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Posted by   on September 10th, 2010

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For anybody who wants to know what is the on-screen definition of Bollywood (read popular
mainstream Hindi cinema), Dabangg is truly text book fare. It¶s loud, crazy, zany, exaggerated,
larger-than-life, almost nonsensical, totally make-believe, comic book like, complete kitsch,
generously peppered with the mandatory desi tadka (garnishing) of songs and dances that keep
popping out of nowhere and is literally oozing with star charisma. Most importantly, it¶s not
meant to make sense. It¶s only meant to entertain. And entertain, it does in overdoses. No, this
isn¶t meant for people who are looking for different cinema. Nor is it meant for the viewer who
likes movies to appeal to his head. Yet, for those who celebrate and serenade the `silliness¶ of
mainstream masala movie lore and swear by its popcorn quotient, Dabangg is the greatest
getaway of the season.
Debutant director Abhinav Kashyap chooses to walk the road that makes a complete U-turn from
brother Anurag Kashyap¶s edgy, hard-hitting, realistic cinema and opts for a signature tune that
re-invents the age-old formula in aaj ka idiom. Plot-wise, the film might make you cringe with
it¶s hackneyed tale of two squabbling step brothers who have the arduous task of keeping the
great Indian family together. And guess who¶s making life even more difficult for the parivaar?
Who else but the local goon (Sonu Sood) who tries to play one brother (Arbaaz Khan) against
the other (Salman Khan).
But all this brouhaha about a non-story is truly irrelevant, because there never was supposed to
be a story in Dabangg. The only factor that was supposed to be there was Salman Khan, Salman
Khan, Salman Khan«followed by some more Salman Khan. So just sit back and savour the star
power of an actor who chooses to enunciate the role of a thoroughbred entertainer. Salman¶s
corrupt cop act as Chulbul Pandey, playing Robin Hood in a semi-rustic environment is so
engaging, you are willing to forgive and forget everything else. As soon as you begin to realise
the film hasn¶t moved at all in terms of story, bingo! There comes Salman swinging his bare fists
around, ducking bullets, spewing mischievous threats and abuses, making eyes at his girlfriend
(Sonakshi Sinha), creating chaos in his dysfunctional family and breezily breaking the rules with
his brattish ways. And in case you still tend to get a bit restless, there is the Pelvic! Watch him
gyrate in sync with all those uproarious tunes and you¶ll be down to your last coin, having flung
all the loose change you have on chartbusters like Munni Badnam Hui«.And finally, if you still
want more, there¶s the shirt-ripping sequence, where our desi hulk gets to showcase his sculpted
torso without having to unbutton it. It simply tears on its own! Now didn¶t we tell you
Bollywood films have their own undefinable logic«.
Dabangg is designed as a vehicle to showcase the star charisma of Salman Khan and the actor
literally hits bull¶s eye. He has a ball on screen and makes sure you join the party too. Aiding
him are two special factors: the excellent action choreography by S Vijayan (watch out for all of
Salman¶s slow motion antics and the Matrix bends and leaps that are sure-fire taali-seeti fare)
and the foot-tapping music score by Sajid-Wajid and newcomer Lalit Pandit. The locales of the
film too are exotic and re-create the hinterland ambience that is becoming so popular in Hindi
cinema today. Set in a small, sleepy, one-horse town in Uttar Pradesh, Dabangg creates an
alluring canvas of decay and dissolution, even as it celebrates the ordinariness of the aam
aadmi¶s life.
In terms of performances, the show is definitely anchored by Salman Khan, but debutant
Sonakshi Sinha too stands tall. As Salman¶s silent, shy, yet gritty girlfriend, she has great screen
presence and a spontaneous charm. Bad guy, Sonu Sood too ends up as an interesting adversary
to our local Robin Hood while Arbaaz Khan articulates the angst of the underdog brother. But
hey, in the end, Dabangg is not about theory and analysis; it¶s only about the Zandu Balm effect
of cinema: completely home grown, hybrid, purely desi stress-busting therapy. Period.
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 Now that¶s the weak link. Too hackneyed, this tale of sibling rivalry.
Dialogues: They spring straight from the Hindi heartland and are street-smart, colloquial and
sometimes silly.
Cinematography: The small town has been created well with all its colourful disarray by
cinematographer Mahesh Limaye.
£#  Now that¶s the highpoint! S Vijayan¶s absolutely unbelievable stunts truly add to
Salman¶s larger-than-life image.
 # Dabangg boasts of a great soundtrack by Sajid-Wajid, with a special number by
newcomer Lalit Pandit: Munni Badnam Hui which is fast topping the charts as item number one!
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