) and one truly feels like watching a good movie, superbly supported by all praise-worthy, well-chosen performers pointing towards the key issues of rural India and Indian Sports quite thoughtfully. However till here the surprise or novelty factor is still no-where to be found, which is always the USP of a new Aamir Khan film.

Second Half

Post interval, even the well written songs fail to make any mark and the slower pace gets picked up by the next best scene of the film, a brilliantly directed fight between the father and daughter with anger expressed beautifully by the two contestants.

Meanwhile SRK makes an entry through a DDLJ clip (a gimmick played) and the film shifts its attention towards another major issue in Indian Sports scenario dealing with the ‘Right or Wrong Coaching’ given to a player as per his or her individual capabilities.

Another silent phone sequence between the father and daughter excels like an emotional outburst and then comes the most important surprise element of the film. A masterstroke that clearly differentiates DANGAL from any other similar genre film in the past, beginning an entirely new game as soon as Aamir cuts off the phone and says “Main Aa Reha Han Patiala”.

From here onwards DANGAL picks up the gear and brings in a completely novel factor of ‘Parallel Coaching’ into the narration that simply makes you think about the annoying trauma actually felt by the real Mahavir Singh Phogat. The humour keeps flowing in through the one-liners assigned to the now grown-up cousin (lovingly played by Aparshakti Khurana). But without hiding the fact, it’s this ‘parallel coaching’ insertion in the film only, which in reality lifts DANGAL to much higher levels, otherwise till here it frankly remains a well-intentioned, realistically fine film, wonderfully supported by a splendid cast.

Adding to this finer edge, the writer-director (courageously) remain devoted towards the sport in the film’s final hour, resulting in one of those rare sport movies that even teaches you the basic rules, point system and the tricks of the game too in a quite detailed manner (surely deserving some extra brownie points without any doubt).

Predictable culmination and a feeling of deja-vu returns back again in the last 20 minutes (as always there in a sport based film). But unfortunately here one also gets to see an ages old filmy trap executed by a weak, caricature kind of villain, that surely could have been replaced with something not so clichéd maintaining the quality vision. In short this ‘old world’ finale trick can easily be called as the major unexpected downer contradicting with the film’s entire vision.

Having said that, the final round still effectively brings you onto the edge of your seats and you do feel immense proud watching the daughter running towards her so committed father, gifting him the precious gold medal won after the toughest fight. 

----------

Coming to the decisive section of the write-up, yes DANGAL is not entirely fresh or novel, compared to what you have already seen in SULTAN and SAALA KHADOOS released this year only. Yet it still moves way ahead than majority of sports movies made in India due to its following exceptional merits.. 

1. In DANGAL, director Nitesh Tiwari refuses to add anything just for the sake of entertainment which eventually turns the film into a highly authentic one wherein the characters are easily able to make an instant emotional connection with the viewers.

2. Even the songs are not added as some ‘required’ item numbers (as usual) and they take the story forward coming at the right moments namely, “Bapu Hanikarak” (written so well), “Dhaakad” and the powerful title song “Dangal Dangal” in the forceful voice of Daler Mehndi.

3. Set in rural Haryana (one of major regions (along Punjab) where the problem actually exists) the film talks about the brutal differentiation practiced with the girl child and beautifully depicts the same in a quite subtle yet highly effective manner in the first half. A fact that was not so skillfully represented in all the earlier films based on a similar premise. And yes daughters are not born to just get married after two decades as some kind of burden felt by the family. There can be much more there in their life apart from the timely marriage.  

4. DANGAL is also one of those rare sports movies which truly focuses on the game throughout and teaches its basic rules, tricks and finer moments too, which in turn helps the viewer to enjoy the match sequences and its various rounds even better.

5. Displaying a technical edge in terms of cinematography and background score, this turns out to be a true sports movie where the director and his cameraman are not interested in any gimmicks while shooting the competition sequences, but remain focused on the authenticity of the game (making a thorough research), without any unnecessary (over the top) glorification of their central character.

