Dangal movie cast: Aamir Khan, Sakshi Tanwar, Fatima Sana Sheikh
Dangal movie director: Nitesh Tiwari
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 a 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.
That was crucial for us to believe in this film, which borrows several elements from the real-life Haryana wrestler who trained his two older daughters, Geeta (Fatima Sana Shaikh) and Babita (Sanya Malhotra), in the art of wrestling.
Dangal works on the twin parameters it sets up for itself. One is the straightforward film about a popular sport and those who play it: we feel and smell the ‘mitti’ of the ‘akhara’, the ‘daanv-punch’ (moves) that truly skilled wrestlers use to face down formidable foes. We see the blood, sweat and tears that go into the making of champions.