Cast: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Kiccha Sudeep
Chulbul Pandey is back after a long sabbatical in Dabangg’s third edition and his fans must be eager to see Salman Khan plays it with his trademark swagger. And he does, with a touch of the quirky comic flair and the complete bravado of not just a filmi hero but that of Salman Khan. And that to my mind alone should be helpful in getting the footfalls in single screens across the country.
Directed by Prabhudheva (he makes a special appearance in the film), Dabangg 3 is part prequel with the backstory on the genesis of the dhakad Chulbul Pandey the cop aka as Robinhood Pandey. There is predictably a story of lost love, of injustice and the villain Bali (Sudeep).
Written by Salman Khan himself along with Prabhudheva and Alok Upadhyay, the story is reminiscent of the films of the 80s wherein pretty and vulnerable girls fell prey to the wiles of the powerful villains and goons while the valiant heroes fought to set matters straight in order for the good to prevail. That and a generous dose of comedy at frequent and opportune moments keep the mood light. What the writing team get right is a story consistent with its earlier editions and one that manages to integrate the new elements – a different love interest and of course a different villain even as they keep the family together.
The challenge to a popular movie franchise like Dabangg is that it requires novelty and sameness in equal parts and the team does get its balance right. However, it is the villainy a hark back to the tried and tested formula of the 80s actioners that prevents Dabangg 3 from becoming memorable. Sajid- Wajid’s music, even Munna Badnaam Hua lacks the freshness of its predecessors and only helps to add to a sense of déjà vu when watching the film.
Salman Khan is in his element, dominating every frame and is likely to impress his fans. Sonakshi Sinha plays the good wife Rajjo with easy aplomb while Arbaaz Khan, Dimple Kapadia and Pramod Khanna do the supporting parts well.
Sudeep has great screen presence, which he works well despite the lack of even one scene, which would make it to the annals of the memorable moments of on-screen villainy.
New find Saiee Manjerakar (Khushi), who Khan has been grooming for her debut holds her own even in a rather demure and submissive role and is a talent to watch out for.
However, like all Salman Khan starrers Dabangg 3 rests heavily on its leading man to work his charm at the box-office and given Salman Khan’s serendipitous ability to do so time and again, it is quite likely that he will.
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