As far as movies and their box office records go these days, Salman Khan seems to be competing with only himself. Since `Wanted', each one of his film have made more money than the previous one. As entertainers these work big time because Salman has carved a niche for himself and caters to only his select audience because he knows them well. In Dabanng, he does more of the same as he tries to put a fresh face to a sequel that was a game changing film for him.
A few things have changed since the last film, the original director Abinav Kashyap declined to do the film and Arbaaz Khan became the director. However as a new director he does not bring a fresh perspective because this sequel is nearly identical to the first film, just the setting has changed from Lucknow to Kanpur. The first fight was in a warehouse in the original film and in the sequel as well. The Dabanng song, has nearly identical dance steps. The mandatory shirtless fight scene. Even Munni makes an appearance. The sameness to the original film is in every frame.
Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan) is relocates to take charge of Bajariya Police Station in the city of Kanpur. Pretty soon Chulbul locks horn with the bully, Bachcha Bhaiyya (Prakash Raj) and his two brothers - Chunni (Nikitin Dheer) and Gainda (Deepak Dobriyal). These confrontations come to a head when Salman kills Gainda at a wedding ( amazing sceene)
The fight scenes are amazing especially the scene at the truck stop. The scenes between Salman and Sonakshi are identical to the first film and so is the song in Dubai. Chulbul's scenes with his father (Vinod Khanna) and brother Makkhi (Arbaaz Khan) are pleasant. If you don't like Salman you won't like the film because this movie was designed to reassert his dominant position at the domestic box office. So the director takes the original film and makes some minor tweaks, but taking care to highlight Salman in every frame. I was expecting great stuff from Prakash Raj, the villain but he is feeble and scowls more than he does anything. I also failed to recognize his voice- was it dubbed?
If you don't like Salman stay away from the film, but if you do then this is a very entertaining film. If it had a well written script and dialogues, it could have been a far more awesome film.
I thought the film was just ok, for fans of Salman though this is a five star experience. 4 stars. 12/21/2012