Dir :Arbaaz Khan
Chulbul Pandey is at it again, bashing bad guys, sometimes killing them at will.But he does not have much else to do.He has already won the girl in his last outing, his brother is now much reformed though still a bit dim, his mother with whom he shared a complicated relationship is dead and his father who always brought out his ugly side is now his buddy.
The brilliant director Abhinav Kashyap who brought Chulbul Pandey to life has been sacked.Brother Arbaaz directs this time and this film is a neat way to make 200 crores all in the family.Sadly the sequel is an inferior copy of the original.The earlier Chulbul Pandey was called Robin Hood Pandey because he was deliciously corrupt.He was a lovable rascal who was also a complicated person.His childhood had scarred him and beneath the bluster he was a troubled soul.I guess in the last 3 years India has been so battered by corruption scandals that the makers could not be seen condoning a corrupt policeman.So they send Chulbul into rehab.And he comes out a pure action hero robbed of much of his charm,humors and character.The original film created a new kind of bollywood film that used the real life personality of a film star to tailor a film to the taste of the mass audience.But so well calculated were the shenanigans of Chulbul v1.0 that even the elite multiplex audience lapped him up and it spawned a sub genre of its own.
This film is not bad at all, just dull compared to the original.For a baddie we get Prakash Raj who plays Baccha Singh who does not have much to do except loose his temper. Sonakshi Sinha can maintain her stellar record of delivering only superhits that get into the 100 crore club because the rest of the hipper younger actors wont act with her and her dad Shatrughan Sinha will not let her wear a miniskirt( his boss Sushma Swaraj wont approve).So she is likely to remain Mrs Chulbul Pande in her backless polkadotted blouses and deliver mini Chulbul Pandeys for some time. There should be 3 more sequels so that gives her 6 years.And then she can start having her own kids!
Now Arbaaz Khan does something interesting with his Makkhi character.In his earlier avatar he was a guy who could sell his mother to fund his wedding but a good for nothing otherwise.Here he smartens up and becomes a man, worthy of being a slightly uncool bro of the super cool Chulbul. Maybe he is preparing for greater glory in the next installments. He should be allowed to abuse the privilege of being Sallu Bhai’s bhai. And he does not spare his wife Malaika making her shake a boob and crediting her simply as Munni in the opening credits.Now that is not good news for her career. Makkhi is one calculating fella.
Observe what he does with product placements.Last time the makers of Zandu Balm took the circuitous route of writing themselves into the Munni song and then suing for publicity.This time the Fevicol guys who had some of the most brilliant ads running on TV choose to plaster themselves on Kareena Kapoors heaving bosom in the item song.Her cleavage enhancing colorful blouses add color to this already hyper saturated film.
But in the middle of all this conservative filmmaking there is a genuinely funny character, the gluttonous pot bellied boss of Salman played by Manoj Pahwa. His obsession with eating makes us smile, not to speak of his complete disinterest in his job and being a completely hands off boss.If only our bosses let us be and concentrated on their Chole Bhature life would be a breeze.Just pray they don’t pass wind with you around!
There hangs a portrait of the Chulbuls dead mother player by Dimple Kapadia in his bedroom.The guys who photoshopped Dimple deserves kudos. Laloo Yadav will be tempted to ditch Rabri Devi if he finds this pic on the net.
The film copies its own songs and I detected a dash of Singham in the mix.In the choreography department Salman does not have to do much to wiggle his belt.It happens on his own.There is a lot happening in his pants, he manages to get his wife pregnant twice in the film.The background score is competent but owes a debt to Tarantino who is also channelized in other departments. Considering the fact that this film does not have much of a storyline the editors wisely cut the flab and keep runtime under 2 hours.The art department could have been more creative, Chulbul’s house is littered with objects d’art which belong in a posh Delhi household. Bhojpuri+Bihar is what sells in the upmarket multiplexes today, the writers wisely keep the dialogue rooted in watered down Bhojpuri and not the authentic stuff of Gangs of Wasseypur.
Despite all the shortcomings this sequel provides adequate entertainment to the audience.There are a few laughs and the action sequences retain the energy of the original.Salman knows by now that his method of being the anti actor is working and continues to be the Rajnikanth superman persona for the North Indian audience. If you don’t like him its your problem.He is like this only. Dabangg 2 is like a mixed chaat which has a bit of spice for everyone.Too bad its the multiplex food court type this time and not the real kick ass Delhi Belly inducing stuff sold in the baazars of the cowbelt.