6. Probably for the first time, an Indian sports movie actually brings forward the issue of ‘Right and Wrong Coaching’ by the questionably appointed trainers for the contesting candidates. The film strongly points towards the fact that A WIN largely depends upon the quality of coaching too that needs to be given to the potential players as per their individual strengths and weaknesses. A basic point of common sense that essentially has to be there in every sport training program and selection procedure (not properly followed in our flawed and biased system).

7. Related to the above point, the writer-director play one masterstroke 30 minutes post the intermission dealing with ‘the conflicting parallel coaching’ by the talented father, bringing in the novelty, proving the film to be much maturely written, performed and executed compared to all the recent similar ones.

8. Lastly but most importantly, DANGAL becomes DANGAL because of its exceptionally perfect casting by Mukesh Chhabra bringing in many fresh faces including the young kids and girls who perform outstandingly standing in front of an actor like Aamir Khan. Particularly Zaira Wasim is an absolute natural and a delight to watch as the young Geeta and Fatima Sana Shaikh is just perfect playing the older Geeta in the major competitions. Both Suhani and Sanya (as Babita) touch your heart standing at the back and so does Sakshi Tanwar playing the mostly silent supportive mother in her few scenes.

Above all, Aamir Khan once again reminds you of the effort, preparation and the transformation he goes for in his every new film with an amazing commitment. And I seriously doubt someday one might think of writing a book on his various avatars in films like LAGAAN, GHAJINI, MANGAL PANDEY, RANG DE BASANTI, TAARE ZAMEEN PAR, 3 IDIOTS, PK, DANGAL and the upcoming ventures. (Interestingly the other similar idea stuck in my mind since years is of someone trying a book on the various get-ups of PRAN in his many films). Anyway, as always, there was no Aamir Khan to be found in DANGAL but only his character Mahavir Phogat on screen throughout the 160 minutes and I honestly could only find the ‘unusual ears’ reminding me of the actor Aamir Khan in some key sequences.

Summing up, it’s the casting, performances and the masterstroke played in the second half that raises the bar in DANGAL which otherwise might not be considered as any classic, masterpiece venture by many like-minded friends (including myself). The film has its weaker moments and a familiar set-up too coming after a series of similar genre films released in the last two years, but a worth watching movie for sure for its much stronger merits and the unique, novel features mentioned above.

However the one debate, DANGAL leaves you with….. is the choice between two kinds of father (or parents) you would like to be in your personal life.

One, who wishes and forces his kids to become and achieve what he couldn’t achieve for various reasons in his own prime time.
OR
The other, who imposes nothing of that sort on his kids and let them be what they wish to be, walking along as an experienced guiding friend on their own chosen path.

With due respect, loving regards and a big salute to Sh. Mahavir Phogat, I would personally like to be the second father. Cannot say what the majority of readers here would like to be!

Rating : 3.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for the much appreciable perfect casting)

LESS – 1 for the 'Shameless Increase In Ticket Prices' for which no STAR seems to be concerned at all including the producer-actor Aamir Khan, who could have easily taken the lead continuing his social drive of SATYAMEV JAYATE.

NET RATING : 3 / 5

(with a hope that this Multiplex Mafia, Industry and Government together would soon look into the price issue and save the theater experience fast slipping away from the reach of the common man.)

