Okay, so I’m back from a lovely vacation in Tanzania (travelogue post later, if I do get round to writing it, that is). And what do I do by way of catching up on all that I’ve missed? Watch Salman Khan tear off his shirt by getting angry enough to make his biceps bulge involuntarily. Welcome to the world of Dabangg!
Salman’s biggest asset, however, isn’t his physique. It is his ability to sell the ridiculous better than anyone else in the business, so long as he doesn’t have to look entirely serious doing it. Compare Veer with Wanted/Dabangg and you’ll see what I mean.
Dabangg not only depends on this ability of his, it practically thrives on it. Consider the scene where he threatens the villain with: “I’ll shoot so may holes in your body, you’ll be confused as to which one’s for breathing and which one’s for farting.”In the universe of threats where “Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person” deserves a gold medal, this one deserves at least an honourable mention. But what really makes it work is the fact that Salman is so amused, he cracks up completely after having delivered it.
That little kernel of self-awareness in a movie where everyone else plays it straight is one of the reasons behind its appeal. Had the film overdone that aspect, it would’ve had to really work hard at being preposterous enough to be considered a spoof.
Not that everything works quite as well. Sonakshi Sinha was especially underwhelming. One brilliant line, and a physique that’s more Christina Hendricks than Kate Moss. But outside of that, I couldn’t find much use for either her character or her portrayal. Sonu Sood does well, but never quite manages to scape the urban veneer off his persona entirely. And Arbaaz Khan ought to be modeling furniture with that face.
But despite these faults, I could find very little to complain about the overall experience. Dabangg delivers exactly what it promises. As B movies go, this ranks among the best ones to come out in recent times.