Reviewing the Reviews: Dabangg 2

24 Dec,2012

Dabangg 2

Key Cast: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha

Written By: Dileep Shukla, Abhinav Kashyap

Directed By: Abhinav Kashyap

Produced By: Arbaaz Khan, Malaika Arora Khan, Dhillin Mehta


A certain weariness crept into the reviews of Dabangg 2. The first film was crassly commercial but entertaining. Since it wasn’t highly original to begin with, the sequel that faithfully follows the template seems like a repeat and not half as enjoyable. Still, Salman Khan is on a roll, and the film was expected to get a huge opening. But even by the lowering of standards that critics do for Bollywood masala films, this one just about made the cut. Mostly 2 or 2.5 stars, some 3, but the tone, mostly disappointed.


Karan Anshuman of Mumbai Mirror spoke for a lot of moviegoers: “Dabangg 2 is nothing but an amalgamation of its predecessor and its offspring, and only more of the same: slow-mo foot stomp splintering the earth, an opening scene warehouse fight, and the belt now dancing on its own. Still, it is slightly less jarring than the original but that’s mostly because there’s absolutely no attempt at a story this time….On a more serious note, I have to ask – aren’t we tired of watching the same film in its various avatars over and over again? It’s the same gimmicky action sequences, same item numbers, with the same actors telling us the same unoriginal story. When will we realize that somewhere along the way it became about stars and filmmakers having a blast at our expense rather than them being responsible for entertaining us?”


Srijana Mitra Das of the Times of India tried to be upbeat. “Arbaaz Khan’s direction is commendable – he maximises his main star, maintains balance and keeps the movie tight. There are some loose strands – an SP eating ‘pisa’ becomes annoyingly heavy, Sonakshi’s acting stays lean, some jokes are saccharine-like – but at the end, Salman’s shirt comes off, so it’s all cool. Taking this franchise forward, Dabangg 2 presents a sewaiyyan Western where hot-cop Chulbul is cowboy and stud. If you’re up for fun that’s purely tongue-in-cheek, this will give you bangs for your buck.”


Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV gave it a reluctant thumbs up.”The obvious question: is Dabangg 2 really twice as nice as the original action flick that made giant waves in 2010? Well, for one, the follow-up has been mounted on a far more lavish scale: its budget is nearly double that of the precursor. This film might also end up raking in a much larger box office booty than Dabangg did. But assessed strictly as a pure entertainer designed for instant mass gratification, it isn’t half as successful. But make no mistake. Dabangg 2 is every inch of the way the critic-proof film that it is meant to be. No matter how many holes you might spot in its uncomplicated, wafer-thin narrative edifice, Bollywood’s most bankable megastar’s onscreen deeds, at a bit of a stretch, would serve to paper over all of them.”


Anupama Chopra of the Hindustan Times was just a little disappointed. “There wasn’t one line that stayed with me after the film. But what remains consistent is the sheer fun of watching Robin Hood Pandey solve the many problems of the world by breaking necks. I think complicated times call for uncomplicated heroes and Chulbul Pandey fits the bill perfectly. My review of Dabangg ended with a plea for a better story for Chulbul. Like so much else in Dabangg 2, that too remains the same. Can someone please write a terrific plot for this terrific character?”


Rajeev Masand of IBNLive commented, “Expectedly Dabangg 2’s only strength is Salman Khan himself, who is the glue that holds together this slipshod film. He’s charming in his romantic, cheeky scenes with Sonakshi Sinha, he’s mischievous and endearing while teasing his father, and plain hilarious in his interactions with his sidekick cops. Sadly, Chulbul Pandey is an extraordinary man trapped in an ordinary, unexciting world in Dabangg 2.”


Sukanya Verma of was nostalgic for the original. “Dabangg 2 serves primarily as a reminder of what this Rs 100 crore addiction is doing to the art of entertainment. Entertainment, not filmmaking, mind you. Even escapism deserves to be treated with boundless imagination. And so I’ll take Salman Khan stopping a moving tram with nothing but a blazer over the same old Matrix-era maneuvers. Now THAT was quite a kamaal, Pandeyji.”


Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express ranted, “The whole film revolves around Chulbul. What else can it do, poor thing? His chulbuli, played by Sinha through the film in the same curvaceous-cum-coquettish manner, the same sideways come-hither glances, stays in the kitchen, occasionally straying to the bedroom, and getting to leave the house only a couple of times. Clearly, if you want to be a 100 crore club mascot, that’s all you can aspire to.”


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