Dabangg2 – Shamelss Fun With Salman At His Best

Dabangg2 – is not like the last 3-4 movies of Salman. But it is exactly like Dabangg. Where it all started. While, like many, I consider Wanted to be the real turnaround of Salman Khan, I believe that Dabangg has created a juggernaut of sorts in the industry. Singham, Khiladi 786, Rowdy Rathore, etc. are branches of that same formulaic execution. A larger than life hero, punchlines, slo-mo action sequences, item numbers, a villain who’s good for punchliners and has perfected the art of looking menacingly at the camera, a few comic actors thrown here and there. That’s it. The big difference between 70s-80s and these ones right now is slo-mo action sequences, IMO. And a thought must be spared for Abhinav Kashyap who made the first installment, but will not be missed this time round.

Now that I have classified the movie, let me tell you that Dabangg2 is a brilliant Salman Khan movie. Right up there with Dabangg. I am actually inclined to say that it’s better than D1. So, it’s a 10-salman rating kind of movie.

The setting/story is as simple as it should be – Pandeyji takes a transfer to Kanpur (to earn more and play a bigger role). Someone kidnaps a school kid. Cut to the grand entry of Pandeyji. Cut to slo-mo fight with enough comedy moments as well. Cut to product placement. Cut to more slo-mo. Villain/Big Brother of town is worried. Run in is unavoidable. And one thing leads to another. Till such time that Salman Khan’s shirt is off. You know that the end is near if Salman has had to reveal his dashavataram/noshirtavataram roop.

Salman stays true to the Salman image. Buffoonry, Fights, Angry Eyes, “apparently” witty repartee (and its “apparently” because he is the first one to start laughing at his jokes, like a true PJ God). He is his best when the humor is self-deprecating. And Salman wins hands down in that genre. Since Govinda is not fighting fit anymore. The most endearing comic moments, however, are his prank calls to his father, Prajapati Pandey (Vinod Khanna). Salman, yet again, carries the movie. And his beefy self will deliver, yet again.

Vinod Khanna has more screen time (if we take out the songs) than Sonakshi Sinha in the movie. That should be considered good news. But the bad news is that one item number features Malaika (but Sonakshi joins in too soon to let it be an item number) and the second features Kareena (with due respect to the Nawaaban of Pataudi, Kareena should not take up pure dancing assignments).

It’s sad to see Deepak Dobriyal play the role he did. And as badly as he did. After Omkara, Dilli 6, etc. one always waits for him to leave his imprints on a small enough character in the movie. Sadly, not this. He is a flunky who acts like a flunky.

Prakash Raj, the veteran menacing guy, has not been able to better his Singham act this time. Or, the Wanted act. Bollywood has reduced him to a unidimensional character, while we all know that he is capable of this and much more. He is good. He is fine, actually. Because this is stuff that he can do sleepwalking, most likely.

The poor guy who took his shirt off in Ready is the third villain, and takes off his shirt in this movie as well. He is the same guy who had a pretty impressive antagonist role in Jodha Akbar. Now, you remember?

Chaubeyji, Tiwariji and Siddiqui and others along with Mathur saab (the Bhatia saab of office office fame) support adequately. They are the equivalents of Mahmood, Asrani, Keshto and co in the modern era.

The opening sequence is a montage of well remembered scenes from the previous installment, sans the dialogues.

The music is not Munni-esque but is good enough to be chartbuster. Fevicol, Seeti bajaye, Dagabaz, etc. are all just about there to make it to the charts. And stick on long enough to make the movie work.

The movie has some very (seemingly) force-fitted scenes to project Sonakshi as ‘sexy’. Jeans on a bike, backless blouses, a morning-after scene , etc. Maybe not a big personality, but she has a face big enough to fill an entire screen. You’ve got to give her that much. She continues to be a well cast bad actress.

In short, it’s a great Salman movie. Enjoy it if you know how to enjoy it. By the way, did I tell you watching Salman’s movie with his real fans at single screen theaters is the best way to watch his movies. And because it’s true, the number of fake whistlers is going up, sadly. When you watch a movie at Chandan, it’s very easy to distinguish between those who love Salman, and those who want to project that they love this Salman-ism . You know that point where doing rusty stuff is the ubercool chic thing? So, it would be typically be – “Oh my god, did you see that Versace bag ya? Ooh. I am like soo going back there after the movie. You know what. We should learn how to do these whistles ya. It’s so much fun. Oooh.” And at this point, I leave you with King Julien and his whistling skills.

Watch from 0:20 till 0:48

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