Predictable to its core, the story of Dabangg is certainly not its strength. In fact, some sequences can be totally edited out. The sequences of Salman’s marriage to Sonakshi, or the burning down of the factory stand out like sore thumbs and only slacken the pace of the movie. The songs (Sajid-Wajid) are perky and one too many. But with Salman doing his pelvic thrusts and Malaika Arora shaking her booty, you don’t mind one bit.
Salman Khan is the sole dynamo of Dabangg. Sonakshi Sinha’s natural gift of acting is very apparent in this debut attempt of hers. Not only is she gorgeous, she brings out an interesting range of expressions, from dour and sullen to shy and droll. Sonu Sood doesn’t lend enough menace and dread to this character though he’s doubtlessly more puffed up. Arbaaz Khan, also the producer, slips well into his crackpot character. In supporting roles Vinod Khanna and Dimple Kapadia are just about okay.
Dabangg is littered with one crackerjack of a dialogue after another. There are killer one-liners, fart jokes and even a shade of ribaldry in the dialogues by Kashyap and Dilip Shukla. In the final showdown between Salman and Sonu, the latter says: “101 kaminey marey tthey jab hum paida huye tthey” (101 scoundrels died when I was born). To it, Salman retorts, “Hum unn kamino ke bhagwan hain” (I am the god of those scoundrels).
Watch Dabangg for Salman and his humdinger of a character, Chulbul. He’s the modern Robinhood with a daredevil gut and a tear behind his sunglasses.