If ever any out-and-out Bollywood commercial film can stand tall in the 'biopic' category, then possibly it is Nitesh Tiwari's directorial 'Dangal'. The film not only presents Aamir Khan as National level champion in wrestling Mahavir Singh Phogat from Balali, Haryana, but also as a father who does the unthinkable for his daughters—Geeta and Babita.
The real-life inspired 'Dangal' will melt your heart right from the first scene when we see a visibly younger Aamir kicking some butt in his Sarkari office with model-actor Vivan Bhatena. The story of 'Dangal' everyone knows but the journey and milestone covered to achieve the glittering gold medal make this fight saga more special.
Sakshi Tanwar as Daya Shobha Kaur, Mahavir's wife is subtle yet impressive in her part. She plays a doting wife and mother but different from her television saas-bahu image.
The tough battle of a father Mahavir who cherishes an unfulfilled dream of getting a gold for his country internationally makes the narrative emotional yet appealing at the same time. The screenplay cleverly brings forth the perennial problem of how monetary troubles and lack of funds become a hindrance in producing good athletes in the country.
Mahavir wishes that his son will fulfil his dream of winning gold for the country, a dream he couldn't realise in his youth.
However, god, who had other plans, sends not one but four daughters to the Phogat household. But the will and determination to make his daughters—Geeta and Babita world famous wrestlers makes Mahavir a father, every child needs. There is a strong point made when he faces reservations from the society in raising his daughters as wrestlers.
Aamir as Mahavir not only coaches his reel daughters—Geeta and Babita but also prepares them for the big league. The young girls Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar, who played Geeta and Babita in the film are exceptionally good and will definitely leave an indelible mark in your minds. The 'Haanikarak Bapu' song not only brings out the strict disciplinarian in Aamir's character but also shows us the hardships and turmoil Mahavir and his daughters had to go through.
You will be smitten by Aamir's dedication to undergo such a major transformation for the film. He flaunted his paunch wherever required and cut to a stout body with six-pack abs. This certainly needs applause.
Aparshakti Khurrana as the close cousin of Phogat sisters is funny with his one-liners and lends that breezy space to the otherwise emotionally charged-up narrative. Aamir Khan was away from the big screens for two long years, and after watching 'Dangal', you will surely say 'shabhash!
The older versions of Geeta and Babita, played by Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra respectively too do a brilliant job. If Aamir as a father Mahavir is the fulcrum of 'Dangal' then Phogat daughters are the real torch bearers of brilliant acting.
This biopic will give you multiple moments to relive the sports feat achieved by these young girls. The wrestling bouts turn into a do or die situation and this pumps up your adrenaline rush to a new level. Aamir Khan's act is gritty, powerful and full of conviction—when you watch him talk like a Haryanvi, you actually believe he is one and not an actor essaying a role.
Also, the tiff between new technique and old method dangal is perfectly presented by Nitesh Tiwari when trouble propels between the NSA coach (again his act was well done) and Mahavir.
Amid a lot of emotional swings taking the viewer up and down, there is a seamless screenplay and camera work by Sethu Sriram which puts Dangal on a pedestal much higher than any sports biopic ever made in Bollywood so far.
Aamir Khan, we have to say if time is what makes you bring out a script like this to 70mm screens, then you can possibly take ample and deliver something like 'Dangal' over and over again. A piece of little advice, viewers who are planning to watch this flick, please keep in mind—Dangal is no Sultan, so the two cannot and must not be compared.
Our verdict? Do watch the film with your family, there are many slice-of-life dialogues and hard-hitting moments which will bring out the spirit of national fervour in you. 'Dangal' will surely inspire young India.
Congratulations Mahavir Singh Phogat aka Aamir Khan—'Dangal' strikes Gold!