|Arbaaz Khan Production’s Dabangg 2 (UA), a sequel to Dabangg, is an action fare with romance and family drama thrown in in good measure. From Lalganj (in Dabangg), Chulbul Pandey is transferred to Kanpur. He has come with family – step-father Prajapati (Vinod Khanna), wife Rajjo (Sonakshi Sinha) and step-brother Makkhi (Arbaaz Khan) – to Kanpur and is busy cleansing the city terrorised by politician Bachcha Bhaiyya (Prakash Raj).
In a fit of rage, one day, Chulbul Pandey kills Gainda (Deepak Dobriyal), the younger brother of Bachcha Bhaiyya when he tries to pick up Beni Prasad’s (Achyut Potdar) grand-daughter, Anjali (Sandeepa Dhar), from her wedding mandap because he lusts for her. This angers Bachcha Bhaiyya who swears revenge.
One day, Bachcha Bhaiyya confronts Makkhi and Rajjo who is pregnant. He fires a bullet into Makkhi and pushes Rajjo down the temple steps. Rajjo has a miscarriage and both, she and Makkhi, are hospitalised. Breathing fire, Chulbul Pandey confronts Bachcha Bhaiyya, his other brother, Chunni (Nikitan Dheer), and his cronies. Does Bachcha Bhaiyya’s team prove too much for the lone fighter, Chulbul Pandey? Or is Chulbul Pandey successful in avenging the death of his unborn child?
Dilip Shukla’s script has effectively balanced action with romance and family drama so that there is masala for the audience of both, single-screen cinemas and multiplexes. Of course, the high-voltage action scenes are so forceful that the family drama and the romantic portions seem a bit subdued. However, there are excellent punches in the family scenes and romantic portions too. For instance, the scenes of Chulbul Pandey teasing his step-father by changing his voice on the cell phone, the scene of Chulbul troubling his step-father while both of them are trying to sleep, the track of Chulbul’s jungle quiz, the cute little squabbles between Chulbul Pandey and Rajjo – they are all extremely entertaining and evoke laughter at places and smiles at others.
As far as the drama of good versus evil is concerned, the audience gets the feeling of wanting more because the confrontation scenes between Chulbul Pandey and Bachcha Bhaiyya are few. The first confrontation scene between them is a highlight and so is the last one but the same cannot be said of the other scenes between them. The climax looks too short and the film also comes to an end so fast that the audience gets up with a feeling of incompleteness.
Having said this, it must be mentioned that although the story is routine and the screenplay has its lows, the film holds the audience’s attention. There are plenty of claptrap scenes and many light moments. In particular, every action sequence is clapworthy. Similarly, Chulbul Pandey’s entry will be greeted with thunderous applause in the cinemas because of the huge popularity of both, the character and the actor (Salman Khan) playing the character. There will be a deafening round of applause when Chulbul comes to Bachcha Bhaiyya in the climax to avenge the murder of his unborn child. An even more hysterical round of applause would greet the scene (in the climax) in which Chulbul Pandey’s shirt comes off. The pubilc would go crazy on seeing his well-built torso.
Dilip Shukla’s dialogues are very nice and several of them, especially in the first half, evoke laughter and claps.
Salman Khan does a fantastic job, playing to the gallery and putting his superstardom to use very appropriately. Not only is he mind-blowing in action scenes but is also endearing in the rest of the scenes. He looks superb and remains in character throughout. He uses his charisma to the fullest and endears himself to the audience with his cute comedy, his mannerisms, his typical style of acting and his naughtiness. His dances are extraordinary, whether in the ‘Hudd hudd dabangg’ or the ‘Pandeyji’ or the ‘Fevicol’ song. Sonakshi Sinha gets limited scope but, nevertheless, gives a good account of herself. She looks pretty. Prakash Raj is a phenomenal actor and he deserves kudos for his acting. His facial expressions, his body language and his dialogue delivery add greatly to his very fine performance. Vinod Khanna is wonderfully restrained. Deepak Dobriyal is lovely and acts in a very natural style. Nikitan Dheer looks intimidating but doesn’t have much to do. Manoj Pahwa has his moments as SP Anand Mathur. Arbaaz Khan is quite nice. Kareena Kapoor dances brilliantly in the ‘Fevicol’ song and exudes sex and oomph. Sandeepa Dhar and Achyut Potdar provide good support. Ram Sujan (as constable Chaubey) and Pradeep Choudhary (as constable Tiwari) evoke laughter at some places while their comedy falls flat at other places. Gireesh Sahdev (as sub-inspector Siddiqui), Yogendra Tiku (as head constable Sharma), Mukesh Bhatt (as Chachu), Pankaj Tripathi (as Khilawan), Rajiv Khachru (as Radhe), Flora Saini (as TV reporter) and Yugul Kishore (as Awadh Narayan) lend fair support. Malaika Arora Khan sweeps the viewer off his feet with her supremely agile dancing. Mahie Gill and Tinnu Anand, in special appearances, are alright.
Arbaaz Khan, in his debut directorial venture, has remained true to the Dabangg brand and has succeeded in making a wholesome entertainer. He has put in something for every class of audience. However, the lack of novelty in the subject and presentation will be a sore point for the class audience. Sajid-Wajid’s music is already hit. The ‘Fevicol’ song is superb. The ‘Pandeyji’ number is also very appealing. The ‘Dagabaaz’, ‘Hudd hudd dabangg’ and the ‘Saanson ne’ songs are also very hummable. Lyrics (Sameer, Jalees Sherwani, Sajid-Wajid, Ashraf Ali and Irfan Kamal) are nice. Picturisation of the ‘Fevicol’ (Farah Khan), ‘Pandeyji’ and ‘Hudd hudd dabangg’ songs are wonderful. Radhika and Vinay Sapru’s dance designing is very nice. Background music, scored by Sandeep Shirodkar, is outstanding and it heightens the impact of the drama tremendously. Action scenes, choreographed by Anl Arasu, are truly fantastic and will be adored by the masses and the youth. Aseem Mishra and Madhu Limaye’s cinematography is excellent. Sets are nice. Hemal Kothari’s editing is sharp. Production and other technical values are good.
On the whole, Dabangg 2 is, without doubt, a blockbuster. It may be routine and may have its flaws but, overall, it entertains wonderfully. Most importantly, it has more than enough masala for the millions of Salman Khan fans. Salman Khan carries the entire film on his shoulders.
Released on 21-12-’12 at Regal, Eros, New Excelsior (daily 2 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay thru Stellar Films Pvt. Ltd. Publicity & opening: outstanding. …….Also released all over. Opening was extraordinary at most of the places, and at many places in the North, it was so in spite of the cold weather. Opening in small centres of U.P. was, shockingly, not upto the mark.