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Movie Review: Dabangg 2

Cast: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Prakash Raj, Deepak Dobriyal, Nikitin Dheer, Arbaaz Khan, Vinod Khanna

Direction: Arbaaz Khan

Salman Khan stands in front of the camera twitching one eyebrow for two-and-half hours, he'll guarantee a 250-crore hit. Dabangg 2 gives you more than that, of course. It unleashes the superstar in full fury and flair.

The sameness brings to fore two notions. First, it underlines why Salman is currently Bollywood's box-office boss. Arbaaz's gameplan was obvious: Beef up the production value to max out the Salman impact- script innovation, reinvention of franchise and prop cast be damned. If the playmaker is Salman, every other component has to exist in the superstar's shadow. Dabangg 2 wholly scores with that rule.

The process is manufactured to regale though you don't miss the awful truth- this sequel is basically the same film as the first one, as the trailers hinted. Arbaaz Khan- credited here as producer-director- blindly repeats every trick that worked for Dabangg, stunt for stunt, song for song and, at times, scene for scene. There is the trademark peeling off of the shirt too, in an all-new gimmicky manner.

Essentially, the sequel continues with the idea of giving the genre of comicbook cinema a twist of kitsch. Chulbul Pandey, rockstar cop who gave Salman his newfound mojo with the first film of 2010, was perhaps the apt Bollywood specimen for the job. The film carries on with imparting a cocky smalltown spin to the Hollywood Western formula.

Secondly, however, it exposes a flip side. Salman's stardom took a pleasantly different turn earlier this year with Ek Tha Tiger. That film proved the superstar is saleable even outside his loud comfort zone, in a more sophisticated set-up. Dabangg 2, in its bid to beat Salman's own record that Ek Tha Tiger set for 2012, merely marks his return to the tested zone.
All said, Dabangg 2, distinguished from Dabangg by just the numerical '2', serves the package bigger if not better.

Yeah... the 'script'. We didn't need one but Dilip Shukla still does the formality of penning down a story to sustain the drama, action and slapstick. The script this time has Chulbul, his wife Rajjo (Sonakshi Sinha), father (Vinod Khanna) and brother Makkhi (Arbaaz) shifting base to Kanpur after his transfer from the sleepy town of Lalgadh. Crime is one a bigger prime in the big city, which means Chulbul has a bigger reason to make merry mayhem. His bid to rid the city of all crime will see him lock horns with the local dada- politician- strongman Bachcha Bhaiyya (Prakash Raj, in a role rehashing what he did in Singham). A standard picture of Chulbul's family in peril is in place, too.
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