Critic’s Rating: 3.0/5
Story: The film, a prequel in part, traces Chulbul Pandey’s journey from a young man named Dhaakad to police officer Chulbul Pandey, and his fight with the demons of his past.
Review: This is the third instalment of the ‘Dabangg’ franchise, and the audience is well-acquainted with the larger-than-life, lovable cop and his world. Chulbul (Salman) spends his average day romancing his wife Rajjo (Sonakshi), troubling his brother Makkhi (Arbaaz) and fighting and reforming goons. All is well, until he busts a prostitution racket and saves a bunch of girls, which angers the ringleader, the rich and powerful Balli (Sudeep). Cut to, Chulbul Pandey’s beginnings, a huge chunk of the first part of the film is about his younger days, his love interest – the beautiful and naive Khushi (Saiee) – and the circumstances that urged him to turn over a new leaf and become Robinhood Panday.
There are ample clap-worthy and seeti-maar moments in Prabhudeva’s ‘Dabangg 3’ for Salman Khan fans to lap up. Yes, he takes off his shirt, flaunts his well-toned, perfectly-greased body and beats up the goons to pulp. The action is raw and solid, however, some action scenes (like Chulbul’s introductory sequence) are unreasonably stretched. While the story is clearly predictable, in this one again, Salman’s star power, swag and style remain intact. There is an attempt to infuse comedy in the story, but it seems rather forced. The storyline is not cohesive and the narrative is loosely strung together.
Sudeep is menacing as the baddie, who is out to make Chulbul’s life miserable. The South actor has a great screen presence, which makes the face-offs between Chulbul and him impactful and entertaining. Sonakshi was seen as Rajjo in the first two movies of the franchise, too, but in a film that’s primarily about a tussle between the good and the bad men, she doesn’t have much to do other than play the loving and doting wife. Saiee, who makes her debut as young Chulbul’s lady love, has a pleasant screen presence and is effective, but she could do with expressing more in the emotional scenes. Arbaaz plays his part well.
The film, with a runtime of 2 hours and 42 minutes, seems very long and could have done with a tighter edit. The narrative is also interrupted by a long line-up of songs, of which, the memorable ones are ‘Munna Badnam Hua’ and the title track.
Overall, the film has all the ingredients required for a massy masala entertainer — good action, music, drama and, of course, Salman packing all of this in one story. The portions where the actor throws in comedy while doing hardcore action scenes are nicely done. ‘Dabangg 3’ shows Salman in his element – throwing deadly blows at the villains amidst all the smoke, dust and fire, while you can hear chants of Hudd Hudd Dabangg in the background. And those certainly will be paisa-vasool moments for Salman Khan’s fans.