Sunday 8 March 2015



Salman Khan is Bollywood; Bollywood is Salman Khan. In a show of Kaun Banega Crorepati, the great Amitabh Bachchan once remarked how films that were larger than life were made at his times so that people who turned to the screens after a hard day's work could find solace in a hero who had the world at his disposal and for once could forget the hardships of life. Those hardships still persist and thus, Salman's movies persist too.

And Salman has brought something uniquely original to Bollywood with Dabangg. He has brought style to Robinhood, spice to the anti-hero and awesomeness to the downtrodden cop whom the industry has degraded since its very inception. He plays Chulbul Pandey, a cop who is all that I mentioned above and more. With an Uttar Pradesh setting, he throws around multiple colours of his personality so much so that his flamboyance is reason enough to fall in love with this movie. But things don't stop here. There is an antagonist in Chhedi Singh (Sonu Sood) who is almost a match made in heaven for Chulbul. And then there is Sonakshi Sinha in her debut role of  Rajjo, who is volumptuous by present standards, but is so easy on the eyes and more so on the screen that even the camera seems to fall in love with her and can't choose between her and Salman whenever both are in the same frame. She seems so comfortable to work with as a co-actor that the chemistry crops up of its own when she is involved.

Dabangg is a style statement all the way. The belt-buckle twist, the goggles on Salman's back, the undodgeable insults bring you a fresh new form of heroism. The songs, the fights, the emotional confrontations and the sheer ball-fights are all so stylish that it is a sin to miss any minute of it. Dabangg has some of the most rustic yet memorable one-liners, a tradition that seemed to have died post the 70s bollywood but is revived now, and moments that will forever remain a treat to the eyes. One such sequence comes during an item number when, for pretty much the first time in Cinema, the hero comes out uninvited at the villain's lair but he comes out grand and not only that, he goes on dancing with the girl of the moment with steps that will be immortalized in Indian weddings. This moment is going to be a turning point in movie-making for days to come; people will try to imitate it, recreate it and replicate it but they would not be able to create the same magic again.

Chulbul Pandey in the movie is a hero; he can't really exist and neither does he try to. Salman doesn't try to make his greatest character a common man. He wants him to be a super-hero. He aspires for Chulbul to solve all his problems just like that; without any hue or cry. Salman seeks solace from his predicaments in real life by doing all this in reel life as Chulbul. And this is one of the most important things that cinema stands for. Salman Khan does all this without preaching a word about any higher morality and this is why audiences love him and this is why we will always adore him.

Bandwidth Verdict: If you like Bollywood, always keep a copy of this flick with you; who knows when you feel like having a solid dose of fantasy.

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