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Ashdoc's Review of Dangal
Amir Khan plays Mahavir Singh Phogat , a former wrestler who hopes for a son , because that son could potentially turn out to be the wrestler who could deliver what Mahavir couldn't---a gold medal for India in wrestling , a sport that Mahavir had to give up playing due to financial difficulties . But his wife delivers only daughters---four of them .
However one day when his daughters beat up a neighbouring boy , Mahavir realises their fighting potential and decides to make them female wrestlers who could win a medal or two for India in international competitions . His harsh training includes cutting off his daughters' hair , which is thought to be equivalent to loss of femininity in the patriarchal region of Haryana to which he belongs and is resented by his daughters . His passion for making them sportswomen in a sport dominated in India by men is not shared by the daughters , and they decide to refuse to co operate with him---until a teenage bride shows them how their father wants to make something of their lives in contrast to other girls like herself who are forced to marry at 14/15 years in that backward region of India . This makes them train for sports in real zest to make their father's dream come true .
Father makes his daughters wrestle against boys inspite of the sexual taunts that they have to face , and wins the grudging respect of crowds by beating the boys . The elder daughter Geeta goes on to win the national championship in this manner . As she moves to the national sports academy she has to train under a new coach---Pramod Kadam ( Girsh Kulkarni ) . Pramod is a highly egoistic person who brooks no interference in his method of coaching , and is dismissive of Mahavir's methods . Geeta ( played by Fatima Sana Shaikh ) is also impressed by the lifestyle of the sports academy with it's glamour and becomes dismissive of the father , growing her hair and liking the mild attraction that boys show in her newfound femininity .
This leads to a ferocious bout of wrestling between Geeta and her father , and breakdown of relations between them to the chagrin of her mother ( played by Sakshi Tanvar ) and her sister Babita ( played by Sanya Malhotra ) . But as Geeta starts losing her wrestling bouts in tournaments , she runs to who else but daddy dearest for rescue . But daddy's re entry in her training raises the ire and jealousy of her coach , and almost leads to Geeta's eviction from the academy .
So does Geeta go on to win a medal for India ? If so , then which---bronze , silver or gold ? Who is responsible for the win---father or coach ? To what despicable extent does the coach go to stop Amir from hogging the glory of Geeta's success ? Watch the movie for the answers .
The highlight of the movie are the intense wrestling bouts that are shown in the film , showing the indepth study that Amir Khan has made of the sport and it's various techniques and methods---something that is the hallmark of his style of moviemaking . As usual , it seems Amir has directed the movie and the director is a mere figurehead . For the first time in my life I started taking an interest in watching the sport of wrestling , and was watching all the wrestling bouts with rapt attention and admiring them in detail .
Even with cut hair Fatima Sana Sheikh looks real attractive and her full breasts can be made out through the tight clothes of a wrestler , a point that I noticed was not present in other female wrestlers . Now were any special efforts made for her , like padding etc ?
Acting by everyone is decent , and the haryanvi accent is well picked up . Obviously , the movie plays up to the audience's patriotic instincts and we fall hook line and sinker for that , cheering in our hearts for India when Geeta wrestles in international championships . There are no songs and music can be called okay . Photography is okay too though colours are bit dull .
Four stars out of five .
Last edited by ashdoc; December 25th, 2016 at 03:28 AM.
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