Movie Review: Dangal | 5/5


The film opens with a television set projecting white noise. And by the time, you walk out of the film, everything else will feel like it.

Mahavir Singh Phogat (played by Aamir Khan), an amateur wrestler has a big dream and a straightforward goal, he wants his country, India to win a gold medal in wrestling. While he hopes for his children to fulfil this dream, he is blessed with four daughters. It takes him a while to realise that the sport of wrestling need not discriminate between the gender of its participants.

And once this realisation hits him, he’s unstoppable in training and preparing his two older daughters to emerge as winners for the wrestling arena.

From the innocence of Zaira Wasim and Suhani Bhatnagar playing the young Geeta and Babita respectively to the shining performances of Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra as wrestling champions, the spotlight doesn’t rest on Aamir Khan alone.

To categorise it in any other way than a complete film would do Dangal injustice. It is the best in every genre it straddles, be it sports or family or entertainment.

The film had me in a riveting emotional grip, chuckling at the humour for relief, cheering as if I were watching a live match in the wrestling arena, beaming with pride at Geeta’s achievements and extremely satisfied at the end.

Every moment in the film is so beautifully crafted and seamlessly takes the storytelling notches higher.

There is a raw energy and passion exuding from the screen that makes you feel, rather than think. It brings out that child like fervour of watching a film in a cinema hall.

You’ll see for yourself that it makes you extremely proud of your roots, automatically give a standing ovation and not fall short on the applause.

Writer-director Nitesh Tiwari has given a gem of a film in Dangal. If Aamir Khan is the one who ensures a good outing at the cinema on Christmas, everyone else, including the writers, producers, cast and crew have evidently put their heart and soul into Dangal.

Some scenes and sequences won’t leave you. If parents and fathers, especially, can spend their entire lives for the success of their children, girls can be unstoppable and make the country proud, filmmakers can deliver cinema like Dangal, the least we can do is enjoy it and tell everyone about it.

This one is a gold medal winner in audience’s hearts and box offices alike.

Book your tickets for Dangal at

Kapoor And Sons Movie Review & Everything Else!

It’s not every Friday that I book an afternoon show of the released film. But I had to make an exception for Kapoor And Sons because I loved Shakun Batra’s Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. And Kapoor And Sons looked like a movie that would leave me emotional. When ever anyone asks me what kind of movies I like or how I critique a film, I only tell them this. It should be an experience that moves me. It can’t bore me or not have any effect on me. It should have some sort of impact. That’s my only criterion.

Kapoor and Sons
Kapoor and Sons

So, what about Kapoor and Sons? In one line,

it will make you cry a little, smile a lot and be grateful for your family

because they are the only ones who are truly yours.

Just like a family portrait which is never perfect despite carefully considering all conditions, the family itself isn’t either. But there is a lot of love, hopefully. And the nuances and imperfections that make it uniquely yours.

Kapoor & Sons Poster

Let’s start with the painstakingly crafted characters essayed by an excellent range of actors. Right from Rishi Kapoor, the Kapoor (whose first name is irrelevant) who heads this esoteric family and helms the reel Kapoor And Sons. To Rajat Kapoor, the seasoned Ratna Pathak Shah and the delectable Fawad Khan and Sidharth Malhotra. And the completely hot and charming Alia Bhatt who proves no role is big or small for an actor. I want to give all of them (characters and actors who play them) a big, big hug. Except Rishi Kapoor, who I just want to kiss, with his prosthetic make-up in tact.

Rishi Kapoor in Kapoor And Sons
Rishi Kapoor in Kapoor And Sons

To give away any plot points of Kapoor And Sons is to take away from the experience of watching it and doing injustice to the review. Watch it, with a family member, if you can, and revel in the experience.

I’d like to point out that I have been grooving to Let’s Nacho every day (more than once) and you will too after you’ve watched the movie, not knowing which ‘step’ to choose. You’ll definitely want to ‘bust some moves’ to Kar Gayi Chull as well.

Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra in Kapoor And Sons
Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra in Kapoor And Sons

There are some absolutely hilarious moments in the film when the audience clapped and laughed too. There are some candid moments that everyone will identify with. And there is a hell of a lot of attention paid to detail. It all comes together so beautifully, it made me want to write this blog even more.

Fawad Khan and Sidharth Malhotra in Kapoor And Sons
Fawad Khan and Sidharth Malhotra in Kapoor And Sons

I strongly believe one of the film’s many strengths is it’s very very clever and passionate writing. Kudos to Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre Dhillon. I want that for myself.

And I want to wrap up this blog by saying you don’t come across a Kapoor And Sons every other week. A film that doesn’t even have title credits and gets right to it is a gem. It tells a heart-breaking story with ease and beauty.

Book your tickets already!

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Talking Shop With Actress Shweta Tripathi & Falling In Love

She goes by @battatawada on Twitter and has been bagging all the awards at the shows for her debut in Masaan. It was also the recipient of the Best Film prize in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015. Today, a short film featuring her, Koi Dekh Lega releases on the Y Films channel on YouTube. I’m talking about the extremely spirited actress, Shweta Tripathi. Incidentally, the year before I was features writer at Filmfare, Shweta did her internship at Femina. That’s how a common friend introduced us on Facebook. At the time we became ‘friends’ online, she was helping with casting for Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar. She innocently asked me if I knew any Kashmiri looking girl and I felt really bad for not knowing one. Of course, Nargis Fakhri eventually did that role and Rockstar became one of my favourite films. Fast forward some years and Shweta is shooting for an ad film in Bangkok and I’m on a FaceTime call with her, talking about everything under the sun. It took a lot of co-ordination and lighting (Shweta was actually sitting in front of the television to catch light, so I could see her) but once we got talking, a little more than an hour just flew by.

Shweta Tripathi
Shweta Tripathi

Here’s what you need to know about her: She’s not changing her twitter handle from @battatawada to @ShwetaTripathi449 or something else anytime soon. She doesn’t believe in losing her quirkiness to make herself easily searchable. (I love that.) She follows Robert Downey Jr. and Jim Carrey and likes to think people on Twitter follow her because she is herself even on social media. It is interesting to follow people who have opinions on things like movies or topics that interest a user.

@battatawada twitter snapshot
@battatawada twitter snapshot

Her twitter DP is also making me extremely nostalgic. Remember this?

I’m the tomato sauce to your #spaghetti. #LACMA

A photo posted by Dhruvi Shah (@alicewandering) on

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