A "DanGIRL" Triumph. ♦ Grade A-
Majority of sports films have lots of things in common between them. This one here tries hard and succeeds in being in the minority.
Mahavir Phogat (Aamir Khan) is a home-grown National-level wrestling champion who hopes to see his unborn son(s) make India proud by winning gold at the international level. Blame his X chromosomes, but he and his wife give birth to not one, not two, but four daughters, much to Mahavir's disappointment. He surprisingly stops trying for a fifth child and packs up his dreams. However, as the kids grow up and show signs of aggressiveness, he realizes that even though their gender orientation is different from his, they may be good contenders for the game of wrestling. Convinced that his two eldest daughters, young Geeta (Zaira Wasim) and Babita (Suhani Bhatnagar), may help him take his passion forward, he begins training them - pure Ludhiana-style. The story then follows Mahavir's strict native coaching as the girls grow up (Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra) and try to climb the ladder, albeit while facing a series of stereotypes, hurdles, and rampant demoralization from the society.
As a viewer who is still in awe with the film, I will only talk about one specific (and the most important) sequence, which occurs towards the end of the first half. Without giving any spoilers - in order to prove that she doesn't need more of her father's guidance, Geeta gets into the pit to fight against the man who helped create her. The two-minute montage that Tiwari and cinematographer Sethu get absolutely, perfectly right, all with Aamir and Shaikh's emotive reactions, is the most poignant scene seen in any Bollywood film this year. There is so much in that short sequence that defines the powers of human vanity, egotism, and haughtiness - all blended with humanity's most vital feelings - it will make you cry. That particular sequence is what got me, and I am going to break order by recommending this film right in the third paragraph itself. Go watch it in your nearest theater now.
Five minutes is all it will take you to get hooked into the otherwise long film (at 160 stimulating minutes). Delightful sequences that will lay out what is to be expected as you move forward with Mahavir and his daughters' story. The cause of women empowerment is loud and clear as Tiwari and his allies etch a story about the usual stereotypes that surround when it comes to "women in sports". The male gaze also makes an appearance here as Mahavir gives zero care to the world and moves ahead with his talented daughters in an attempt to shift mountains. How a father does what he does, regardless of his approach, but still thinks of his girls' upbringing and a bright future is what Dangal essentially talks about. It tries to smash and subdue the voices that sway in the air about inequality, and oppression of women and their rights. As far as the narrative is concerned, it's a triumph, because it sheds light on both sides of the coin. Mahavir's wife is worried about her daughters' food-making skills, but she is cajoled that people are not living in caves anymore.
Of course, the narrative is formulaic, as Tiwari uses the usual elements (think Chak De! India (2007), Sultan (2016)) to ignite chatter about the much-talked-about cause, patriotism, the decrepit sports authority of India, and other related things. The ability to shed light into how it is the government which is to be blamed for sportspeople not winning medals should be lauded, but let's not give the film the hat of a pioneer. Other films in the genre think of it as water under the bridge.
The young girls do a very good job at enacting kids who are growing up and who love pani-puri, yet are forbidden by their father. Their determination in portraying their characters is terrific. Same with Fatima Sana Shaikh who is well- directed, yet her character is written with some traces of bad Bollywood in it. She steals the show, nonetheless. Sakshi Tanwar and Aparshakti Khurrana support the main cast very well, with the latter providing comic relief.
Aamir Khan justifies his role, and makes it obvious why he is showered with certain adjectives and nouns. After Talaash (2012) and Dhoom 3 (2013), his authority as a game-changer in Bollywood was beginning to diminish, but this one here surely has the strength to resurrect him as the man. His fitness regime for the portrayal (can be watched on YouTube) reassures that he may still be in the game.
Dangal is a film that makes the right use of background music, slow motion capturing and editing, and other film factors. It keeps its audience at the edge of their seats throughout the film, yet stays relevant, and never bores. Thumping songs will get you higher and make you marvel at the cinematic excellence as it unfolds layer by layer. Overall, there aren't enough sentences to describe the lists of things that this film achieves. It rhetorically asks if women aren't better than men. Then it proves that it's all about equality, making feminists cower at the backseat. What took them years and years to start, this film here did it in less than three hours.
BOTTOM LINE: Nitesh Tiwari's "Dangal" is surprisingly brilliant for a sports drama. It is a film that is not only about sports or the spirit of winning, but about a father's quest to make his children understand what passion can do, and how one can set an example. Other than learning some good wrestling strategy, Dangal is a triumph that will appeal to everyone. Go for it!
