Dangal Reviews External Critics

By Ananya Bhattacharya (4/5)

A middle-aged, overweight Mahavir Singh Phogat (Aamir Khan) challenges his elder daughter Geeta Phogat (Fatima Sana Sheikh) to a wrestling match after she calls his 'technique' outdated. She lives in the National Sports Academy (NSA) in Patiala and swears by her 'national-level' coach's training, not her father's time-tested akhada lessons. Geeta defeats dad Mahavir in the face-off, telling him 'kuch toh farak hove' in his technique and that of her coach. As a panting Mahavir gathers the rest of his face, we see a father's sorrow at seeing his daughter change.

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By Malay Desai (4/5)

Dangal Dangal, pata chala hai, 'nikkar' pehan ke phool khila hai. Don't get your knickers in a bunch over 2016 as yet, as Bollywood's gloomiest year in recent memory may end with a silver lining drawn by a pot-bellied Santa Singh. It's not the first time our multiplexed minds meet the dhool from Haryana's akharas, a fascinating world where grabbing someone by the neck, about-flipping them to the ground and helping them rise is acceptable behaviour. Sultan (July 2016) grabbed the first mover's advantage in showing us this world but let's get this right - it was a Salman Khan film with wrestling in it; while Dangal is a wrestling film with Aamir Khan in it. Samajh riya kay?

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By Surabhi Redkar (4/5)

Mahavir Singh Phoghat (Aamir Khan) is a National level wrestling champ who is forced to give up his sporting dream to earn livelihood for his family. His only dream is to see his son fulfill his wish of winning a Gold medal for India.While Mahavir is striving for a son, fate has something else planned for him as his wife (Sakshi Tanwar) gives birth to four daughters. A heartbroken Mahavir, gives up on his dream with no son in the picture.

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By Mayank Shekhar (4/5)

Here's a fairly simple formula to actor-producer Aamir Khan's script sense, which might interest some, since he's green-lit remarkably few scripts in his 25 odd-year-long career. All that Aamir wants to know, he told us once, while reading/listening to a script is: what happens next. If that question uniformly pops up in his head while going through a story (besides other factors, I'm sure), he's on.

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By Vishal Verma (4.5/5)

DANGAL is a terrific movie on wrestling, it's remarkably audacious in its ability to keep the key bases associated with a sports flick covered while tingling some twist enough to make it interesting for the entire 2hrs 41 minute duration, it's also a wonderful film about family which probably portrays the best father daughter relationship on screen seen in recent times and last but not the least, lead by Aamir Khan - DANGAL is one of the most powerful acting showcase seen in recent years that is likely to grab multiple award nominations.

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By Rohit Bhatnagar (5/5)

When I entered the theatre, I was constantly thinking that Dangal is the last ray of hope this year but at the same time, the hit formula of Aamir Khan releasing his films on the festive season of Christmas and New Years's was not lost on me. Caught up in my own train of thoughts, the screen in front of me came to life and what followed was a memorable journey of 161 minutes.

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By Anna M.M. Vetticad (3/5)

Sweaty bodies gripping each other in places strangers should not touch, violence as a form of entertainment, our baser human instincts getting official and mass encouragement - if you ask me why I cannot stand contact sports, these would top my answer. Young Geeta and Babita Phogat have far more mundane reasons for hating wrestling: no girl they know does it, so why should they? Dangal is the story of their father's bulldog-like determination to make them gold medal winners for India, and the girls' own passage from aversion to passion for the sport.

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By Taran Adarsh (4.5/5)

Aamir Khan -- the name is synonymous with dedication, perfection and qualitative cinema... His films have set new benchmarks at the ticket windows: GHAJINI was the first Hindi film to gross Rs 100 cr... 3 IDIOTS created a sensation when it crossed Rs 200 cr mark [it was the first Hindi film to cross the magical figure]... PK, the highest grosser to date in the domestic market [Hindi films], was also the first film to cruise past Rs 300 cr...Obviously, DANGAL carries colossal expectations on its shoulders. The last biggie of the year 2016 is also expected to bail out the industry, since 2016 hasn't been kind to Hindi cinema. The biz is at an all-time low, with most films sinking faster than Titanic.

