Dangal- Visitor Review

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Dangal- Visitor Review

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Aamir Khan is back to the big screen after two years. Many people from the industry had been dropping tweets at various times raving the project increasing the whiff of expectations and then came the physical transformation & trailer videos heightening the anticipation. Based on real events and characters, rarely do films excel on all departments propelling them into a league of their own. Dangal is one such achievement.


Cinematographer Setu Sriram needs to be applauded for very consistent and nonambiguous presentation of the subject. The rustic, rural Haryana and the commonwealth games portions are lit in tune with the tone of the film. The wrestling scenes, the angles used to capture them are perfect and the research that has gone into it is clearly visible on the screen. Editor Ballu Saluja has also cut this screenplay perfectly working in tandem with the cinematographer, aids hugely in the neat presentation of this motion picture. Sports films in general, especially ones which are very detailed like Dangal requires clarity to keep the audience engaged and on that count, the Editor has done an extraordinary job. Even though the running time was around 2 hours 40 minutes, all the frames and scenes were fully justified with the narrative structure and expertly edited.


The stunt choreography in this movie is noteworthy and one of the best to come out of the country. Kripa Shankar Patel and Shyam Kaushal act has huge pillars for the movie and again the research, detailing of the wrestling sequences and the references from the original footage go a long way in making this the best-choreographed sports film from India. Music from Pritam ably supported the film with the theme song being the standout. The songs were never too long or distracting and the background score underlined the tension and drama of the story. Few moments of silence are noteworthy.


The story based on the life of Mahavir Singh Phogat adapted and written for the screen by the team of Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Gupta, Shreyas Jain & Nikhil Meharotra. The sincerity in writing and detailing was evident throughout which has become a rarity in Indian Cinema nowadays and the writing was simple, realistic, effective and highly impactful. The dialogues also stood out as there were no over dramatization attached to it and criticisms against institutions were conveyed seamlessly. The rules and technicalities involved in wrestling were explained in depth without being distractive and that keeps the audience glued to the screen. Director Nitesh Tiwari in his third directorial venture has achieved perfection in storytelling and the screenplay was handled like a bullet moving towards the marked target without any distractions whatsoever.

The performances in the movie are some of the best to come out of Indian Cinema in recent times led by Aamir Khan. The believability, the majestic presence and at the same time, a feeling of longing, of relentless determination, emotional sincerity he brought to Mahavir Singh is quite extraordinary. The Star always took the back seat making headway for the story and the character. A benchmark indeed. All the physical strains and transformation added immensely to the movie. The two kids playing the younger version of the wrestlers Geetha and Babita looked at ease in their roles as if they had tons of experience. The adult version of the wrestlers played by Fatima Sana Sheik and Sanya Malhotra showcased a holistic understanding of the character, emotions. Especially Fathima was extraordinary and the strains, rigorous training undertaken for providing an authentic wrestling performance deserves a standing ovation.


The fact that when the national anthem was played twice (once before the start of the film and again during the movie), the audiences were asked to stand during the former yet during the latter, they stood on their own, speaks volumes of the enduring nature of the movie. A monumental achievement for sports based films from India. Dangal is one of the best movies of the year and a must watch with the family. Dangal is Sincere in narration, Perfect in detailing, True in spirit, Patriotic and Inspiring at its core.

Sriraman Srinivasan
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