A third addition to the Dabangg franchise, ‘Dabangg 3‘ seems to be made to provide a backstory of Chulbul Pandey with an amalgamation of lots of cliched, forced messaging and a divisive approach to target a particular set of audience.
Directed by- Prabhu Deva
Produced by- Salman Khan, Arbaaz Khan, Nikhil Dwivedi
Story by- Salman Khan
Written by- Dilip Shukla, Aloke Upadhyaya
Starring- Salman Khan, Arbaaz Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Saiee Manjrekar, Sudeep
Chulbul Pandey, played by Salman Khan who came across as a policeman who has no qualms in dodging the law in the first two parts, Dabangg 3 provides the background of the fella we know. With the character of wife played by Sonakshi Sinha, an underestimated younger son played by Arbaaz Khan, Salman Khan’s body-hugging uniform and vigilantism remains the same – what is different here is it tries to reason out his amorality. There are new characters as well, such as a girl named Khushi, an antagonist named Bala and a cataclysm which are woven to carry the story forward.
Like every Salman Khan movie, Dabangg 3 is no different – at least nothing that you have not seen before. A larger than life entry who summons from the knead of a magic lamp, and there are zillion of such moments which are designed keeping the gap for claps and whistles from the theatre.
Also, to overcompensate the unethical behaviour of the hero, the film keeps pushing some forced messaging without any context. Such as in one of the opening scenes, Khan says “… hum police wale nahi, police wale gunda hain …” quite apt the line in the present scenerio, he actually beats up a thug for chewing gutka and how it has ill-effects on health, he shoots a co-policeman in his arm for suggesting to take the trafficked girls to the police station first for a proper legal preceding. Sonakshi Sinha in opening scene beats up a man for wasting water and how we will run out of oxygen if we keep losing water instead of watering the plants. There are other references of global warming, dowry, women empowerment – which just doesn’t fit into the narrative.
The irony further overpowers all these coerced idealism the film drags itself into. There is a scene when a human trafficker slaps a female cop for arresting her, the cop gets intimidated, and Khan is quick to console her and gives us a line on Bhartiya Sabhyata and Nari Samman. As stupid as it sounds. And again there are dozen of such references which are completely antithetical.
In one scene, Chulbul Pandey assures the girl’s family that he will wait for five years to get married to her and arrange the fund for her medical studies as well. Later, we see the woman whom he then marries played by Sonashi Sinha as a homemaker – raising a son, cooking and delivering dialogues like, “aapke naam ka sindoor mujh par bohot jachta hain” (2020 hello!). Now, this could be her choice; we are not told. But that sagacity is difficult to believe with a male protagonist like him – who in one hand utters a lot of progressive women empowerment and bhartiya sabhyata lines but ends up in an item number for a cross-sectional appeal?
There is a lot of effort to make a concoction of an entertaining film by trying to incorporate song-dance-dialoguebaazi-mindless action to crass comedy such as grabbing gonads (yuckk!) to famous “… hum tum main itna ched …”. Though, the only thing which was a little riveting is Bali burying dead bodies in his rose garden – but even that too doesn’t have any context.
It is not always essential to make a socially relevant film. Or a socially pertinent film to be of a weighty or a highbrow one. Similarly, an entertaining movie can also be if not socially relevant but at least socially responsible one. But the theory often gets subsided by the meekness of the thing called ‘stardom’.