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By Jaidev Hemmady (4/5)

Months back when Salman Khan's Sultan had released, there had been reports that Aamir Khan is worried as his upcoming film Dangal as it too revolves around wrestling. However, after watching the film last night, I am sure that the reports were the products of idle and malicious minds for Aamir has absolutely nothing to worry about concerning his product, which is easily one of the best films to have come out this year.

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By Rachit Gupta (5/5)

Aamir Khan has done it again. Dangal is the best film of the year. Without a shadow of doubt. This film is a thundering body slam of honest emotions and sheer hard work. Director Nitesh Tiwari's film has a firm grip on its narrative. It never falters, it always stays steady and sure footed like a pro wrestler. But the best part of the film is its subtle nod to true gender equality. Mahavir Singh Phogat's daughters Geeta and Babita have been depicted with the utmost respect.

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By Sukanya Verma (4/5)

A father takes out his two pre-teenage girls and tells them to eat all the golgappas they want one last time. From now on, they train to wrestle and win gold for India and their love for chatpata food is the first casualty.Children forced to fulfil an incomplete dream of their dad's because he was forced to bow down to his parent's wishes and pursue what they thought best is a little tragic and a lot true. There are stories that paint such fathers as self-seeking and obstinate prompting much frustration and conflict but Dangal isn't like that.

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By Tushar P Joshi (4.5/5)

Let's get this straight. Dangal is no Sultan. And am saying this with a lot of love to all those who raved about Salman Khan's wrestling drama. All those who expected drama with a Sultan versus Dangal fight will be disappointed. Also is Dangal better than Sultan ? No, simply because they are two different films, who have two different stories to tell. One is a struggle of an individual to battle his inner demons and come to terms with his own calling, the other is a story of a father - daughter relationship.

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By Saibal Chatterjee (4/5)

A Bollywood sports biopic that gets nearly all its moves absolutely right, Dangal draws its strength from a blindingly luminous lead performance from a shape-shifting Aamir Khan.But over and above his physical transformation, compete with wobbly gait and scraggly stubble, so impressively measured is the actor in the guise of national wrestling champion-turned-coach Mahavir Singh Phogat that he completely erases the boundary that separates the star from the role.

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Hindustan Times
By Rohit Vats (4/5)

The 2010 Commonwealth Games are years away. Geeta Phogat (Zaira Wasim, Fatima Sana Shaikh) has just returned to Balali, her village in Haryana, after months of preparation at the National Sports Academy in Patiala. Something about her has changed. She isn't exactly the same girl her father, former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat (Aamir Khan), trained. She is confident, ambitious, better skilled and ready to take on the world by storm.

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The Indian Express
By Shubhra Gupta (3/5)

There comes a time when a star gives in to the demands of a role which he knows will make him not-pretty: as a wannabe wrestler past his prime, Aamir Khan is squat, with a heavy belly, a deliberate gait, and a grizzled beard. Only his jutting ears are familiar: the rest of him is pure character. We are going to have to measure Aamir Khan's future performances with this one: as Mahavir Singh Phogat, failed wrestler, rough-hewn but caring husband and father of four girls, he scales it up to a point where you can see the star take on a character, try it for size, and make it his own.

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The Times Of India
By Meena Iyer (4.5/5)

In the story department, Dangal offers few surprises because Geeta and Babita's historic wins at the Commonwealth Games and following championships are common knowledge. However, this screen adaptation serves as a recap of their arduous journey and it vigorously recaptures their stubborn father's resolve to make them professional wrestlers against the odds. Since it encapsulates the historic wins of the Phogats, who brought India glory, the film is also bound to inspire more women to seriously consider kushti as a sport.

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