Dabangg 2: Review

Last year I travelled to Almaty in Kazhakistan, sildenafil recipe one of those break-away nations when USSR crumbled. It’s a quaint place, information pills and I quite liked it; the flight to and fro (that too from Delhi) was anything but. While going they tortured us by being extremely stingy in serving water. On return, they upped the ante. We reached around midnight, exhausted, and sanguinely looking forward to crash into the bed before catching an early morning flight to Mumbai. In between, I had planned to slip away and visit parents; after all, it would be callous and criminal to be in Delhi and not visit them.

I rushed from the duty free shop towards the baggage claim hall, in Delhi’s newly built swanky T-3 Terminal, hoping to rapidly retrieve my suitcase and exit at the earliest. That wasn’t meant to be. As the excruciating wait extended beyond the normal minutes, and the baggages dried up on the conveyor belt, panic set in, and I sensed something was amiss. There were nine of us still waiting. Approaching the ground personnel we received the horrific news that our bags had been offloaded at Almaty due to the plane being over-full. I heard the news with disbelief. How the bloody hell can you offload without informing the passenger? What ensued was a high-voltage high-volume drama, with nine of us clamoring over the harried personnel, my vocal chords stretched and my patience shredded. My plans of visiting parents suddenly melted; and a chilling realization crystallized – my Mumbai home keys were in those offloaded bags! The pandemonium continued for another one hour as they got about filling up forms, calling Kazhakistan to deliver in the next flight (which incidentally was not the next day, as the service is not daily) and promising to deliver it at Mumbai; in between all this, they threw in a sweet word- compensation! How much? 50 Euros a day. While I kept an angry facade, inwardly I gleefully thought – who cares if I dont carry a bunch of dirty soiled clothes, if they pay that much daily and eventually deliver it at home? Not a bad deal, at all!

The only little irritant was the bunch of keys to my home’s main door, for which I would find a locksmith and would get a duplicate set made.

However, that hot July night I visited my parents richer by a promised Euros 200 (as they bags would reach only four days later). Though the actual monies came in after several months, with a huge amount of rigorous follow-up, and a lot of threatening to their higher ups. In between, they back-tracked on their Euro 50 promise as well, though thankfully we had it in writing from them, which (on hindsight) was a fabulous decision to have taken amidst all that airport mayhem and chaos that night. I made good use of all the customer complaint mails that I’d have ever got in regurgigating it back to Air Almaty, almost getting some vicarious pleasure in punching out emails upon emails till they relented to transfer the entire funds. Not a euro more, not a euro less.

This year we travelled to Kenya. The minute I heard about the trip, I joked tongue-in-cheek to the colleague who was making the arrangements (and who had also been one amongst the nine last year), ‘Please ensure I lose my bag on return’. He guffawed, ‘Air Kenya. Trust me, it’s a possibility’. Only, the reality of this possibility extended to something even more bizarre.

Nairobi airport’s check-in is a tedious process with a never-ending queue snaking all the way towards the entrance; there aren’t too many flights and Air Kenya opens only two counters. Even before my turn came up I sensed a commotion. On enquiry, I learntthat there were ‘a few of us not confirmed’ as the flight was over-booked. What the hell! This was a group booking, but apparantly Air Kenya had grossly mis-calculated and evidently taken in more than it could aboard its flight. Thereafter as we crawled ahead, it became a game of Russian roulette – which of us would be accepted and which not. I was not. The number was fifteen odd people, but soon with some noise and some threatening to the tour operator, it got pruned. Eventually, there were just eight of us left without a boarding pass. I was. I could have once more exercised my voice’s weight but the personnel had already surrendered with the ‘c’ word – compensation! Hotel stay and USD 200. I didn’t even bother to put up a facade this time around.

A few who had been with me in the previous trip looked at me incredulously, ‘You? Again?’ Barely concealing my grin, I remarked wryly, ‘Just upgrading myself. Last time, they left my baggage. This time, they are leaving the whole of me!’

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. The airline came up with some manipulations and managed to board us, even though a few of us hurried into the airplane with the doors closing on our heels. Sadly, even the baggage reached safely; and to my dismay, mine was pretty early to arrive on the carousel.

On Holi this year, I wasted the festival flying back from Chandigarh on an incredibly uncomfortable Go Air plane. I had sworn off Go Air ever sincetheir rude behavior at Kochi two years back. But I had to swallow my pride, and had conceded flying with them since they were the only flight available at my preferred time. On reaching Mumbai, I painfully regretted the decision. I awaited at the baggage conveyor, right near the hole that spewed out the luggage (in the hope of grabbing mine early), swinging gently over the trolley and humming some Lata Mangeshkar ditty. I was so engrossed in my thoughts and songs I didn’t even notice the dwindling quantity of the bags rolling over, till the time the belt shuddered to a halt. I spun around to horrifyingly observe that that belt was virtually empty of any passenger. And my bag had not arrived. Frantic, I searched for the airline staff, and found her near the ‘Baggage Desk’ (or whatever it’s called) entwined with another harrassed passenger. ‘I am here, I am here’ she assured, ‘Just give me a minute’. But my temper had risen, she should have been near the conveyor and not here, and what had they done with my bag, ?!

