Dangal movie review: It’s hardly surprising that Aamir Khan has surpassed every other performance he’s given with his latest film Dangal, but what we didn’t realise from its exemplary trailers and songs is that Dangal will probably go down as a classic in Indian cinema. Just like Aamir’s stretched his physique from being a fit young wrestler to a middle-aged dad with a paunch, he flexes his acting talents to portray Mahavir Singh Phogat’s emotional transformation – a young man with dreams to win gold for India to a domineering father who pushes his girls into the sport.
Dangal scores in not being an ode to Aamir, rather his character comes off as too harsh at times – something that was brilliantly aided by Sakshi Tanwar’s muted performance. He denies his daughters the right to choose their path in life and the struggle that ensues between the father and daughters makes the emotional heart of Dangal. Credit to Fatima Sana Shaikh for being a great opposing force to Aamir’s massive talent as Geeta Phogat. She holds her own in front of the actor and carries off the action sequences effortlessly so that with every fight scene we get more invested in her win. Sanya Malhotra has made a wonderful debut, even though her Babita Kumar gets overshadowed by her co-stars.
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Although the events of Dangal are fairly dramatic – a man going headfirst against society by teaching his daughters wrestling, Geeta winning gold at the Commonwealth Games – director Nitesh Tiwari has refrained from overly melodramatic scenes. Having faith in the audience to relate to the Haryanvi family’s struggles, Nitesh lets the emotional scenes speak for themselves without injecting forced drama. All in all, Dangal is not to be missed. Whatever the reasons for Aamir to release the film in the final days of the years, we couldn’t have asked 2016 to close on a better note.