Like most Aamir Khan blockbusters, Dangal is a masterclass of a Bollywood film in that not only is it a great film with noteworthy performances and deft direction – or at least that’s the impression I’m getting from everybody (and by everybody I mean Rajeev Masand)- but it also successfully tapped into the social zeitgeist and, in doing so, it has resonated with millions of Indians.
However, the minute I read the synopsis of the film earlier last year, I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes.
These are the reasons why:
- It mansplains feminism– For the first time in Bollywood history, female actors like Kangana Ranaut, Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone have all been able to attract scores of everyday Indians without relying on famous male leads! Piku, Tanu Weds Manu Returns and Neerja have all made over 100 crores at the domestic box office. It’s an exciting time for women in the Hindi film industry, a time when the last thing we need is to have Aamir Khan try to teach us that Indian women can be strong and brave. It doesn’t matter how altruistic his intentions are, or how good a movie Dangal might be, it is inarguably a cringe-worthy visual manifestation of feminism mansplaining.
- It’s another fakakta Bollywood sports biopic – Ever since Irfan Khan’s excellent Paan Singh Tomar came out a few years ago, everyone in Bollywood has been hopping on the sports biopic bandwagon, and after Priyanka Chopra’s terribly insensitive Mary Kom last year, I for one, am fucking sick of them. We’ve had four in 2016 alone! I don’t know about you but I just can’t sit through another fakakta Bollywood sports biopic when its main objectives are not to tell a story well but to stoke mindless nationalistic fervor and generate money. Yes, Dangal probably is a cut above the rest of them but I’ll still most likely find it to be a gigantic bore!
Till next time, Aamir. Don’t worry, Dangal is nowhere near as bad as what Matt Damon did last year to this black, female producer.