While Sultan revolved around the life of a wrestling champion and M.S. Dhoni was a biographical sports film, Dangal is an amalgamation of both – a biographical sports drama film based on the life of the Mahavir Singh Phogat who taught his two daughters – Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari wrestling. What makes it standout from the rest two is the fact that being a biopic, it not just manages to showcase the real life story but also has the entertainment quotient in it.
Direction, writing, cinematography, editing, acting, visuals, sound – These are the key elements which a reviewer looks for in any film. Not a single point is amiss in Aamir Khan’s Dangal and terming it as the best Bollywood film of the year won’t be an exaggeration.
(The fact that it’s a biographical drama film, we will look over some of the real life based facts.)
With Seoul Olympics, 1988 being shown on the small screen in the office, the film reels with the audience witnessing a fit Mahavir Singh Phogat (Aamir Khan) claiming the fact that even Indian men can win a gold in wrestling if given the right amenities and opportunities. To which a new joinee (Vivian Bhatena) challenges him by stating it’s not so easy to win, leading to a one-on-one match. This face-off establishes the fact that Phogat is a national level wrestling champion who couldn’t pursue his dream of winning a gold for the country in the international sport events due to lack of funds.
From there on the plot focuses on how he and his wife Daya Shobha Kaur (Sakshi Tanwar) try to conceive a son but as fate would have it they are blessed with four daughters. Not delving much into the storyline, the story encapsulates how Phogat’s dream of India winning a gold is revoked by his two daughters: Geeta and Babita.
What makes this film one of the best works of Bollywood? Is it because of the fact that it has a superstar like Aamir Khan in it? It’s a yes and no, both. With Khan’s history of delivering all his roles passionately, he didn’t make the movie look like it’s all about him. Each and every character shone through the entire movie. The two daughters (Geeta and Babita) portrayed by Fatima Shaikh, Zaira Wasim (young Geeta), Sanya Malhotra and Suhani Bhatnagar (young Babita) had a lot riding on their shoulders. Along with Khan, these four girls had to go through intensive training to portray their roles effectively which definitely could be observed on screen.
With effective screenplay, the writers Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Gupta, Shreyas Jain and Nikhil Meharotra undoubtedly knew how to take their audience through the roller-coaster ride of emotions. The situational jokes, the narration given by Phogat’s nephew (Aparshakti Khurrana), the fight between the grown up Geeta and Phogat, Babita’s subtle yet strong presence and the finale match were the key highlights in the movie.
With 2010 Commonwealth Games being showcased in the movie, we could observe live footage being used to represent the opening the ceremony wherein the reel Geeta and Babita along with Phogat and his nephew were observed. Achieving this feat is the VFX studio NY VFXWAALA’s VFX supervisor Prasad Sutar. Crowd multiplications, wrestling arenas, face replacements along with background creation, set extensions were seamlessly incorporated in the movie. Prime Focus India provided the DI service.
Directed by Nitesh Tiwari and produced by Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao and Siddharth Roy Kapur, Dangal hits the screen today, 23 December, 2016.
Verdict: Though the run time of the film (160 minutes) might seem a bit long, the film deserves this duration as it establishes each character and its importance. With strong storytelling and ace performances by the actors, Dangal is a must watch.