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES
"Mr. Perfectionist & his on-screen daughters nails this excellent sports drama!!!"
Christmas eve is upon us & what better way to celebrate it than being with our loved ones. As it is the season of giving, let each one of us do our bit to spread the message of love & brotherhood. Apart from the customary X'mas goodies, namely cakes, wine & spicy non-vegetarian dishes (started salivating??? well I did); it's bonanza time for movie buffs as all film industries will have some major release or the other. The biggest release this year is undoubtedly, Aamir Khan's "Dangal", whose trailer was fantastic which has taken the expectations through the roof. So will Aamir who usually turns up as Santa bring smiles to the audience & makers alike with yet another blockbuster???
An Aamir Khan movie is a huge occasion in itself due to his sporadic releases which always lives upto expectations. Due to this, the media scrutiny is immense courtesy of which many of you would already be having an idea that this movie is the biographical depiction of former National wrestling Champion Mahavir Singh Phogat (Aamir Khan) who trained both his daughters, Geeta (Fatima Sana (older) & Zaira Wasim) & Babita (Sanya Malhotra (older) & Suhani Bhatnagar) to become Commonwealth Champions. Mahavir had to give up wrestling in his prime to support his family but always harboured hopes that he would live his dream through his unborn son. But as fate would have it, he was blessed with only daughters. As wrestling was predominantly a male dominated sport, Mahavir presumed his dream would remain a dream until he decides to train his daughters. How Mahavir makes his dream into reality against all odds forms the crux of the movie. It was much tougher than one could expect since the mindset of the Haryanvi community which has one of the worst child sex ratios is that the girl child is not entitled to do anything apart from household chores.
The idea to this story came from Divya Rao who was part of Disney's creative team & which was then subsequently properly fleshed out by Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Gupta, Shreyas Jain & Nikhil Mehrotra. Nitesh Tiwari was given the responsibility of direction, which happened to be his third venture after "Chillar Party" & "Bhoothnath Returns". The screenplay is brilliant which was equally well picturised by Nitesh as it keeps the audience hooked to the movie. The first half is top notch as it is a proper concoction of humour, emotions, action & drama. Even the latter half is good though mid way through it gets a tad too repetitive with the wrestling sequences but the gripping conflict between father-daughter & goosebump evoking climax more than makes up for the lag.
All the wrestling matches were brilliantly choreographed by Kripashankar Bishnoi & even people who had no idea about this sport would be adequately educated by the time they finish watching. So much so, I wont be surprised if more people would be interested to follow this sport the next time it is shown on TV. Pritam's BGM has helped the movie immensely & even his music was in sync with the mood especially the title track rendered by Daler Mehendi which will become a rage & the "Haanikarak Baapu" song. Sethu Sriram has done a fine job with the visuals while Ballu Saluja's editing was crisp.
Even before I talk about Aamir Khan, I feel it is only right that I mention about the girls who were absolutely brilliant. Each one of them have done their parts exceptionally with Zaira Wasim (younger Geeta) being my personal favourite. It's hard to believe that it is the debut venture of all of them & each one of them apart from their acting have done their wrestling sequences unbelievably well. Since it is more focused on Fathima Sana, she deserves a special mention. Now what do I say about Aamir? he knows how to choose scripts & once he takes up a project, he gives his 100% to the role which is there for all to see. His physical transformation for the movie was awe evoking & the way he has enacted his part as a middle aged father was fantastic, taking care that he didnt overshadow the others & kept his stardom in check. Kudos to Nitesh & Aamir for that. Sakshi Talwar was a surprising choice as Aamir's wife but she proved as to why she is a much sought after artist in the silver screen. She might not have much dialogues as her expressions conveys volumes. Aparshakti Khurana & Ritvik Sahore both of whom essayed the role of Mahavir's nephew also deserves special mention as he provides the comic relief to the movie.
Verdict: The movie will take the box-office by storm & will break all records set by "Sultan". Frankly speaking, I feel this is one of Aamir's best performance to date if not the very best. Actually, it might seem like a tall ask but I have a feeling that it will usurp "PK" as the biggest blockbuster of all time. In short, it has all the ingredients that one could ask for & though I might sound a bit biased being a sports drama; I would suggest that you guys got to definitely watch it!!!
Dangal, a sports biopic, is a powerful, inspirational and incredible story of women empowerment.
