This review is a bit difficult to write. The paradigm to watch this movie has already been set. And nearly everyone I know has endorsed this paradigm. Watch it in a single screen theatre, whistle, dance, and enjoy the mindless entertainment. I do insist on folks not telling me the story or the context of a movie before I see it. There is a good reason; it affects the objectivity with which you watch a movie.
Nevertheless, that’s what the movie is all about. There’s the review.
People have said things like this movie is now setting the standard; I am not sure how. Violating laws of physics and the limit of enduring pain have been a common feature in Bollywood films, though less common than it has been used in the South. This device has been prominent for a while now. From Amitabh Bachchan to Mithun Chakraborty to Govinda to Salman Khan. Dabangg (2010) has not necessarily used this device for the first time. The larger-than-life image of the protagonist has been the most successful for Indian movies, so I fail to see anything spectacularly different that Dabangg has done, in the use of this device. What it has done, if at all, is that it has revived this device after a considerable gap. To my mind, however, there is perhaps another reason why this has appealed to the otherwise intellectual movie-goers – the ones who like movies in the genre of The Transporter (any of the three) or Shoot ‘Em Up (2007).
It’s the quality of production and the manner of presentation.
These Hollywood films are equally mindless and use the same device. With some application of the Coleridgian concept of “willful suspension of disbelief,” the use of this device is quite entertaining. Earlier Indian movies, with their lack of quality of production, made the intellectual movie-goer drop this suspension and deride the fantasy. With Dabangg, you are able to sustain the suspension of your disbelief.
And this quality is apparent throughout the craft – cinematography, the editing, the music. The flagship song is reason enough to pull you to the theatre. Performance doesn’t count heavy in such a film – so I’ll not make a note of that.
This movie is all about presentation. See it, for that.