Dangal (2016) Movie Review
An official biopic with layers of dramatic emotions and sportsman spirit based on the life of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his victorious daughters Dangal is a definite treat for the viewers. [Read: Befikre (2016) Movie Review ]
Director: Nitesh Tiwari
Cast: Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sakshi Tanwar, Suhani Bhatnagar, Saniya Malhotra, Aparshakti Khurana, Shishir Sharma, Girish Kulkarni, Vivaan Bathena. [Read: Incarnate (2016 Horror – Thriller) Movie Review ]
The movie Dangal begins with the age old patriarchal norms our society has been subjected to wherein birth of a girl child is not considered a celebration, instead you have a woman apologising to her husband for not bearing a male child to him. After fathering four daughters, former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat( Aamir Khan) loses all hope of reliving his aborted dream of winning an international gold in wrestling. Within a short span his first born Geeta shows unmatchable grit and determination to plunge into wrestling, an arena which is dominated by men. Phogat faces all odds from the chauvinistic society and ensures his first two daughters go through rigorous ( at times painstakingly tedious) training to get headstrong into the wrestling ring at national level. [Read: Ventilator (2016) Movie Review – Marathi Film ]
Dangal follows the rise and fall and eventual meteoric victory of Geeta Phogat( Fatima Sana Shaikh) which is passionately backed by her disciplined and supportive father.
Director Nitesh Tiwari has a clear winner in the form of Dangal which has the essential Bollywood ingredients like Heavy duty Emotional scenes, Humour ( not slapstick) and loads of action( strictly on the sports field). [Read: Kahaani 2 (2016) Movie Review]
On the acting front Aamir Khan gets into the skin of Phogat making it more believable & relatable. His transformation with the time leap is well justified by his weight gain & change in posture. While his contemporaries are defying their age romancing teenage starlets, this perfectionist of an actor plays his age and father of the heroine. Fatima Sana Shaikh who played the irritating child in Chachi 420 (1997) is a delight to watch as Geeta Phogat. She is remarkable & performs with a lot of confidence & zest.
With due respect to Girish Kulkarni somehow he is unable to convey the pessimism required in his portrayal of the egoistic and opportunistic Coach. Sakshi Tanwar plays her supportive mother’s role with a lot of sensitivity & vulnerability. The most likeable performance is delivered by Aparshakti Khurana as Geeta’s comical cousin. [Read: A Flying Jatt (2016) Movie Review ]
Story / Screenplay/ Dialogues of Dangal are undoubtedly first rate, the Music a major letdown barring the title song & Bapu Sehat ke liye. Editing definitely needed attention considering in an era of movies with running time not exceeding 120 minutes this one stretches to a whole 161 minutes long which could’ve easily been trimmed.
Overall Dangal is a must watch for its brilliant direction, Outstanding performances & a strong message promoting gender equality. Inspite of a longer duration & an predictable climax the movie doesn’t disappoint.