Directed by Prabhudeva, Chulbul is the reason why Dabangg 3 will be worth waiting for.
Mumbai: Inspector Chulbul Pandey will be back in our lives. Dabangg 3’s shooting has already started. The new film, which has a ‘prequel portion’ while the ‘remaining part will be about what he (Chulbul) is up to now’, according to megastar Salman Khan, will reportedly hit the marquee in December. Directed by Prabhudeva, Chulbul is the reason why Dabangg 3 will be worth waiting for.
Salman has essayed a variety of roles in his three-decade-long acting career. But Chulbul, who presides over the screen in Dabangg (2010) and Dabangg 2 (2012), is someone special. A lovably corrupt cop who also helps the needy, he wears a caterpillar moustache. A Ray-Ban Aviator hangs on his back collar, he frequently places his hands on his belt, and his witty one-liners are a laughter-inducing quality – even when he decides to make a stupid fart joke.
Chulbul is a man of action, but his fights don’t spill blood on the streets. His action sequences, on the other hand, are outrageously unreal. He vanquishes armed crooks with a water hose, while the sheer power in his muscles rips his shirt off his body.
Co-written by director-writer Abhinav Kashyap in the first part, Chulbul, who calls himself Robin Hood Pandey, has a back story that adds substance to his character. His father had died when he was young, and his mother had married a greedy man, who gives him his surname, Pandey.
Why does Chulbul Pandey work? Forever guilty of repetitiveness, Salman makes a serious effort to create a distinct personality of the inspector. He acts macho and speaks his lines in a unique, non-Salman-like manner; walks with an exaggerated swagger; and even sings and dances in a way one hadn’t seen him until Dabangg was released. The same approach repeats itself in the second part, which isn’t as exciting as its predecessor but engages the viewer nonetheless.
There is a sequence from Dabangg 2. Bachcha bhai’s brother Genda is taking a girl away forcefully from a marriage pandal. Chulbul walks in, twists the neck of the villain and kills him, frees the girl and tells the girl’s groom: ‘Shaadi Mubarak Ho.’ When the bride’s father responds with a grateful ‘Dhanyavad’, Chulbul murmurs ‘Aatey Hai’ and walks off. That is a classic Chulbul moment – one in which he does what he can without wasting words or time. He is a rock star with tremendous physical strength, and he can break the law to punish the lawbreakers.
The first two films in the franchise have a common quality. The stories aren’t neatly structured. What we see is a series of set pieces that take us through the life and times of Chulbul, who lives and works in Lalganj, a small town of Uttar Pradesh, in the first part. He is shown as an inspector based in Kanpur in the sequel. Both films are unapologetically inspired by the action potboilers of the 1970s and 80s, adding ‘masala’ to the proceedings the viewers savour with glee.
Be it during the action sequences or when he breaks into a dance in the song and dance sequences, Salman seems to have thoroughly relished acting in the first two Dabangg films. Only a few actors are fortunate enough to get characters that are tailor-made for them. Chulbul comes across as that character that Salman might have been hoping to find someday. Prem might be a common name that has been used for Salman’s characters in several films, but Chulbul is that ride of a lifetime that shows him at the top of his game.
The first two films would be incomplete without other interesting characters who take the story forward, including Prajapati Pandey (Vinod Khanna, Chulbul’s stepfather), Naina Devi (Dimple Kapadia, his mother), Rajjo (Sonakshi Sinha), Makkhi (Arbaaz Khan, his half-brother), Chedi Singh (the politician-villain of Dabangg) and Prakash Raj (Thakur Bachcha Singh, the politician-villain of Dabangg 2).
Dabangg 3 will have Chulbul at the centre of all the action once again. That won’t disappoint anybody who has watched the first two films and liked Salman Khan for being different.
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Last Updated Apr 27, 2019, 11:22 AM IST