Dangal – Movie Review

Language : Hindi
Release : December 2016
Starring : Aamir Khan, Sakshi Tanwar, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra.
Directed By : Nitesh Tiwari
Written By : Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Gupta, Shreyas Jain, Nikhil Meharotra.
Music By : Pritam.
Genre : Biography, Sports Drama.


Every so often, we have a movie being released, claimed to be inspiring yet fails to move us, but once in a while we do find a gem among stones which would have an impact not just on us but on the entire society we live in. This time we have, the gem to be sculpted by the perfectionist of Bollywood to awe and inspire us with his charisma and the habit of churning out hit movie after hit movie, only getting better each time. Dangal, is a continuation in the trend.

Based on true events, Mahavir Singh Phogat defies all odds to coach his daughters Geetha Kumari Phogat and Babitha Phogat, to achieve his dream of winning a Gold Medal for the country, through his daughters. Although initially reluctant to be the odd people out in the community, the sisters, once they learn the struggles their father is going through to achieve the dream, rise up to the occasion and win against all odds. When the elder daughter goes to the National Sports Academy after winning the nationals she has the freedom to be a women for the first time in a decade. She starts liking and gradually begins to lose focus and eventually loses international matches. When her coach suppresses her by mentioning that she is not cut for international matches, she realizes her mistake of going against her father and goes back to him for advice, the ever loving father comes to her side without hesitation. But when ideologies clash with the coach at the Sports Academy, he remotely coaches his daughter culminating in the dramatized and nail biting XIX Commonwealth Games wrestling final.

The stand out aspect of the movie should be the extremely well choreographed stunts and the wrestling matches. Unlike any other sports films, including the Oscar nominated movie by Aamir Khan, Lagaan or the more recent M.S. Dhoni : The Untold Story, where the games seem very artificial and going against the rule of the play, Dangal stays true to wrestling and makes a lot of effort to portray things as realistic as possible. The fact can be corroborated when the audience in the theatre where I watched the movie, clapped for Geetha’s win clearly forgetting that its a synchronized stunt that has been perfectly rehearsed, peppered in with visual effects. But not wanting to take any credit away from the team, this is exactly what they expected when they were making the movie and deserve all the applause irrespective of weather real or choreographed.

The director, Nitesh Tiwari has created a wonderful and an inspiring movie based on real life, which needs a special kind of talent, as its a two edged sword. What I mean is, if there is too much dramatic liberty, it wouldn’t be worthy of a watch, if its ultra realistic, it wouldn’t be worthy of a watch either. He has mixed both reality and dramatized events to the correct proportions, definitely making it worthy of a watch, not restricting it to just once. Its like walking on a tight rope with the pole perfectly balancing his weight, not only helping him to walk but to prevent from falling down. The director has caught the pulse of the audience and struck the right chords in all the departments, be it emotion, empathy or comedy, it was a thoroughly entertaining for a movie based on real life events.

Although, we do know the end, the story does not play on in our minds, while the screenplay proceeds as expected and in the same speed throughout having the usual dose of inspiration from the strict coach/dad being quoted when things keep falling apart to keep a steady head, while all the missing links come together at the end to give us a complete picture.


The real Mahavir Singh Phogat and his daughters

A major focus on the movie would be the philosophical and socialist undertones prevalent throughout. While everybody wants to take credit, none are even remotely willing to accept failure. This happens not only for the birth of a girl child, but even for the games when the coach wants to be in the forefront to take credit for someone’s hard work. Just imagine what would have been the real Mahavir Phogat’s situation today had his daughters failed. Not only his social circle would pin him down, but his daughters as well would’ve pointed fingers at him. This is how the society has been made and brought up. There have been many instances and even movies made on topics where the parents wants to achieve their dreams through their children, but are pointed fingers when it doesn’t work out.

On the whole, Dangal would definitely break all of the records that Aamir Khan’s movies had held earlier, be it Dil Chahta Hai or 3 Idiots or PK and this is not just limited to the revenue collected or the awards won, but the impact it would have on the people in particular and the society in general. While up until now the 2007, Chak De India had remained as the de facto inspirational sports movie with none of the movies made in the same genre other than Bhaag Milkha Bhag coming in contention, the coveted spot is surely in danger of being replaced by Dangal.

As a last say, Dangal is one such movie where we would not only be inspired by it but spread the impact it had on us, giving us more Geethas and Babithas while at the same time stop the gender discrimination that is highly prevalent in  a society like India.

Audience POV & Critics POV  (Please refer About Page for combining audience and critics pov):
1. An inspiring movie for both mass and class audiences.
2. An extremely well executed movie especially the stunts and the game play.
3. Aamir Khan lives up to his perfectionist tag, without restricting the perfection to just his role but the whole movie.
4. The social impact it would have can been seen in just a couple of years especially in the more conservative parts of India.

4 thoughts on “Dangal – Movie Review

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