Tags : Dangal Review by Bobby Sing, Dangal Film Review by Bobby Sing, Hindi Sports Movie, Indian Sports movie inspired by real life heroes, Biographical Sports Movies of India, Film on Mahavir Phogat, Hindi film on Wrestling, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Real Life Inspired Hindi Biographical Films
 
 
23 December 2016 / bobbysing /
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Clearing the doubts first, this cannot be considered as a Shah Rukh Khan film to be honest as he has just two scenes before the intermission and then makes an extended cameo kind of appearance in the second half providing the much needed support. Playing a psychiatrist, he decently performs his assigned role (except a few hamming scenes) but the film entirely belongs to Alia Bhatt, who once again proves the fact that she is far ahead than her contemporaries when it comes to portray such difficult roles.
However what sadly doesn’t compliment the two lead performers is the film itself with a tediously repetitive writing, a surprisingly boring execution, uninspiring preaching, over the top supporting acts and lackluster music, unnecessarily promoting the film with two poor versions of an immortal cult song without any purpose as such.
In addition, where Alia strongly reminds you of her much superior performance in Imtiaz Ali’s HIGHWAY, writer-director Gauri Shinde also keeps trying to be in Imtiaz Ali’s shoes throughout, delivering an immature and wannabe kind of film shattering the big expectations. With a much appreciable film like ENGLISH VINGLISH to her credit, I personally didn’t expect her to imitate Imtiaz in such a hushed up and unripe manner. In fact DEAR ZINDAGI clearly reveals the huge difference in both the ‘vision & execution’ as where Imtiaz extracted a brilliant performance from Alia in a similar role in his HIGHWAY, Shinde simply fails to create any magic directing the same energetic girl even when she tries to deliver an earnest and highly spirited, sparkling performance to her level best.
With the writing proving as the biggest culprit once again, Alia doesn’t get any major help from her rest of the cast too with only Yashaswani & Ira Dubey coming up with their marginally noticeable acts. Otherwise the actors playing the family members remain far away from being natural (to the extent of irritating) and both Kunal Kapoor and Ali Zafar get nothing much to do in their few scenes. Frankly Ali Zafar’s songs with some catchy phrases turn out to be the only thing to be appreciated among these unimportant cameos.
In reality the main problem with DEAR ZINDAGI is that despite talking about everything right accompanied by a superfine leading act, it still fails to reach your heart like a technically well phrased poem without any touching and emotional soul. The writer-director remains confused throughout and so does her characters who keep contradicting themselves with each new story development. And I really cannot understand why ‘breakup’ is becoming the latest focus of Hindi film directors instead of the eternal love.
For instance, at one end Alia portrays herself as a confident free soul with no emotional baggage, but on the other she quickly gets serious with the same person with whom she had slept having a casual one night stand. Moreover, even after getting treated by a psychiatrist, she still acts the same meeting a new charming man complimenting her in the finale sequence, refusing to learn from her earlier experiences of life behaving like a kid. Besides falling back to the same old clichéd twist, she even falls for her charming doctor too which was the most predictable insertion amongst all, not really expected from the talented director of ENGLISH VINGLISH.
As per my personal opinion, Shinde surely wanted to make a thought provoking film following the footsteps of Imtiaz Ali close to his HIGHWAY and TAMASHA. But at the same time didn’t wish to make it too heavy for the viewers, directing it with a clearly visible dilemma in many key sequences. As a result, a tiringly long DEAR ZINDAGI keeps hanging in the mid and delivers nothing close to what was being expected from the director and the unusual pairing of Shah Rukh and Alia. Moreover the last badly shot short film shown in the end truly didn’t look like anything related to a Gauri Shinde film at all.
The soundtrack once again has the same old issue featuring some fine lyrics but unappealing compositions and renditions not up to the mark. And it was really strange to find that Shinde recorded two lousy versions of the cult song 'Aye Zindagi Gale Laga Le’ too when she had no intentions to use it within the film itself. Perhaps it was only done to grab some instant attention in the media making an awful noise.
In the technical department, both cinematography and background score fail to catch any attention amongst the boring progression and I found the Censors posing as a funny incapable teacher too muting out the word ‘slut’, when almost everyone in theatre could easily make out what was being spoken in the gaps.
In all DEAR ZINDAGI is an overstretched, highly disappointing film from the director of ENGLISH VINGLISH which can only be seen for Alia alone and nothing else.
Rating : 2 / 5
Interestingly Demonetization in the country forced the multiplexes to lower their prices in the last two weeks, which they again shamefully increased with the release of DEAR ZINDAGI this Friday. But neither the stars nor the makers along with the public seem to be concerned over this visible loot being made by the multiplex mafia.
Anyway the film still deserves ‘a minus one’ for the unrequired, awful versions of the cult Illayaraja song “Aye Zindagi Gale Laga Le”, when the makers could have easily used the original avoiding the pathetic damage.
Final Ratings : 2-1 = 1 / 5
(Post Release it was reported that the entire theme and characters of the film had some big similarities with Canadian TV Series BEING ERICA)

