‘Dunki’ movie review: Shah Rukh Khan and Rajkumar Hirani deliver a drama that delights and drags in equal measure – The Hindu

Early in Dunki, a simplistic however heartwarming tackle the poor unlawful immigrants from Punjab who make harmful journeys in a determined seek for greener pastures, a set of hopefuls discover a strategy to crack the English take a look at. They memorise a paragraph by rote and determine to parrot it to the examiners by simply altering the title of the subject.

Inadvertently, the lengthy scene with diminishing returns turns into a metaphor for the sameness that surrounds Rajkumar Hirani’s storytelling. Over time, he has engaged the viewers with nearly the identical story construction, however has all the time managed to imbue it with a beating coronary heart and a smiling face.

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In Dunki, Hirani’s first and long-awaited collaboration with Shah Rukh Khan, the aim and social concern is once more laudable, however the storytelling feels facile and laboured after some extent, largely as a result of Hirani doesn’t wish to take a look at newer methods to place his level throughout. The spontaneity that we affiliate together with his work is unfortunately lacking.

Set in a small city in Punjab, Dunki goes into flashback to inform the story of 4 characters with modest means who wish to immigrate to London to recover from their difficulties in life. When they’re about to surrender, Hardy (Shah Rukh), an ex-armyman, comes into their lives to make their dream a actuality by taking a circuitous, unlawful route. Alongside the best way, he develops a mushy nook for Manu (Taapsee Pannu) solely to understand that her want to cross over to a international land is stronger than her love for the person who gave her the idea.

Dunki (Hindi)
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Solid: Shah Rukh Khan, Taapsee Pannu, Vikram Kochhar, Anil Grover, Vicky Kaushal, Boman Irani
Run-time: 161 minutes
Storyline: Hardy and his posse of buddies courageous perilous odds to enter England through an unlawful backdoor route

The theme of unlawful immigration could also be comparatively new for the Hindi movie trade, nevertheless it has been tackled in Punjabi movies and the information pages are stuffed with first-hand accounts of the perilous journeys that the so-called ‘donkeys’ make. So when the movie presents the challenges as a novelty, it doesn’t come as a shock. They really feel tepid in picturisation and we preserve in search of somewhat extra nuance and somewhat extra poignancy. The sensation turns into stronger when the top credit present some info and figures superimposed on some heart-rending photographs of unlawful immigrants.

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Hirani all the time places emotional logic forward of typical logic and makes use of situational humour to nice impact. Right here, he does it once more, however the outcomes aren’t as constantly riveting and charismatic as they’ve been up to now. The emotional swell does overwhelm you two or thrice, however the seamless unpredictability of the narrative that has been the hallmark of Hirani and Abhijat Joshi’s writing is lacking right here. Extra importantly, within the light-hearted first half, the jokes round English and Englishmen begin feeling repetitive. And, some, like one across the nationwide anthem, don’t land correctly. Maybe, Hirani has chosen England over the the US and Canada as a result of he may use the colonial connection, however within the current state of affairs the unlawful immigration to the US and Canada is extra newsworthy and relatable.

A still from ‘Dunki’

A nonetheless from ‘Dunki’

Having stated that, Hirani’s give attention to how the insurance policies on immigration are stacked in opposition to the poor strikes a chord, and his knack for incorporating social commentary into the screenplay may be very a lot noticeable. The touch upon the trousers-wearing mom of one of many candidates opens a window into the deep-seated patriarchy in mofussil India the place the son feels embarrassed by the truth that his mom works as a safety guard.

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As soon as the mud settles down, one may just about guess the place the movie is headed. The narrative sags within the center overs. Issues lookup within the second half when the movie lastly strikes from the comedian set items, most of that are a part of the trailer, to convey the bigger message behind unlawful migration. However after a few highly effective scenes, it feels just like the writers are straining to take the movie to a becoming conclusion. The musical tapestry, notably the mixture of Javed Akhtar and Sonu Nigam in ‘Nikle The Kabhi Hum Ghar Se’ and Varun Grover and Javed Ali’s chemistry in ‘Chal Ve Vatna’, offers goosebumps.

Shah Rukh surrenders himself to Hirani’s universe and the best way he evocatively places nation over asylum in a courtroom sequence, makes a robust socio-political assertion and is likely one of the highlights of the movie. The issue is that the love story between Hardy and Manu doesn’t create a lot magic. Taapsee fails to forged the spell that the story requires for the boy to attend for her for 25 years. The supporting forged is stable, notably Vicky Kaushal, who reprises a staple character in Hirani’s universe, earlier essayed by Jimmy Shergil and Ali Fazal in Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. and 3 Idiots respectively. Vikram Kocchar and Anil Grover are environment friendly however Boman Irani isn’t examined a lot.

Total, not the most effective of Hirani, however Dunki has nearly sufficient to make you chuckle and churn.

Dunki is at present operating in theatres

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