Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
2

Bollywood Review

'Dabangg 2' review: 'A testosterone-fuelled Salman Khan fest'

By
Director: Arbaaz Khan Screenwriter: Dilip Shukla Starring: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Vinod Khanna, Arbaaz Khan, Prakash Raj Running time: 120 mins; Certificate: UA


Dabangg 2 sees Salman Khan reprise his role as Chulbul Pandey: a crime-busting Robin Hood with a penchant for garish shirts and spontaneously breaking into dance, while meting out his own brand of justice. It's a testosterone-fuelled Salman Khan fest with no meaningful plot, as the story is hinged on a sequence of contrived confrontations with the bad guys, that serve to demonstrate his worthiness for hero-worship.

Inspector Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan) is transferred to Kanpur to tackle crime in the big city. His family woes resolved, he lives with step-father (Vinod Khanna), his half-brother (Arbaaz Khan) and his expectant wife Rajjo (Sonakshi Sinha). When the brother of politician Baccha (Prakash Raj) attempts to abduct a bride from her wedding ceremony, Pandey comes to the rescue and with his bare hands, breaks his neck. Baccha resolves to wreak his revenge on Pandey by destroying his family.

From his triumphant entrance, it's clear that the film is dedicated to the deification of Salman Khan. A celebration of his apparent virtues, he's portrayed as a doting husband, a prankster who playfully teases his stepfather, and an invincible wise-cracking fighting-machine, whose glib utterances leave hardened criminals quaking in his wake. With another fight-sequence and a 360 degree computer-enhanced shot of Khan in slow-motion, we're invited to bask in all his shirtless glory. If he was a contestant in a Mr. World competition, Pandey would surely win.

Khan revels in the shameless display of narcissism, but there is little to commend the performance. The dialogue is trite, there is no depth to the characters and most of the effort has been applied to the elaborate fight sequences. With the emphasis on violence and the objectifying of women, it's a step back in time, where the women are either dutiful, temple-going housewives or cleavage-baring prostitutes.

Sonakshi Sinha plays the devoted Indian wife to the hilt, but then, she rarely does anything else. Malaika Arora and Kareena Kapoor perform the obligatory, raucous item songs and while 'Fevicol Se' is annoyingly infectious, there is something problematic about the honourable Chulbul Pandey, taking his brother out to dance with the local prostitutes or hinting at a back-hander. If you stop to think about it, you might find that Pandey is not such a worthy hero after all.

But films like this don't require you to think. It's a world of shallow emotions and it's exactly what the mass audience wants in their cinema and their heroes. The dream of the common man who gets justice - a fact that often eludes us in life.

Arbaaz Khan stars as Pandey's incompetent brother, while taking over the reins as director. Fortunately he didn't have much directing to do beyond ensuring the camera remained firmly fixed on Salman.

Khan's star power will be enough to ensure astronomic box office figures and while his devotees will revel in their hero's self-proclaimed glory, the rest of us can use the time, perhaps more wisely, pondering whether we have enough brussels for Christmas dinner.

You May Like

Comments

Loading...