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Dangal – Movie review

Biopic of a Wrestling Champ who leads his daughter to win Gold for the country


Dangal, hindi movie review

The master actor is back again with this bio-pic sports, drama playing the role of a Wrestling Champion Mahavir Singh Phogat who taught wrestling to his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari. Geeta is India’s first female wrestler to win at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, where she won the gold medal in the 55 kg category while her younger sister Babita Kumari won the silver in the 51 kg category.

Aamir Khan and the entire crew underwent taining for months for the wrestling sequences in Dangal, directed by Nitesh Tiwari who earlier directed Chillar Party and Bhootnath Returns.

Mahavir Singh Phogat was an amateur wrestler, forced to give up wrestling in order to obtain gainful employment. He was unable to win a gold medal for India and vows that his son will, one day. But he is disappointed when his wife gives birth to four daughters and therefore he gives up his dream thinking that girls cannot wrestle and should only be taught household chores.

One day, his older daughters, Geeta and Babita came home after beating up two boys in retaliation to derogatory comments by the urchins in their locality, and at this point Mahavir realises his daughters have the potential to become wrestlers.

Then this 40 plus retired wrestler takes up the mantle of coaching his daughters Geeta and Babita in wrestling, though his methods seem harsh, including gruelling early morning workouts for this adolescent girls and even to sport short haircuts to avoid lice.

Initially wary of the tough routine set up by their dad, the girls resent his treatment but they soon realise that their father wants them to have a future and not grow up to be stereotypical housewives.

The girls become motivated and willingly participate in Mahavir’s coaching who later takes the girls to wrestling tournaments where Geeta and Babita both wrestle with boys and beat them, much to everyone’s dismay. Geeta eventually wins the Junior Internationals and goes to an institute in Patiala (Punjab) for further training so she can participate in the Commonwealth Games.

Training at the national camp also gives freedom to this girl who makes friends at the institute and begins to disregard the discipline she has been brought up with.

She also realises that the training techniques taught by her father seemed rustic in regards to the modern methods being taught at the camp. When back after the training, this girl differs with her father’s methods of coaching other girls in the village and is challenged by her dad for a duel where eventually, due to his age, the senior Phogat bites the dust, yet his techniques still being appreciated by the second daughter having full faith in their father’s method.

Though there are several moments which were fictionalized for this celluloid version, after losing several bouts, Geeta realizes the basics taught by her father, which come to her help and finally she manages to win Gold for the country and make her father proud.

One doesn’t feel that he is watching a film, so much so that the viewer gets the feel of being a part of the story unfolding on the screen. This magic works in favour of the film along with superb story telling and crisp editing.

Aamir Khan’s excellent portrayal of the ageing boxer and supported by realistic performances by Fatime Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra are the foundations of this biopic sports story, which elicits national pride towards the end.

Click on the Thumbnails for ENLARGED PICS:

Aamir Khan as Mahavir Singh Phogat
Sakshi Tanwar as Mahavir Singh Phogat’s wife
Fatima Sana Shaikh as Geeta Phogat
Sanya Malhotra as Babita Kumari Phogat
Zaira Wasim as young Geeta
Suhani Bhatnagar as young Babita
Aparshakti Khurrana as Omkara
Girish Kulkarni as the national Coach
Rohit Shankarwar
Vivan Bhatena

Production company – Walt Disney Pictures, Aamir Khan Productions, UTV Motion Pictures
Produced by Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao, Siddharth Roy Kapur
Directed by Nitesh Tiwari
Written by Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Gupta, Shreyas Jain, Nikhil Meharotra
Music by Pritam
Cinematography by Satyajit Pande
Edited by Ballu Saluja
Dangal, hindi movie

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