Who is to judge whether Aamir is a perfectionist or not? What matters most is, he’s back with a new project, that sees him in a never seen before avatar in Dangal. But hasn’t that always been Aamir’s trump card: doing the never done before, undertaking challenges that none spot and transforming unsung, unheard stories into real, moving experiences. So much about Aamir Khan, truth be told, a true enigma is about daring and guile and, not just about versatility.
That said, in Dangal, Aamir resurfaces on the big screen after PK (his last prominent movie role save Pluto in Dil Dhadakne Do) with an uncanny difference. That he plays the less celebrated sports icon Mahavir Singh Phogat is known to all. But that Aamir has brought attention to Bollywood newbies- Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra- who play retired wrestler Mahavir’s real life daughters, Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari respectively, has made the promise on offer in Dangal worth the wait.
Everyone loves a good fight between girls never expected to do what men have been doing and the sheer rattling of pre-conceived notions about what girls can or can’t do. This only makes Dangal, replete with inspiring tales of young girl wrestlers emerging on top of their critics and eventually, surprising themselves by defeating our patriarchal society an uplifting cinematic experience. But that Dangal is also about the intricacies of a Haryanvi man’s family, his poignant relation with it, his own successes and the period in its aftermath, where post his prime, he trains his girls to do what the society tags as ‘undoable’ makes the movie truly worth watching. And at the same time, the release date a near impossible wait to ward off.
There’s been a lot of talk about the fantastic physical transformation of Aamir, defined by first his ‘over-size’ appearance and then, by his sudden weight loss marked by a supremely fit and suave looking physical frame. Equally compelling have been the water-tight wrestling techniques learnt arduously by Dangal’s real heroes- it’s young actresses who’ve endured demanding schedules for the film. Fatima and Sanya have endured all larger than life demands exacted from purists like Nitesh Tiwari (Director) who will stop at nothing before unleashing an emotionally moving and triumphant tale that Dangal promises to be.
In a country where cricket is common religion and other equally competitive sports are often marginalized, perhaps due to sheer lack of awareness among masses who’ve been fed an incessant diet of ‘cricket gods and deities’, it is thanks to Salman’s ‘Sultan’ and now, Aamir’s Dangal that wrestling finally, is getting its due. Or should one suggest, glowing with brightness albeit the attention finally coming despite prolonged wait?
Critics would find more reasons to create another needless comparison between the Khan trinity that, first with Shah Rukh’s Chak De, then through Salman’s Sultan and now, through to-be released Dangal will keenly place Aamir in a needless tirade. What matters most, above and beyond comparisons is that Dangal has at the heart of it, an inspiring albeit roughened journey, made only as tougher by hardships as pious in its ultimate emotional reward. For the love of Aamir Khan’s magic, for the wait of seeing good cinema built on believable tales where the winner isn’t the one who takes all but gives all he has, Dangal seems superbly exciting. Perhaps what takes the cherry from the cake in this one is that, for a change, it is a ‘She’ who also wins in the end in a man-dominated journey.
Dangal comes to cinemas on December 21, 2016.