Trailer Watch: 'Dangal'
The Holy Trinity of Khans – Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan, have sewn up most of the major religious festival releases in India. Whether it's Diwali, Eid or Christmas these three titans almost never disappoint in drawing the masses to multiplexes and single screens the world over with their offerings. Despite their combined ages, Sallu, SRK and Aamir refuse to ease their grip and continue to dominate the film industry – no mean feat with countless young pretenders snapping at their heels.
Current furore notwithstanding, this Diwali's must see is Dharma Productions' Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, which surprisingly doesn't feature any of the Khans (unless you count a rumoured special appearance by SRK in ADHM), which in itself is much anticipated, much vaunted and definitely most controversial owing to the Indo-Pak political situation that has transpired since the movie was completed.
Anyway, I digress.
We've had Salman strutting in his chaddis as a wrestler in Sultan, Eid's recent issue, centering on our beloved hero's rise and fall and subsequent rise again, reconnecting with his estranged wife in the process. Aamir's Dangal revovles around wrestling too, but that's where the similarity ends.
The film, for the uninitiated, stars Aamir (obviously), and is based on real life events, a biography about a wrestler, a father, thwarted by fate but uplifted by destiny and his never say die attitude.
Now I'm not usually one for trailers. Badly edited ones can ruin a movie, leaving me cold and disinterested (Befikre's being the most recent case in point), but the Dangal promo has me enthralled. Not for Khan or the story of a down on his luck wrestler who, having failed at his sport and his life, recedes with his tail between his legs feeling sorry for himself. But rather, for his daughters' character arcs which progress as the film progresses. Khan's Mahavir Singh Phogat, has a dream. A Gold! For which he needs a son. But instead, fate presents him with daughters and effectively it's from here on that the story really takes shape.
Our sympathies are cleverly manipulated so we feel his frustration at fathering girls, when his fantasies of his family winning a Gold in the wrestling ring grind to an abrupt halt. The solution comes to him when his elder daughters are caught giving a couple of local neanderthal youths a pasting. Poghat realises that a Gold is a Gold irrespective of which gender attains it, so proceeds to train them, thereby orchestrating a revolutionary change.
To say I'm looking forward to watching this is an understatement. Everyone has their favourite Khan, I don't mind letting you in on a secret – I adore Aamir. He has substance. He has clout. He has principles. He won't be bullied and he wants to make a difference. He took an action franchise, Dhoom 3, and made us all sympathise with the villain, Khan in a double role, flipping it midway to establish that the real villain of the piece is the system. Making villains out of us all. Deep for a film that was essentially mindless fluff.
Dangal looks empowering in the sense that it hopes to educate a fairly regressive nation that having daughters cannot and should not stop you from fulfilling your ambitions. That the girl child too can achieve anything and everything and are no less equal to their male counterparts.
And about time too.
Dangal, a UTV production is directed by Nitesh Tiwari and also stars Sakshi Tanwar, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra.
Are you looking forward to the film?