One of the reasons I write film reviews is that it gives me an opportunity to mock the actors, the director, the story and the plot. It is almost impossible to do that with Dabangg2 not because it is a great piece of cinema with gripping plot, great direction or stupendous acting display, it is because the film mocks itself and its characters to no end, which does not leave me with much.
Let me start with the confession that I am fan of bhaiyya speak. Whether it is Arjun Rampal in Rajneeti, Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Gangs of Wasseypur, our apna Salman Khan in his Chulbul Pandey avatar, bhaiyya speak always wins it for me. May be it is my bhaiyya roots – I am from Karachi – or my bhaiyya pedigree – my grandparents were from the Ganga Jamuna land – but I always fall for characters from the Indian heartland and Chulbul Pandey is no exception. He is hilarious when he insults the goons in the respectful bhaiyya speak ‘kar deejiye, beth jaiyee, naha leejiye’ – it just makes everything all the more comical.
There is no storyline or plot per se in Dabangg2, there are a lot of scenes – some funny, some over the top and some downright ridiculous – and the only common thread among them all is Chulbul Pandey and his histrionics. One never expected Dabangg2 to make much sense but the minute you find out that the trio of villains is named Baccha Bhaiyya, Gainda and Chunni (there was a whole sequence where Chulbul discusses it with his minions whether Chunni is a feminine name or a masculine one) you know that film is all about Salman Khan and it actually works for the film.
This film has taken product placement to the next level.Not only the characters were using a phone/cellular service brand, Chulbul Pandey tried to sell it with a spiel about its worthiness. Similarly, a money transfer service was not just in the background, the viewers were told that it works within 24 hours. The viewers wanted to tell Arbaz Khan the producer in the film’s lingo “ke bhaiyya, zara shant ho jao.”
Sonakshi Sinha is yawn inducing and it was evident from the number of ceetees that came in the wake of Kareena’s entry with her item song. In fact public was so enamored with the latest Mrs Khan that it was almost impossible to listen to the song amidst whistles, claps and shouts of appreciation. She did look quite stunning though but then she always looks pretty special.
The film belongs to Salman Khan the star with minimal contribution from anyone else. The rest of the actors were there to make him shine bright. The cameraman was there to make him look larger than life. The writer and director did not do much in the sequel and let him loose on the set. They replicated everything Abhinav Kashyap – creator of Chulbul Pandey and writer & director of the first installment – did in Dabangg. They did not bother to add anything fresh and copied the tried and tested formula.
They were so lazy that they even lifted the narrative off the first one in almost the same sequence. A fight scene in a warehouse, check; Salman Khan’s dance number with extras dressed in police khakis, check. Salman Khan’s romantic song in a bazaar with the heroine, check. Introductions of the villain/s following that, check. Salman Khan’s action sequences in the slo mo with the gravel/wood/dirt flying, check followed by some sentimental scenes with family (daddy and goof of a bro), check. Salman Khan’s second romantic song in the deserts of Arabian Peninsula, check. Salman Khan’s item number with a hottie, check. Salman Khan bashing up a villain, who is much younger, taller and more muscular than him in a shirtless fight scene, check. If anything, Chulbul Pandey seemed more brazen and in your face than the previous chapter and Salman Khan wore this character like a second skin. At times, it felt that he is just given situations and is acting out the scenes the way he wanted– with minimum guidance from the writer and director.
Just when you think that Sallu is not gonna take his shirt off – he did not even take it off during a love making scene and before you run off thinking it’s a racy film, it is not, it is given U certification – it gets off, miraculously. Pandey ji only pulls his shirt out of his trousers and it gets removed by a touch from the villain’s hands. It appears that even villains want to have a dekho of Sallu’s body which I believe should now get a separate billing in the end credits. The applause for Sallu’s bare torso was even more thunderous than the ceetees and taalis for kareena’s item song and no, they did not come from the ladies, a good 70 percent of the film goers in the packed hall were men.
My sister who feared that Sallu Bhai might have lost his mojo and his physique due to old age was relieved at the disappearance of that shirt. She thought that the order in the universe was restored with a glimpse of that shirtless body.
Oh and in case anyone failed to notice, I should point out that I quite like Salman Khan – not because he is a great actor – because he is called bhai and he always reminds me of Karachi – my hometown – the city of the ultimate bhai, Altaf Bhai.
بس ذرا گردن کی کمی ہے ورنہ اپنے الطاف بھائی بھی کسی چلبل پانڈے سے کم ہیں کیا ؟