Arbaz Khan has passed the baton to the legendary Prabhudheva to direct the third edition of the super-hit series that should finally deliver a hit for Salman Khan who has delivered some poor films for his annual Eid release. ‘Dabangg 3’ is taking over the Christmas release position and the expectation was nothing short of rocking the box office earnings owing to the success of the ‘Dabangg’ franchise and the fact that there is not much competition that weekend. Salman Khan is expected is back as a funky cop with an ego, style and killer personality supported by Sonakshi Sinha, Arbaaz Khan, Mahie Gill and Sudeep as the baddie.
Chulbul Pandey (Salman Khan) is now the SP of a town named Tundla. As soon as he arrives, he nabs a bandman-turned-goon Guddu (Nawab Shah) and reforms him. He then busts a human trafficking racket under Chinti Valia (Dolly Bindra). The kingpin of this business is Bali Singh (Kichcha Sudeepa). As soon as Chulbul finds out about this aspect, he goes into a shock. Some repressed traumatic memories come alive in front of his eyes. The story then goes in a flashback mode. This is a time when Chulbul’s name was Dhaakar. He comes across the picture of Khushi (Saiee M Manjrekar). She was selected as the bride for Dhaakar’s brother Makkhi (Arbaaz Khan). But Dhaakar falls for her. He meets her and wins her heart with his progressive thoughts and of course, style. At the insistence of Khushi, he changes his name to Chulbul. The alliance was fixed and all was going well. One day Bali Singh bumps into Khushi and he falls for her. But when he learns that Khushi is madly in love with Dhaakar, he gets enraged and kills her in front of Dhaakar. On top of that, Dhaakar is jailed for the murder of Khushi and her parents. In the prison, he comes across a large hearted police officer Satyendra Singh (Sharat Saxena). He helps him get acquitted and also motivates him to join the police force. As soon as he turns cop under the name of Chulbul Pandey, the first thing he does is to throw Bali Singh down a cliff. He is presumed to be dead. Hence, Chulbul is shocked that Bali survived and is now back to challenge him. What happens next forms the rest of the film
Sudeep’s subtle villainess and powerful screen-presence is a solid factor that added weight to the medium level built conflict in the plot. Despite less screen-time and scope, Sonakshi Sinha and Saiee Manjrekar do justice to their roles. Rajesh Sharma scores well as the constantly confused MLA. The anti-humor between him and his assistant works big time. Sajid-Wajid’s BGM’s are satisfactory and enhances the ‘mass’ scenes. The continuous song sequences feel forced sometimes and slow down the screenplay. Crispier edit would have made the film feel more tightly packed.
Overall, Dabangg 3 is a typical but good rounded commercial film that is enhanced with the quirky character and macho of Salman, along with the commanding screen-presence of Sudeep.
The action scenes are cut with the frantic energy of a toddler on sugar high. The punches land with the loudness of bulldozers, and I swear they made it sound like iron rods clanking this one time a goon hit Salman. And if through all this medley of construction work OST you could still manage to reach the climax, prepare your eyes for colour correction that would leave George Miller shaking in his pants. It’s Mad Max: Dadar Road and they have the aesthetic to match. It’s quite impressive to be honest, achieving this level of pomp and show with such little substance for inspiration 🙂
The climax of Dabangg 3 is staged in an abandoned mine presumably owned by the villain, Bali Singh (Kichcha Sudeep), where humans and machines are indiscriminately blown to smithereens by a very, very angry Chulbul Pandey before he draws his principal adversary into a bloody duel aimed at avenging the killing of a girl the protagonist was in love with once upon a time (more on that later). Brimming with action, music and pulpy punchlines, this is an unabashed potboiler that delivers neither a bang for the buck nor recaptures the comic energy that shone through in the first two outings. The drab storyline scrapes the bottom of the genre barrel despite an effective performance from Kannada megastar Sudeep, playing an embodiment of pure evil and holding his own in a film in which Salman dominates every single frame, sometimes to his own detriment.
Overall: Sadly, we couldn’t enjoy the movie even remotely when compared to the previous movies of the ‘Dabangg’ franchise. We really wish from the bottom of our hearts that this movie was made to the level of the previous ones.