Honest story telling when combines with terrific performances, the end result will always be a heartening experience. Dangal directed by Nitesh Tiwari is one such brilliantly made film that has rooted characters and emotions in a screenplay that almost covers a lot of aspects of wrestling. An elaborate story of triumph told in more than 160 minutes of run time, Dangal is never a less engaging sports drama within its predictable premise.

Like many of you may already know, the story is about the Phogat family. Mahavir Singh Phogat was a state level champion wrestler who couldn’t make it big because of the responsibilities and lack of support.  His dream was to make his son do what he couldn’t do. But fate took a toll on his dreams by giving only daughters. But apparently the wrestling instincts in his elder daughters Geeta and Babita made him realize about the possibility of making them capable for winning an international gold medal for the country. Dangal in its elaborate narrative is telling us that struggle of the father and daughters to reach that level.

The content is focusing strictly on the subject and at the same time through minimal deviations it is shedding light on the inner fight factor. The movie isn’t completely devoid of the existing sports drama mould, but what it does neatly is that it never goes in a hero centric manner and instead puts the emotional equation in the limelight. From the kids who played the younger versions of the wrestler sisters to the ones who played the elder version, those actors also gets that striking recognition with their fare share of screen time. The way they have tried to capture the technique and spirit of wrestling by being true to the game is also one thing that adds beauty to the narrative.

Aamir Khan from his stares, body language and dialect, becomes that ambitious, strict and inherently delicate father Mahavir Singh Phogat. The dedication is truly commendable and we could clearly see him getting the best of his physical transformation. The movie’s focus has a lot to do with the journey of Geeta Kumari Phogat and Fatima Sana Shaikh and Zaira Waseem (Lead of Secret Superstar and young Geeta in Dangal) have done their roles with at most honesty.   Sanya Malhotra and Suhani Batnagar bring in the likeability factor in to their portrayals in being Babita. Sakshi Tanwar as the mother delivers a good performance. Aparshakti Khurrana, brother of Ayushman Khurrana chips in with a funny performance as the cousin brother of the sisters. The national coach played by Rohit Shankarwar was also good.

Nitesh Tiwari who earlier made films like Chillar party (along with Vikas Bahl) and Bhootnath returns, mixes realism and drama very effectively. Mr. Tiwari has got actors with enormous potential and dedication and he uses that to create great moments out of predictable patches of the story. As I mentioned earlier, the wrestling you see on screen in Dangal looks rawer and more real and that adds so much to the movie in being captivating. The way they used the national anthem, the theater renting, the fight between father and daughter and a few more scenes are there in the film which I am actually curious to know whether happened in the real story. The screenplay hasn’t tried much to amuse the viewers with its pattern as the narrative is straight forward. The only slight disagreement I have on the film is in the lesser significance they gave to Babita. After having heard about the sisters and also after watching the trailer, I had an expectation that it would give an equal space for both the female leads, but the imbalance slightly disappointed me.  Frames and the color tones are in tandem with the emotional shift of the film. The sync of realistic frames and sharp cuts are the reason why those matches looked genuinely real.  Pritam and Amitabh Bhattacharya once again deliver an album full of catchy songs and the background score was also pretty effective.

Dangal is a great movie not just because it is based on a real life story. Nitesh Tiwari and his writing team puts in a good effort in making the theme look appealing to us as audience. Dangal is definitely a movie you should not skip.

Rating: 4/5

Final Thoughts

Dangal is a great movie not just because it is based on a real life story. Nitesh Tiwari and his writing team puts in a good effort in making the theme look appealing to us as audience.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


Categorized as Hindi, Review

By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.

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