Dangal by Nitesh Tiwari

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An Inspiring portrayal !


Essentially a Father-daughter story, the film Dangal is packed with rousing moments, having an authentic feel to it.

Dangal is an inspiring but safe take on the journey of two champion wrestlers, Geeta Kumari phogat and Babita Kumari Phogat who as we know have scored big to bring laurels for our country. At the steering wheel of their journey, however, is their father Mahavir Singh Phogat, a national champion who was forced to give up his dream of getting India a gold.

Mahavir and his wife (Sakshi Tanwar) try all sorts of archaic, time-tested (as per the villagers) formulas to have a baby boy, to find out in the end that it isn’t in their share of destiny. But one day Mahavir decides to train his elder daughters Geeta and Babita in wrestling and what next? .. We see the rise of two champions. Mahavir is a hard taskmaster who builds the girls’ steely grit and hunger to win, by tough training, stern dieting but most importantly, with his care . In one of the heart-pounding moments in the film, we see Mahavir pressing his daughter’s feet – it pumps your heart out, literally.

Through the movie, Nitesh makes a strong statement against the walled-fortress of patriarchy. Dangal soars high and one of the contributing factors is its non-preachy way of addressing these issues , infused with wry humor. But one different look at the scheme of things makes me wonder, if the sole-decision maker in the family, Mahavir who also steals his daughters’ childhood is an apt metaphor for many Indian parents. But then, with some tough decisions only, a star is born.

When the scene shifts to NSA, we see Geeta explore her feministic feelings. She as most of the children do, rebels with her father. It brings in more flesh to Geeta’s character. The scene where the father and daughter wrestle is one of the best bits in this wonderful movie.

The film leaps into higher levels due to its phenomenal ensemble cast . A special mention of Zaira Wasim and Fatima Sana Saikh who play the younger and older Geeta resepectively. The other actors bring in equally compelling performances to the film. But at the heart of the film is Aamir Khan who sinks his teeth into the character of Mahavir and plays it without an iota of vanity. Aamir adds yet another stellar performance to his repertoire of gems.

Dangal is mostly free of flaws except in the last bits where you might see the attempt to overplay the nationalistic and emotional cards. But yes, these are little hiccups in an otherwise excellent film. Go watch Dangal, surely you can’t ask for a better christmas gift from the movies.


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