Rating: 9/10 (Amazing)
The most awaited film of 2016 is here. Aamir Khan, Mr.Perfectionist's Dangal has arrived. Based on the true story of Mahavir Singh Phogat, the film is directed by Nitesh Tiwari. How is the movie? Find out in my review
Story: Mahavir Singh Phoghat (Aamir Khan) is a wrestler from Haryana who dreams of winning a gold medal for India in the Common Wealth games. Due to financial struggles, he gives up his dream and gets married and hopes that one day his son can become a wrestler and achieve his dream. Irony is that his wife gives birth to 4 girls. After his two eldest daughters Geetha and Babita beat up two boys, he decides to make them wrestlers. The rest of the story is how Mahavir coaches his daughters and they finally achieve his dream and bring glory to India.
Performances: As expected, Dangal belongs to Aamir Khan. He is simply incredible as Mahavir Singh Phogat and his transformation from a ripped wrestler to a belly gut father and coach is remarkable. He is one of those actors that doesn't just play the role, he lives and breathes them. Dangal is Aamir Khan all the way.
Fatima Sana Shaikh as the older version of Geeta is very good and the scene where she reconciles with her father is very touching and emotional. Sanya Malhotra as the older Babita is fine. Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar as the younger Geetha and Babita are hilarious and adobrable and they do a fine job as well. Sakshi Tanwar as Daya is fine.
It's Aparshakti Khurrana that steals the show as the narrator and Mahavir's nephew. He provides ample comedy throughout the film. Grirish Kulkarni as the national team head coach is evil to the core and the pre climax sequence is truly messed up.
Technicalities: Music and background score by Pritam are excellent. Cinematography by Sethu Sriram is superb. The locales of Haryana and the wrestling sequences have been shot in a beautiful way. Dialogues by Nitesh Tiwari and co writers are hilarous in the opening 30 minutes of the film. The rest are fine. Art is good especially for the wrestling sets. Editing by Ballu Saluja is good but the film is a bit long at 160 minutes. Production Values by Aamir Khan Producitons is top notch. Screenplay is pretty good. Direction by Nitesh Tiwari is excellent. Full marks to him for making such an incredible film.
Analysis: Dangal you could say has tons of similarities to the other blockbuster of 2016 about wrestling, Salman Khan's Sultan. But they are two very different stories. Sultan is fiction and Dangal is fact. And that is where the film stands out on it's own from Sultan. Dangal is not about Mahavir Singh but rather the incredible true story about how his daughters made his dream come true.
I missed the first 20 minutes of the film due to traffic as it was natural there would be traffic on December 23rd for last minute Christmas shopping. Nevertheless I entered and straight away started to laugh at the dialogues. The opening 30 minutes of the film are absolutely hilarious and the superstitions the villagers have about the chances of giving birth to a boy are too funny. The film really only takes off once Geetha and Babita start to take wrestling seriously. Aamir Khan breathes and lives the role of Mahavir Singh and carries the film on his shoulders.
As expected the 2nd half gets a bit too serious and the narrative of the film is a bit slow. But that's expected when watching a sports film as it;s really about the ups and downs one goes through to achieve success and nothing happens overnight. The film has tons of emotional moments such as Geetha reconciling with her father after consistently losing and the pre climax sequence. But above all, the film is a strong message about woman empowerment and it will surely inspire more and more young girls to achieve their dreams and make their presence felt.
On a whole, Dangal is an incredible film about a true story of two girls from Haryana who shocked the world. Despite it's predictability and slow narrative at times, Aamir Khan's spellbinding performance and Nitesh Tiwari's excellent direction keep you engaged throughout the 160 minutes.
If you're looking for the best Hindi film in recent times, look no further than Dangal. Don't miss this one. I'm going with 9/10.