Thursday, May 30, 2024

Film Review: Unraveling Hirani’s lost magic and Dunki’s unimpressive storytelling

Robin Bhuyan

It has been five years since a Rajkumar Hirani film was released. Yes, it has been over half a decade since we saw his art on the big screen! So obviously we had a lot of expectations from his latest venture Dunki, considering the fact that he has given us masterpieces like Munna Bhai MBBS and 3 Idiots. The anticipation was also higher because Shahrukh Khan is collaborating for the first time with Rajkumar Hirani, a director whose every movie has become a hit at the box office. In the past few weeks, there has been a lot of hype around this movie, which is coming out exactly 20 years after the release of Munna Bhai MBBS. However, if you are going to the theatre to watch Dunki, hoping to see something extraordinary, then the film is going to be a disappointment.

Most of Hirani’s movies revolve around social issues, and through his latest movie Dunki, with SRK and Tapsee Pannu in the lead roles, he tries to create a story that can show the plight of illegal immigrants. He tries to show how people go through hardships, and the situations that force them to immigrate, leaving behind their homelands. Whether or not he succeeds in getting his message across can be debated upon, but even if we talk about the the technical execution of the film, it was a huge letdown.

Acting was commendable, especially if we talk about Tapsee Pannu, playing the older version of her character. Talking about the songs, most of them felt quite forced and unnecessary.

The film’s biggest flaw is that it fails to make a connection with the audience. It is hard to form a connection with the lead characters, or even any of the side characters. Yes, the film does have its entertaining moments, and it is not unwatchable. But it can also be said that the film was unnecessarily lengthened, because such a simplistic story could have been told in less than 2 hours.

The film tells the story of four characters living in a small town in Punjab, who want to immigrate to London, hoping that they will be able to secure a brighter future for themselves. But the film fails to give us a strong reason to sympathize with any of them, as their reasons for risking their lives to leave their country do not seem that strong. If you have paid attention to any of Rajkumar Hirani’s films, you will see that not only he manages to make you connect with the lead character, but his storytelling always manages to keep you eager to know what is going to happen next. This crucial element is missing in Dunki, as not only are the characters unrelatable, but the story can also be called way too predictable. There are moments in the film that try to bring out your nationalistic sentiments, but they all seem too forced.

Tapsee Pannu’s acting stands out, especially the part where she plays the older version of her character. Vicky Kaushal’s role was impactful, despite his limited screentime. As for SRK’s performance, it was decent, although nothing was out of the ordinary.

If you are looking for a typical heartwarming story of love, friendship and loyalty, then you can definitely go for it! But it can be easily said that the film doesn’t have the charm of any of the other Rajkumar Hirani films. In fact, it doesn’t even come close!

Rating – 4 out of 10

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