The job of a promo is to send out accurate pointers to its target audience. The gist of the premise, the essence of what the characters will be, an extract of the milieu… one needs to furnish a general idea of what to expect when the spectator saunters into the cineplex to watch the film. Arbaaz Khan and Abhinav Singh Kashyap had a tough responsibility on their shoulders when they embarked upon DABANGG. As luck would have it, DABANGG was hailed as one of the best entertainers of that year, with Chulbul Pandey becoming a household name. The film consolidated Salman as the darling of the masses, a position he enjoys to this date.
With DABANGG 2, one is well prepared about what to expect. The sole factor that Arbaaz needs to worry about is whether DABANGG 2 would meet the towering and monumental expectations. More so, because Salman Khan is contending with himself. He seems to be raising the bar [in terms of business] with each film. WANTED, DABANGG, READY, BODYGUARD, EK THA TIGER… Salman has redefined superstardom with mass entertainers. He’s Boxoffice’s fav child and seems invincible and insurmountable at the moment!
With DABANGG 2, you know exactly what to expect. But you don’t know its premise till the reels unfold. Let me add, the plot is an extension of the first installment of the franchise. The route is very similar except that the antagonist is more influential and authoritative.
DABANGG 2 is a typical Bollywood film. It’s the kind of cinema we relished in the 1980s and enjoy to this date, but narrated in today’s lingo and format. It may/may not make sense to you, but Arbaaz and team ensure that you are entertained. Thoroughly entertained, actually. It’s riotous, outrageous, wacky, ambitious, absolutely madcap, transports you to an altogether different world. Add to it a sprinkling of desi songs, wicked sense of humor, with Chulbul Pandey taking on the antagonist like the vintage hero would — with fearlessness and daredevilry. Actually, Chulbul Pandey has come to represent the common man and thatâ€™s yet another reason why you root for him, feel overjoyed and ecstatic when he triumphs in the finale.
For those who adore masala movies, celebrate mainstream cinema, relish the cinema of yore and of course, hero-worship Salman Khan, DABANGG 2 is your ticket this festive season.
DABANGG 2 begins with Chulbul Pandey moving to Kanpur. Once there, Chulbul gets into conflict with Baccha Bhaiyya [Prakash Raj]. Baccha Bhaiyya, a criminal turned politician, is aided by his two brothers, Chunni [Nikitin Dheer] and Gainda [Deepak Dobriyal]. Things take a turn for worse when Chulbul kills Gainda. the battle lines are drawn…
Like I pointed out at the outset, DABANGG 2 is a hardcore masala entertainer that’s desi at heart. The plot is *not* out of the box [it's the usual good versus evil saga], but it’s completely irrelevant here. What camouflages this deficiency are several interesting episodes that Arbaaz and writer Dilip Shukla have integrated in those 2 + hours. These episodes, aimed at pleasing the hoi polloi and of course, Salman’s die-hard fans and also fans of mainstream cinema, are, to put in filmi lingo, absolutely paisa vasool. In fact, Salman’s star power is so so so strong that you’re ready to overlook and forgive-and-forget any blemish that you may encounter in the movie.
Yes, there are blemishes. The Arbaaz-Mahie Gill track is half-baked. The confrontation scenes between Salman and Prakash Raj lack fiery dialogue. The songs, though popular, are integrated in the narrative without any valid situations. But these are cinematic licenses you overlook in a Salman movie.
Arbaaz Khan, who makes his directorial debut with this film, knows his fundas right. He may have borrowed from the cinema of 1970s and 1980s, but he garnishes it well enough to suit the present-day sensibilities. Sajid-Wajid take the same route they undertook while making the soundtrack of DABANGG. Much like the content of the film, the songs are desi, with a mix of old-world charm ['Dagabaaz Re' and 'Saanson Ne'] and foot-tapping numbers ['Pandeji Seeti' and 'Fevicol']. In fact, ‘Fevicol’ is already a rage and Kareena’s presence in the song only acts as sone pe suhaaga. The action/stunts do complete justice to Salman’s persona. The action plays a crucial role in a masala entertainer and adds so much power to those scenes. Dialogue are of mixed variety.
Salman uses his fists, escapes the bullets, spews venom and threats, bullies the villain, flirts and romances his wife, does the pelvic thrusts… in fact, he does everything that one expects from Chulbul Pandey. Oh yes, he even takes off his shirt, flexing his muscles and showing his well sculptured torso without inhibitions, a mandatory requirement in a Salman Khan movie. Honestly speaking, DABANGG 2 is a Salman Khan vehicle and the actor is the Big Boss here. You cannot imagine anyone else doing what he does. And every time he plays to the gallery, many in the audience [especially at single screens] are sure to fling the loose change on screen as a mark of appreciation for his on-screen antics. He defies logic and gets away with it!
Sonakshi has the infectious charm and radiates confidence all through the enterprise. Arbaaz is just about okay. Mahie Gill has nothing to do. Vinod Khanna is passable.
Prakash Raj is in terrific form yet again. The supremely talented actor is ferocious when the need arises. Nikitin Dheer has good screen presence and does well. Deepak Dobriyal gets better scenes and is hugely competent.
On the whole, DABANGG 2 has Salman Khan, Salman Khan and Salman Khan + Entertainment, Entertainment and Entertainment in large doses. The film has the masala to work big time with the masses. This one will rewrite the rules of the game and the festive occasion [Christmas and New Year] will aid its potential. Sure shot Blockbuster!