Dangal (means a Wrestling Competition), a biopic on Phogat Sisters Geeta and Babita and their father Mahavir Singh Phogat, by Nitesh Tiwari is a triumph over odds. Geeta made history by being the first Indian female wrestler to win the Gold medal (55kg) and Babita won Silver medal (51 Kg) in 2010 Commonwealth games. Offlate, Bollywood has certainly made a few very good sports biopics viz. Chake de, Bhag Milkha Bhag, Mary Kom, M.S. Dhoni etc. Most of them have done justice to the players and their lives. It is true that films about real heroes can become predictable. The story telling needs to be authentic too without misconstruing the essence. And that is where Dangal scores like anything. It is unadulterated, and remains true to the core.
Dangal focuses on a father and his perseverance, persistence and eccentricities to fulfill his dream of fetching gold for the country through daughters. Under the umbrella of this main plot, the film tries to create awareness about so many pertinent issues. The film not only talks about the fight which one has to do in the real Dangal but also about the fight which one has to do against the mindset of people viz. certain games and sports defined as a taboo for girls by the society, the thought that girls are born just to get married, raise children and do household chores etc. The fight is also against the scarcity of resources, the lack of infrastructure support for the sports people especially sports like wrestling. One can instantly connect with the father who has deleted ‘impossible’ from his dictionary. One can also very well connect with the girls who just want to enjoy the bliss of being children and dressing up like girls, find their father to be overbearing, and their transformation to achieve what their father dreamt for them. The end is indeed predictable since we all know about Phogat sisters and their achievement but Dangal brings to us their journey which is simply incredible, inspiring and awesome. The best part of the film is its tone which is kept very much real, authentic and light. There are moments of humour too.
Mahavir Singh Phogat (Aamir Khan) is a National Level Wrestling Champion who had to make a choice in his life and leave wrestling. But his passion and love for the sport never died. He used to enjoy all the fights in the local Dangal and always felt nostalgic of his wrestling days looking at the medals and certificates he had won. He is hopeful of living his dream through his to-be-born son. He gets disappointed every time when his wife Daya Shobha Kaur (Sakshi Tanwar) delivers a baby girl instead of a boy. He is definitely unlike those fathers who disown their girl children. Mahavir loved his girls but was just disillusioned about how to fulfill his dream of fetching gold for the country without having a son. But the day he realizes that his girls Geeta (Zaira Wasim -young Geeta), and Babita (Suhani Bhatnagar -Young Babita), have the potential to be wrestlers, he decides to go against the societal norms, fights all odds to train his girls. This is where the incredible journey of Phogat sisters begins.
Aamir Khan as Mahavir Singh Phogat is terrific. It is one of his best performances, which would be remembered for ever, be it in terms of his physical transformation, his dictatorial approach with girls, his determination, never-to-quit attitude, being a possibilist as a path finder; he excels in every frame.
Sakshi as Mahavir’s wife Daya Shobha Kaur has given such a powerful and natural performance. She has fewer dialogues, but she speaks through her eyes and facial expressions. She plays perfect bridge between her unyielding husband and daughters.
Phogat sisters are real discoveries be it the younger versions of Geeta and Babita (Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar) or their grown up versions (Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra). They are so much convincing. Zaira and Suhani are adorable. Fatima and Sanya are also very good. They have played their roles with so much of conviction.
Another character which needs special mention is that of Omkar, nephew of Mahavir Singh Phogat. Ritwik Sahore (Ferrari Ki Sawari fame) has played his role very well. Aparshakti Khurrana (brother of Ayushman Khurana) plays the role of grown up nephew, he has less screen time, but he has made his presence felt. He narrates the story in typical Haryanvi accent. His scenes generate humour.
Girish Kulkarni as coach in National Sports Academy has done justice to his role.
The songs go with the flow of the film. Pritam’s music clubbed with lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya is great. The lyrics are in absolute sync with the story.
Dangal would certainly touch your hearts. I failed miserably in letting the tears come out of my eyes at many occasions, be it father-daughter relationship, their triumph over all odds, attitude to remain positive even amidst challenges. Felt like jumping out of chair and cheer their every victory on and off Dangal. Got goosebumps when the National Anthem is played along with the tricolor in the air. Many scenes have stayed with me.
Dangal, a sports biopic, is a powerful, inspirational and incredible story of women empowerment. It not only talks about the fight Mahavir Phogat and his daughters Geeta and Babita had to do in the real Dangal but also about the fight which they had to do against the mindset of the people, patriarchic society, scarcity of resources etc. A must watch film.
The 'Dhaakad' movie of the year and best to end 2016.