Mentally I had already typed a customer complaint letter, which I never sent. Honestly, I found her very rude and uncaring, but I think I should expect that of Go Air after the Kochi experience. Worse, to my utmost dismay, she never uttered the ‘c’ word, and eventually I just gave up and left after she duly filled up her forms and noted my address. Who cares if I dont carry a bunch of dirty soiled clothes, even without any compensation, if they promise to deliver it the same night at home! Still, not a bad deal. But yes, turned out that Go Air is such a useless airline that it delivers its lost baggages the same day, and doesn’t even pay compensation per hour (tongue firmly in cheek).

Last year I travelled to Almaty in Kazhakistan, ailment one of those break-away nations when USSR crumbled. It’s a quaint place, malady and I quite liked it; the flight to and fro (that too from Delhi) was anything but. While going they tortured us by being extremely stingy in serving water. On return, they upped the ante. We reached around midnight, exhausted, and sanguinely looking forward to crash into the bed before catching an early morning flight to Mumbai. In between, I had planned to slip away and visit parents; after all, it would be callous and criminal to be in Delhi and not visit them.

I rushed from the duty free shop towards the baggage claim hall, in Delhi’s newly built swanky T-3 Terminal, hoping to rapidly retrieve my suitcase and exit at the earliest. That wasn’t meant to be. As the excruciating wait extended beyond the normal minutes, and the baggages dried up on the conveyor belt, panic set in, and I sensed something was amiss. There were nine of us still waiting. Approaching the ground personnel we received the horrific news that our bags had been offloaded at Almaty due to the plane being over-full. I heard the news with disbelief. How the bloody hell can you offload without informing the passenger? What ensued was a high-voltage high-volume drama, with nine of us clamoring over the harried personnel, my vocal chords stretched and my patience shredded. My plans of visiting parents suddenly melted; and a chilling realization crystallized – my Mumbai home keys were in those offloaded bags! The pandemonium continued for another one hour as they got about filling up forms, calling Kazhakistan to deliver in the next flight (which incidentally was not the next day, as the service is not daily) and promising to deliver it at Mumbai; in between all this, they threw in a sweet word- compensation! How much? 50 Euros a day. While I kept an angry facade, inwardly I gleefully thought – who cares if I dont carry a bunch of dirty soiled clothes, if they pay that much daily and eventually deliver it at home? Not a bad deal, at all!

The only little irritant was the bunch of keys to my home’s main door, for which I would find a locksmith and would get a duplicate set made.

However, that hot July night I visited my parents richer by a promised Euros 200 (as they bags would reach only four days later). Though the actual monies came in after several months, with a huge amount of rigorous follow-up, and a lot of threatening to their higher ups. In between, they back-tracked on their Euro 50 promise as well, though thankfully we had it in writing from them, which (on hindsight) was a fabulous decision to have taken amidst all that airport mayhem and chaos that night. I made good use of all the customer complaint mails that I’d have ever got in regurgigating it back to Air Almaty, almost getting some vicarious pleasure in punching out emails upon emails till they relented to transfer the entire funds. Not a euro more, not a euro less.

This year we travelled to Kenya. The minute I heard about the trip, I joked tongue-in-cheek to the colleague who was making the arrangements (and who had also been one amongst the nine last year), ‘Please ensure I lose my bag on return’. He guffawed, ‘Air Kenya. Trust me, it’s a possibility’. Only, the reality of this possibility extended to something even more bizarre.

Nairobi airport’s check-in is a tedious process with a never-ending queue snaking all the way towards the entrance; there aren’t too many flights and Air Kenya opens only two counters. Even before my turn came up I sensed a commotion. On enquiry, I learntthat there were ‘a few of us not confirmed’ as the flight was over-booked. What the hell! This was a group booking, but apparantly Air Kenya had grossly mis-calculated and evidently taken in more than it could aboard its flight. Thereafter as we crawled ahead, it became a game of Russian roulette – which of us would be accepted and which not. I was not. The number was fifteen odd people, but soon with some noise and some threatening to the tour operator, it got pruned. Eventually, there were just eight of us left without a boarding pass. I was. I could have once more exercised my voice’s weight but the personnel had already surrendered with the ‘c’ word – compensation! Hotel stay and USD 200. I didn’t even bother to put up a facade this time around.

A few who had been with me in the previous trip looked at me incredulously, ‘You? Again?’ Barely concealing my grin, I remarked wryly, ‘Just upgrading myself. Last time, they left my baggage. This time, they are leaving the whole of me!’

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. The airline came up with some manipulations and managed to board us, even though a few of us hurried into the airplane with the doors closing on our heels. Sadly, even the baggage reached safely; and to my dismay, mine was pretty early to arrive on the carousel.

