Dangal – Film Review

What’s it about?

Dangal is a sports drama based on the true story of the struggles of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his two daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat.

    Set in Haryana, the story revolves around wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat who yearns for a male heir who can fulfill his unresolved dream of winning a gold medal for his country. As fate would have it, he is blessed with four daughters. A shattered Mahavir loses all hopes of seeing his dream through, until one day he sees the spark of a wrestler in his two eldest daughters. The rest of the film is about how he nurtures and trains them to become world class wrestlers who attempt to fulfill his dream of winning gold for the country at an international tournament..

What’s good?

This is one of the best sports dramas in Indian cinema. What’s great about it is, it introduces the viewer to the nitty-gritties of wrestling i.e. its rules and points scoring, which make the viewer invested in the details of the matches that are unfolding on screen. The climactic matches especially are pulse pounding, even though you can guess the outcome before hand. What it also does is, it captures the humor in the day to day happenings of middle class families beautifully, which makes it an entertaining watch. The brutal training that Aamir’s character subjects his two eldest daughters to is shown in a realistic yet hilarious manner.

    The film is shot very well and has a earthern, rustic feel to it that feels very fresh. The wrestling matches have a very authentic feel to it and do not look like they are choreographed, which is the biggest triumph of this film.

What’s not?

The addition of songs seem to stick out, one of them quite jarringly so, in this otherwise realistic and well made film. Also, in some scenes the Haryanvi accent gets a bit thick, which can be a problem for viewers who are not native hindi/haryanvi speakers. Having said that, these are minor problems and does not diminish the viewer’s cinematic experience.


Aamir Khan, lives and breathes the character of Mahavir Singh Phogat. From his accent, to his physical transformation, to his acting, this is a performance that alone is worth the ticket price. This is his best performance till date, period. Fatima Shaikh, playing the adult Geeta Phogat is excellent in her role as she comes across as both vulnerable, rebellious and as someone with a steely resolve. Both the child actresses playing younger versions of Geeta and Babita are superb, often outshining the adults in the scenes they are in. All the supporting actors leave their mark as they shine in the small but important roles that they have, All in all a well acted film.

Final Word

One of the best films of the year with Aamir Khan in all his glory. Not to be missed!!


4 / 5 stars

3 thoughts on “Dangal – Film Review

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