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Dunki Review: Not Of Hirani's Standard

Dunki Review: Not Of Hirani's Standard

Movie: Dunki (Hindi)
Rating: 2.5/5
Red Chillies Entertainment
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Tapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal, Boman Irani, Dia Mirza, and others
Written by: Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani, Kanika Dhillon
Music: Pritam
DOP: Muralidharan CK, Manush Nandan, Amit Roy,
Editor: Rajkumar Hirani
Producers: Gauri Khan, Rajkumar Hirani
Directed by: Rajkumar Hirani
Release Date: Dec 21, 2023

"Dunki" is the first collaboration between Shah Rukh Khan and Rajkumar Hirani. The film has received a lot of attention. All eyes are on it because it is competing with our Prabhas' "Salaar."

Let's see if Rajkumar Hirani can recreate the magic he did with his previous films, such as "3 Idiots" and "Lage Raho Munnabhai."

In 1995, four friends residing in a small village in Punjab have aspirations of going to England. Balli, Buggu, Sukhi (Vicky Kaushal), and Manu (Tapsee) each have individual motivations to depart for London. However, they lack the necessary financial resources, educational credentials, and proficiency in the English language to obtain legitimate visas. The arrival of soldier Hardy Singh (portrayed by Shah Rukh Khan) in Laltu, their village, brings about a significant change in their lives.

Hardy Singh falls in love with Manu right away. When all of their options for obtaining visas are exhausted, despite the assistance of Hardy Singh, one of their friends takes an extraordinary step that changes their life. They decide to enter England via the 'Dunki' (illegal) path. But do things proceed as planned?

Will Hardy Singh, a soldier, act against India in order to obtain a valid visa from the UK?

Artistes’ Performances:
Shah Rukh Khan portrays a role that has two variations – a young soldier and a senior individual. In contrast to his recent films "Pathaan" and "Jawan", Shah Rukh Khan abstains from performing any action stunts and relies only on his acting prowess to captivate the audience. Shah Rukh Khan excels in portraying emotional scenes, particularly in the courtroom setting in England.

Tapsee Pannu is given a character that has a well-defined trajectory, and she performs it with confidence. However, the true standout performer is Vicky Kaushal. Despite his brief role, he manages to make a significant impression.

Boman Irani, Anil Grover, and Vikram Kochchar are okay.

Technical Excellence:
Maybe this is the first movie by Hirani without a catchy soundtrack. The film's music is lacking in strength. The cinematography is of high quality. The writing evokes a mixed feel, showcasing Hirani's distinctive style in certain instances, while also displaying mediocre writing in several other instances. The editing is likewise deficient in precision.

The first half of the film
Shah Rukh Khan
Couple of emotional scenes

Slow narration
Lacking depth
Inconsistent second half
Illogical message

Rajkumar Hirani is one of the best directors of today's Indian cinema, having created modern classics such as "Munnabai MBBS", "Lage Rao Munnabai", "Three Idiots", and others. "Dunki" is his first collaboration with Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood's biggest star.

Hirani offers a social message laced with humour in each of his films. In "Dunki," he focuses on illegal immigration and the plight of underprivileged individuals who suffer greatly as a result of visa denials by certain rich countries.

Hirani and his writers wrote the screenplay in the style of "3 Idiots," with the tale beginning in the present and moving back in time before returning to the present. They have focused on the comedy portions of the friends in the first half and moved the main dunki theme (the misery of illegal immigrants) to the second half. Hence, the first half of the film is entertaining and keeps us interested. The interval bang is likewise emotional.

Even though the first half of the film has entertainment, the jokes are of old style, and lack contemporary touch. Still, the first half of the film makes a decent watch.

The script's lack of depth becomes apparent in the second half. While the sequences like how the people take a long route to England via Pakistan, Iran, Turkey is depicted briefly, they lack effectiveness. When the film’s story moves to London, there is one strong scene that arouses patriotism. Shah Rukh Khan giving a speech about borders and visas and the plight of the poor in the court room, is playing to the gallery but lacks conviction. 

The sequence depicting the escape in Dubai is also comical. However, by the conclusion of the film, there is a sense of something lacking. One does not expect an average narrative from Hirani. This film's main issue is in that aspect. The film incorporates emotional passages, entertainment, and a patriotic atmosphere, although it ultimately appears to be more superficial in nature.

"Dunki," like Raju Hirani's earlier films, attempted to provide both entertainment and a social message but, unlike his past works, the combination of these elements is not as impactful, and the story itself lacks depth. The editing is lacking sharpness. This can be described as Rajkumar Hirani's weak effort.

Bottom line: Subpar

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