On Holi this year, I wasted the festival flying back from Chandigarh on an incredibly uncomfortable Go Air plane. I had sworn off Go Air ever sincetheir rude behavior at Kochi two years back. But I had to swallow my pride, and had conceded flying with them since they were the only flight available at my preferred time. On reaching Mumbai, I painfully regretted the decision. I awaited at the baggage conveyor, right near the hole that spewed out the luggage (in the hope of grabbing mine early), vaguely registering the entering bags, swinging gently over the trolley, and humming some Lata Mangeshkar ditty. I was so engrossed in my thoughts and songs I didn’t even notice the dwindling quantity of bags rolling over, till the time the belt shuddered to a halt. I spun around to horrifyingly observe that that belt was virtually empty of any passenger. And my bag had not arrived. Frantic, I searched for the airline staff, and found her near the ‘Baggage Desk’ (or whatever it’s called) entwined with another harrassed passenger. ‘I am here, I am here’ she assured, ‘Just give me a minute’. But my temper had risen, she should have been near the conveyor and not here, and what had they done with my bag, ?!

Mentally I had already typed a customer complaint letter, which I never sent. Honestly, I found her very rude and uncaring, but I think I should expect that of Go Air after the Kochi experience. Worse, to my utmost dismay, she never uttered the ‘c’ word, and eventually I just gave up and left after she duly filled up her forms and noted my address. Who cares if I dont carry a bunch of dirty soiled clothes, even without any compensation, if they promise to deliver it the same night at home! Still, not a bad deal. But yes, turned out that Go Air is such a useless airline that it delivers its lost baggages the same day, and doesn’t even pay compensation per hour (tongue firmly in cheek).

Hmm, drugs good day to release the film. It’s a sure-shot doomsday for competition, viagra 100mg because Chulbul Pandey is here not only to chew a new villain (Prakash Raj) but also to swallow all rivals (if there were any left, in the first place!). I know I am a wrong person to review Dabangg 2, because I am an unabashed and self-proclaimed big-time Salman Khan fan, and this film is made for us.

 

But first, it set me thinking why the wannabe copies didn’t work ( e.g. Khiladi 786, or the earlier much more idiotic Son of Sardaar):

a) Salman’s persona is paradoxically more muted but at the same time more explosive than his counterparts- it’s the innate charismatic weight which he carries that makes him what he is ; and his portrayal though may be dismissed as ‘masala’ and ‘no-brainer’ is actually never farcical – make no mistake, he is doing it all earnestly but (and that is a big BUT) without it being evident or taking himself too seriously.

Come to think of, the critics were never kind to Big B and his films either in his heydays, but the connect he had with the audience is a legacy that actually only Salman has explored.  The critics hurled the same complaints at Big B in his heydays – no variety, same old formula, doesn’t explore his potential, plays safe and so on.

b) Dialogues are spouted with a tongue-in-cheek casualness, rather than recited out loudly like a sermon

c) his films are more rooted despite being larger-than-life (sample: walking in a crowded Kanpur market replete with cows, he muses amusedly whether he has wandered into a field!)

As for Dabangg 2 – thankfully it’s a proper sequel, referencing to the earlier film (complete with the titles running to the older film’s montages), and takes it forward from there. So now Pandeyji is in Kanpur, and here he crosses path with a new villain, and he corrects that wrong in his own way.

Debutant director Arbaaz Khan keeps much the same flavour, pace & milieu of the first film. But what he adds are dollops of quieter moments, that (IMHO) always make a film watchable the second time round : in this, we have those tender moments with his father – whether sleeping on the ‘chhat‘ or playing a harmless phone prank, or in a subdued moment sipping hot chai stating his love for his dad; or, with his brother (the ‘jungle’ joke is a killer!); or the cute ‘nok-jhonk’ with his wife ( who somehow i found getting mock- ‘naaraaz’ with him a bit too much, and was irritatingly repetitive) but she gets her moment in the hospital scene towards the end.

The writers play to the gallery offering enough lines to take back. The editing is crisp.  The sound design is superb.  Overall, Dabangg 2 has slicker production values than its predecessor.

Sajid-Wajid come up with a score which is the first film’s exact replica but with new tunes, and deliver fairly well, though the songs are not all that well-placed – they just come on without warning. Kareena’s ‘Fevicol‘ elicited enough whistles in the theatre. (And since Fevicol was mentioned as a ‘brand partner’ in the pre-titles, so I guess the makers have ensured to take due permission unlike the Zandu Balm controversy that erupted previously).

And now to Salman Khan – he just gets better with each film. It’s his film, his showcase, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else doing a Chulbul Pandey – the cheeky corrupt cop albeit a family man with the heart in its right place. Just superb. And yes, he’s looking good too.

Since the film is designed around Salman Khan, other artistes are somewhat short-changed, including Prakash Raj, who I felt was not provided adequate platform.  Still, amongst those that do stand out are Vinod Khanna’s endearing father-act and Deepak Dobriyal as the villain’s brother.

In short – go get entertained!

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