Nitesh Tiwari's Dangal is highly gripping and transitions smoothly from being a sports drama to an emotional one. The inspiring tale of Mahavir and his daughters is narrated in such a way that you laugh, cry and at some point even make sure you root for these characters right till the end.The father-daughter relationships between Geeta and Mahavir and Babita and Mahavir are explored extremely well emotionally. Also, how situations change the ties between the two sisters has been tapped into well.DANGAL is a flawless piece of work -- it's captivating, unpredictable, spellbinding, entertaining and never overstays its welcome. I rate 5/5 for 'Dangal' and Aamir's best performance since Lagaan.
Dangal: An Entertainment package filled with emotion, patriotism, rides on high performance with dedication and authenticity of the sport
I would like to applaud for the Authenticity in terms of wrestling showed in this film, This was NOT an Aamir khan film, it doesn’t happen every day that a superstar chooses a film which is not about him, surely he has done a splendid performance, but in the end the 4 women playing Babita and Geeta (young and old) takes away the film.
On Comparison with sultan, this movie opens with the exact same dialogues from sultan about wrestling, and as we go forward this movie is not even close to sultan, sultan was more of a love story as this was about a journey towards gold medal and to inspire millions.
This movie was not based on a specific person or about wrestling but it was about a journey of Mahavir as well as Geeta Phogat to get a GOLD at the International Wrestling competition
I am not going to reveal an Entire story like all reviewers do, I am going to highlight a part that touched my heart as well not give any spoilers
Mahavir is truly a HERO to think that girls are equal to Boys (in that backwards society he resides in) as well trains them regardless of the million obstacles in the way while ignoring the norms of the society i.e., to think women as burden and force then to get married at very small age
Story: The story was a let-down for being the extremely predictable throughout the movie, but I'm Stunned to see that even though due to its minute by minute predictable storyline, the Entertaining and unique way this movie was presented to the audience was one best part of the movie. In other words “story telling” was better than the story itself
Performance: Aamir once again does a sublime job, his dedication skills are unbeaten and this will surely be one of the best performances till date. On the other hand, the women reprising Geeta and Babita has put out their heart in the movie, their presence was not only admired but their acting skills are matched with Aamir. Sakshi Tanwar, though had repetitive dialogues and very less screen time her presence is felt in this movie as well
In the end, a little bit of advice, to understand and enjoy this movie thoroughly, a bit information about wrestling is very much needed, I personally have interest in sports (only watching) if I wouldn’t know anything about wrestling, technicality in this movie would be a little hard to get
A GO! If you are looking for Entertainment with some emotions to get a little inspired, as even with an anticipated story it doesn't make us feel tiresome for even a moment, not the best sport biographical film, but the best performance till date in the same genre
This has been the best movie I have seen till date.
Realistic Movie away of over action
One of few movies as im non indian nation who watch this movie and give it a high rating. the story the actor the seens all made a perfect. the usual bollywood acts that is not realistic is not tbere totally, its really worth going and watching it ..
Simple yet subtle
dangal touches every thing which a perfect movie needs to..it has drama. emotions,humour, action,sincerity, relationship seamlessly blend together. movie is long but you never get bored of it. It has many wow moments. Acting is of par excellence. Director is a clear winner here. background score is excellent specially dangal title track.
Bot ho gayee Pelwaani..ab hoga Dangal!
#Dangal...Dangal!! It's here! The most awaited movie of the year! Just another wrestling movie? No no...it's perhaps one of the best sports movies made - Bollywood or Hollywood. Dunno whether it's the simplicity, or the technicality or the characterizations or the performances or just #AamirKhan! Perhaps it's a lot of each of the above. #NiteshTiwari...Shabbass - well done for your amazing writing and for your awesome direction! Jr. Geeta/Babita...well done! Grown up Geeta/Babita...well done! Omkar/Narrator...loved every bit of his dialogues and expressions! Finally...Aamir Khan...what can i say? That moment when he discovers that his daughters can fight - that smile - Priceless! Not only does he get into the skin of his character...he makes the audience feel every emotion! Several moments when he doesn't utter a word...and yet you know exactly what is going on in his mind! There's so much to say about his performance...but I'll let you watch and observe! Superbly executed wrestling sequences...they'll make you twist and cringe reflexively! Pritam delivers an almost perfect situational soundtrack. There's not a moment of boredom in these superbly entertaining (yet never coming close to being masala!) 161 minutes!
#BeenOpinion...I have nothing to take away....just Aamir Khans expressions are worth 5/5....and all those other amazing performances are all bonuses! "Bot hogayee Pelwaani...abh hoga Dangal!"....go go go right now!!