Movie Review: Aamir Khan’s Dangal


I am not much of a movie critic–I am merely someone who loves to watch good movies from all across the world and wouldn’t hesitate sharing my honest views 🙂

Currently vacationing in India, I got to watch the movie yesterday night with my family–and my niece, Pranjli Mishra, a terrific singer/ musician, asked me my views on the movie; specifically because she is always keen to hear different opinions and knows that with me the chances are always high of hearing something completely unexpected. I kind of disappointed her this time by not offering much criticism of the movie 🙂

The good movies are basically of two kinds–one that keep you to the edge of the seat at all times and the other that expand the regime of creativity. Aamir Khan’s Dangal belongs to the first category–160 minutes very densely packed with deeply engaging entertainment–sometimes good enough to increase your heartbeat.

The movie is based on the inspiring story of a small-village national wrestling champion, Mahavir Singh Phogat, and his two daughters (Geeta & Babita), and latter’s struggle in becoming two of the best female wrestlers in India. The gorgeous plot is very sublimely supported by refined acting, continuous humor,  touching emotional scenes, and, above all, movie’s ability to keep the audience guessing on what was to be expected next–which isn’t generally a strong point of a large number of movies today.

Aamir Khan is very capable of making movies that could be equally appealing to the audience/ critics of global cinema, yet it seems he loves serving his best dish first to the Indian audience.

India has immense cultural heritage when it comes to story telling by way of acting it out. Nautanki isn’t merely a Hindi phrase describing someone’s exaggerated behavior or reaction–it’s been a fascinating art form that has been as seasoned as any other in the world for over several hundred years. The dancing, singing, and a tinge of surplus-dramatization are the top ingredient of this beloved art form–which, the most Indian movie fans, if not all, seek to savor.

That sort of a cultural thing often comes under a critical lens when assessment of good movies happens at the global stage, but it’s a mistake to assume that a good movie has to have a global appeal–because that’s simply being ignorant to the beautiful diversity we have in this world. We surely mustn’t compare apples to oranges. This is where I think Aamir Khan invariably, and perhaps unknowingly at times, puts this traditional art and the audience he loves ahead of the chances of increased appreciation by the global audience/critiques. Even then, he does manage to strike a real fine balance between continuing the tradition that’s at the heart of Indian movies and making his movies easily accessible to the global audience/ critics.

Given the early signs from the box-office, it’s also very clear that ‘the pull’ between Indian audience and Aamir Khan is nor one sided. It’s admirable to see that both sides have come out of the recent controversy very gracefully showing their amazing appetite for tolerance  😉

A must watch.

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