For more details check the link HERE
Tags : Dear Zindagi Film Review by Bobby Sing, Dear Zindagi Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Everyone wishes to be Imtiaz Ali, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
 
 
25 November 2016 / bobbysing /
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We obviously don’t expect a crime thriller showcasing some solid (logical) investigations revolving around a celebrity kidnap in a film directed and enacted by Dhawan brothers. But we truly expect a complete entertainer with many enjoyable moments, funny dialogues and good songs in the two hours bought for a ticket, which sadly isn’t there in Rohit Dhawan’s DISHOOM shouting out loud in its wide-spread promotional campaigns run over the entire media.
Beginning and ending with two songs specially made as ‘attention seeker’ item numbers to be used for promoting the film, DISHOOM keeps going at a fast pace adding one absurd sequence over the other right till its weird climax. And getting the much needed support from cameos played by Mahender Amarnath (as the manager/coach), Akshay Kumar (as a gay), Nargis Fakhri (showing off her assets), Parineeti Chopra (in an promotional song) and Satish Kaushik (as the voice on the phone), the film fails to offer even one worth mentioning sequence that can be called thoroughly entertaining or enjoyable as per the promises made.
So we have absurdity clearly visible in the lady politician (resembling the persona of Sushma Swaraj), the decision makers in the cricket authorities, the dislocating shoulder, the kidnapper videos (with Urdu subtitles), forcibly written dialogues and the manner in which two cop-buddies go on investigating the missing Indian batsman taking along a girl (Jacqueline) who is a petty thief. Where the first hour still has some moments providing the ‘hard to find’ entertainment, the second half treats the viewers as granted and goes on inserting many more weird elements of childish humour into the film featuring a dog, lions and an Afghani/Arabian kind of city too hosting the third item number of the film added just for nothing.
The music is a letdown from the ‘hit machine’- Pritam except a catchy key phrase ‘Sau Tarah Ke’ and the picturisation of “Jaaneman Aah” straight away reminds you the way David Dhawan used to have songs like ‘Sarkaye Lo Khatiya’ in his films with all those Oooos, Aaaahs and suggestible postures. The background score and cinematography remains unable to lift up the film made on a pretty ordinary or rather pathetic (predictable) storyline, vaguely trying to include patriotic flavor towards the end quite desperately.
In the performances, where Varun tries his best to evoke some timely laughter, I really didn’t find John acting in even a single scene and also couldn’t spot the merit Akshaye Khanna found in the film’s script selecting it for his comeback after a long gap. In short, it seems as if fast-pace was the only thing Rohit and his writers were concerned about while making the film. But frankly that isn’t anything for which this poor and casually made product can be recommended for.
Rating : 1 / 5 (and that too for the visual richness and the funny cameo of Akshay Kumar- which was actually a clearly forced one too.)
[Note : Where the film follows the hit format of cop-buddies as earlier seen in BAD BOYS, LETHAL WEAPON and more English films series, one of the film’s poster has some acute similarities with the poster of Robert Downey Jr.’s DUE DATE (2010)]
Tags : Dishoom Review by Bobby Sing, Dishoom Movies Review by Bobby Sing, Inspired Posters, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
 
 
29 July 2016 / bobbysing /
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