Special Review: Dangal (2016)

Hollywood's Indian counterpart Bollywood has been known for its strange movies filled with troll physics, random dancing, questionable plot and over the top acting. But the industry's latest hit Dangal is a rare movie which features none of the above.

Dangal is based on the true story of Mahavir Singh Phogat and how he trained his 2 daughters Geetha and Babita to become professional wrestlers. It's also a story of female empowerment as the girls endure misogyny and pressure of success from their father.

Many Indian movies portray women in an undermining way but recently some movies such as Neerja and Akira have shown women to be strong heroes who can handle situations on their own, and this movie is another step in the right direction. Both the girls worked very hard to achieve their goals while dealing with their own difficulties. The younger versions of the girls were rather charming and funny and their older versions were more serious so their growth was definitely noticeable.

Aamir Khan has once again proved himself to be one of the most versatile actors in Bollywood. He managed to do better than his previous films by showing a wide range of emotions without stepping outside the realm of realism. And I was impressed to see he was dedicated enough to the role by changing his body weight drastically, just like Christian Bale and Jake Gyllenhall. Aamir also provided an accurate portrayal of a parent as he tried to do what he believed was best for his children, regardless of how they felt.

Now to address my main issue with the movie: it's story. I've seen quite a few sports related movies over the years and so the plot became very predictable for me. Another problem for me was that while the first half focused on the girls equally, the rest of the movie was more about Geetha, leaving Babita to take on a more supportive role.

Overall, this was a pretty great movie, though i believe this mostly due to the efforts of the lead actors as well as the director who made this a respectable and educational film. Dangal is a movie the whole family can appreciate. (Fair warning, subtitles are a necessity while watching)

(Translated) Quote of the special:
"There are only two minutes in a single round ... but if you come to think of it, there are 120 seconds in two minutes ... wait for that one second when your opponent makes a mistake"

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