Director: Prabhu Deva
Cast: Salman Khan, Saiee, Sonakshi Sinha, Kiccha Sudeep
Dabangg 3 re-introduces you to a young Chulbul Pandey and tells you why he became an inspector of police. The story, written by Salman Khan himself is a cheat-sheet to all the classic Dabangg tropes — from the rosary around Chulbul’s neck, the reason why he wears his sunglasses at the back of his shirt, to how he finds Rajjo (Sonakshi Sinha). Everything is explained. In detail.
Can a thoroughly entertaining movie be equally problematic? Salman Khan’s Dabangg 3 is both.
This Chulbul mistakenly places an entire cot along with his asleep mother (Dimple Kapadia) on a goods train while he wants to seek revenge from his annoying relative who despises him. In a small town, Tundla, he finds Khushi (Saiee Manjrekar) whose photograph is brought to seek a suitable matrimonial match for his step-brother Makhhi Singh (Arbaaz Khan). While Makkhhi says ‘Isko dekhke humein behen jaisi feeling aa rahi hai’, Chulbul says, ‘Tumko ise dekhke behen jaisi feeling isliye aa rahi hai, kyunki humein isko dekh kar patni jaisi feeling aa rahi hai’. The unemployed — good for nothing Chulbul who believes in ‘being human’ first, goes to Khushi’s house to seek her hand for marriage and startles her family by offering Dahej (dowry) to educate her for the next five years and help her become a doctor.
Khushi, played by debutante actress and actor Mahesh Manjrekar’s daughter Saiee, is not the most nuanced performer. Khushi lays the foundation for seeking revenge, but the performance fails to do justice to the role due to the lack of a character arc. Khushi has to look good, deliver slow-motion dialogues and act with hwe eyes. Saiee manages to do two out of three things, except acting. For once, Salman convinces the audience with blood-smeared face and red watery eyes, but Saiee seems blank in one of the most crucial scenes. *Spoiler alert* If one has to learn how to die onscreen, Yami Gautam’s performance in Sriram Raghavan’s Badlapur is a benchmark.
Before we move to Salman’s performance, which by all means is thoroughly entertaining, let’s talk about Kannada superstar Kichcha Sudeep. Full marks to the casting director for choosing Sudeep as the villain. Kichcha Sudeep’s stellar fitness, body language, and his eyes that do the real talking infuse the right amount of bitterness in the comic-action movie. His stunts, his close up shots, eye-movement, and crazy action sequences accentuate the urge in the audience to think how Chubul will take his revenge. He almost outshines Salman in most of the scenes that the duo share, except one — the big fight.
Director Prabhudeva has not missed out on showing the chiseled bodies of the two actors. In a massive fire lit climax, when Sudeep takes off his shirt, his six-pack reminds you that you’ve been watching a Salman Khan movie for almost 120 minutes without seeing his bare chest! Sudeep does the needful and tears off Salman’s shirt too. Because a villain can’t overshadow the hero (which he almost did) in a fight sequence by looking fitter than the much worshipped main man.
Cinematographer Mahesh Limaye does a commendable job of managing to shoot Sudeep and Salman in the same frame, which is quite a challenging task because the former is almost five inches taller than the latter. The fight and action sequences don’t miss a beat. After every intense scene, there’s a song. Songs that are too long, too claustrophobic, and give you a forced feeling of a recreation of 90s sequences where the background dancers and the main leads change their clothes more than five times. Keep a bucket of popcorn for the songs, you’ll need it to kill time.
Sonakshi Sinha’s fitness and command over being in Rajjo’s skin for so long works to some extent. The film pays a tribute to late actor Vinod Khanna who played Chulbul’s father in the other two films in the Dabangg franchise. He’s replaced by actor Pramod Khanna, the late actor’s brother. Also, a minute of Sohail Khan’s cameo in the movie is more powerful than Arbaaz Khan’s stretched role.
Salman Khan’s Dabangg 3 is overall a thoroughly entertaining movie, mostly due to the tremendous amount of hard work that’s gone into the sound mixing, stunts and humorous dialogues, written for a screenplay sketched by Salman, Prabhudeva, and Alok Upadhyay.
But, it doesn’t end there.
Salman Khan drives masses (no matter what) to the theatres up to 60 percent occupancy on the first day first show of his movies. Young men laughed, blew whistles, women hooted and many gold seat viewers clapped throughout the movie.
Salman influences masses, and that’s not just his ‘x’ million Twitter fans. Ther are many living outside that world. His movies are trendsetters in fashion (the Tere Naam haircut!) and dialogue-baazi (dosti ka ek usool hai). In Dabangg 3, Salman Khan is a good cop who seeks revenge from criminals, helps accused prisoners to start a new life and is involved in other‘being human’ activities, but that is exactly why Dabangg 3 is problematic on many levels. It romanticises the idea of a messiah who’ll save anyone in trouble. That idea of a fictitious happy ending is a niggle.
The film, indeliberately, is a bank of ideas on how-to-commit heinous crimes against women. Bigg Boss fame Dolly Bindra plays the leader of a girl-trafficking sex racket in Dabangg 3 who supplies girls to Bali Singh (Sudeep) and other politicians. She gets caught by Chulbul who schools her for slapping a female police officer while she’s been arrested. On one hand, he condemns slapping women, and then he does it himself. He then slaps her twice for being a woman who cannot respect other women. What happens to the girls he rescues? They’re simply made to go home. ‘The good news is that bad times are over,’ says Chulbul. That’s it. While Kichcha Sudeep is great as the villain, his character is the 2019 version of SRK from Darr, Suniel Shetty from Dhadkan and more such obsessed, criminal-minded lovers who want the woman they set their eyes on.
Salman Khan delivers some powerful lines towards the end before balancing scales with Sudeep that he kidnaps women, rapes them, throws acid at them and doesn’t respect them to which the Kicha star says that he hasn’t raped anyone, but from now on, he will. Bali Singh buries dead bodies of women and men in his plush lawn and plants roses over each of them. He has torturous ways of hanging and slitting the throats of people.
Dabangg 3 entertains you with the comic timing but I was constantly reminded while watching this film that we live in times where two women have recently been burned to death after being raped. Nirbhaya is still in the news. No one comes to rescue women within seconds when they need cops. I was very aware of the fact that I was watching a work of fiction, and after these 2 hours 30 minutes, will be back to reality where there are no Chulbul Pandeys waiting to rescue us.
The Dabanng 3 review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.