Dangal – A good fight!

 

Aamir Khan is back and back in fine form. Aamir’s films have always been leaning towards those aspects of storytelling in deep and subtle amalgamations with societal change and nationalism. Dangal is no exception. Whenever we miss those films with that touch of earthiness and sentiment, we have Aamir to the rescue.

Dangal tells the story of retired wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat yearning to win a gold for his country with the help of his daughters. Mahavir prays for a boy so that he could train him up to fulfill his dream, only to be disappointed (4 times, yes). But once he finds his girls thrashing guys for calling them names, he sees a potential in them for wrestling, and that a gold is a gold be it at men’s or women’s wrestling. He starts to train his two elder girls in the hopes of winning the country a gold at the international level forming the crux of the film.

 

Dangal is truly a delight to watch, particularly those scenes where we get to see the young Gita and Babitha at the hands of their dad who is indeed torturing them into becoming wrestlers. If the getting up at 5am and training wasn’t enough, the girls are thrown into pools, made to fight against other boys and forced to skip all their favourite golgappas. And if they complain about the lice in their hair, the dad decides to cut their hair. There are indeed many bits in the first half that will leave you in splits.

However the entire village, and the mother is against getting her daughters into wrestling. The girls are mocked and have to go through a whole lot of taunts and tantrums from the village and the neighbours in order to pursue wrestling. In many wrestling tournaments they are refused admission as it involves fighting men. Dangal is as much about feminism as it is about nationalism. It is about how women are equal or even better than men in fields that were truly thought to be exclusively for men. It encourages women to brave away from stereotypical roles and pursue paths of will.

Dangal possesses many wonderful characters, many of whom are sure to remain well with me for quite some more time. The young Gita and Babitha duo are a true delight. Aamir here again truly excels as the strict disciplinarian wrestler dad. The screenplay is well maintained throughout the film with a tight script and a wonderful Background Score by Pritam. The ‘Dangal Dangal’ song is still ringing in my ears. Nitesh Tiwari, as the director, truly pulls this very difficult film effortlessly, never making the movie sway elsewhere. The climax was fantastic and I was literally on the edge of my seat.

 

 

Dangal proves that a movie without an item song, a movie without an over glorified kiss, a movie without a promo song with a 100 million views on YouTube can set the box office on fire. Dangal is a statement. A statement that proves that audience will always pay to watch good clean unadulterated cinema. The audience were rapt in attention at all those crucial parts of the movie and they all did stand (including me) for that national anthem in the end (oops, spoiler).

Movie Rating: 4/5

Reviewed by Harishwar A, a third year student of Electronics and Communication Engineering