Shahrukh Khan’s most recent film “Dunky” received a lot of hype before its release, but after watching it, I was left disappointed. The film’s director, Rajkumar Hirani, is known for his thought-provoking films like “Munna Bhai MBBS,” “Lage Raho Munna Bhai,” “3 Idiots,” “PK,” and “Sanju.” However, “Dunky” is much lighter in tone and does not live up to the expectations set by his previous work.
Rajkumar Hirani, who has previously taught his school of thought with films like Munna Bhai MBBS, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, 3 Idiots, PK, and Sanju, will make a film like Dunki, that anyone didn’t think.
After Munna Bhai MMBS, every Rajkumar Hirani film feels a little less intense than the previous one, and the graph has reached the lowest level with Dunky.
This film feels more like Yash Raj’s brand than Raju Hirani’s. A major part of the movie reminds you of Veer Zara. The surprising thing is that after watching Dunky, the Punjabi film ‘Aaja Mexico Chaliye’ made on this subject seems to be a bigger film.
Another Punjabi film, Chal Mera Put, has also received a lot of praise. In particular, the entire sequence of one of the film’s characters, Bally Kakkar, earning money by becoming a statue on the streets of London is taken from Chal Mera Put. All this you cannot expect from Raju Hirani.
The film begins with Mannu Randhawa (Taapsee Pannu) escaping from a hospital in London.
On the other hand, there is an old man’s race in Laltu, a village in Punjab, in which a relatively young Shah Rukh also runs and wins the race. This is Hardyal Singh Dhillon, called Hardy by all. At the end of the race, he gets a call from his old girlfriend Manu Randhawa from London saying that she is arriving in Dubai.
From here, like in Veer Zara, the story goes into flashback and it is shown that the four characters from this village of Laltu in Punjab, Sukhi (Vicky Kaushal), Bally Kakkar (Anil Grover) and Balender Baggo (Vikram Kochhar), are desperate to go to London. A new character enters the story and that too like the hero of Yash Chopra’s romantic films.
Arriving at Laltu by train, Hardy is a soldier who has come from Pathankot. He has come here to thank Mannu’s brother Mahendra Randhawa, who saved his life but Mahendra has died in an accident.
Hardy stops in Laltu to help the Mannu family. Meanwhile, Bally Kakkar gets a UK student visa and moves to London. Hardy takes the Dunky way to take Mannu and her friends to London.
Sukhi (played by Vicky Kaushal) is in love with a girl Jassi who has been married off to someone in London by her father. Sukhi wants to go and visit her but discovers that she has taken her own life. This is the turning point in the film. Even though Vicky Kaushal’s character only appears for half an hour before this point, he leaves a deep impact that stays with the audience until the end of the film.
Dunky starts after the interval but the journey is not filmed as much as the adventures it should have been. Apparently with great difficulties but soon these four characters reach London. Before filming these scenes, Raju Hirani should have seen Aaja Mexico Chalye.
After reaching London, the war of survival and hiding from the police begins, which we have seen in many films before. An Indian lawyer tries to help them and convince them all to seek asylum, but suddenly the Indian inside Hardy awakens and he refuses to testify in front of the judge that his life is in India. I am in danger. A request for political asylum can be made on this basis. The judge is also so cooperative that he shows Hardy the secret path to British citizenship and repeatedly convinces him to lie, but the Indian Hardy disagrees. The remaining three agree and get political asylum in England.
Years later, they all miss their homeland and contact Hardy to leave and return to India. Why is their entry into India prohibited on British passports? Raju Hirani did not feel the need to answer this.
Mannu’s illness is in the last stage so she wants to return home. He has only one month left but why do the other two characters want to leave London and come to India? Hirani also left the decision to the audience.
However, these three reach Dubai where a dramatic scenario is created for their return to India. From Dubai, these people are taken to Saudi Arabia and from there to India. That means Dungy again.
Finally, they all reach their village Laltu. The story ends here, but to waste another 15 minutes of the audience, all these characters are transported to their homes and then Mannu dies on the roof of his house with his head on Hardy’s shoulder in the traditional climax.
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Now coming to the flaws of the film, the answer lies with Raju Hirani.
Both the story and the screenplay are so underwhelming that the film doesn’t grip you at any point.
The dialogues of the film are also not lively, even the dialogues delivered by Vicky Kaushal regarding the occupation and stay of the British in India, are seen by Shahrukh in the other scene.
Shahrukh has entered the Pakistani region of Sindh by boat traveling from Indian Punjab. What’s interesting about this location is that it is situated in a picturesque gorge, surrounded by rocky terrain, making it an attractive spot for tourists. What will happen if these tourists venture out to explore this area?
As the characters enter Sindh, wading through rivers and seas, Shahrukh shows his girlfriend some photo prints of a Balli sent from London in a travel bag.
Are these pictures Hardy receives in the mail during Dinky? And did they all have waterproof bags so these pictures don’t even get wet?
Ignore these minor mistakes, how can you ignore the route taken by Raju Hirani for Dunky?
From Sindh, these people go to Afghanistan and from there to Iran to enter Turkey and then Europe by train.
If Raju Hirani’s geography is less strong, then he would have taken help from Google Maps, then he would have known that the border of Iran is close to Sindh. You don’t have to go to Afghanistan to go to Iran.
Well, after reaching Iran, they have to go to Turkey by train, but the director forgets at this point that he has told the details of this route a few scenes ago. From Iran, these people sit in a freight car and leave for Turkey.
Similarly, in the climax of the film, when all of them plan to return to India from Dubai, they first go to Saudi Arabia and then deport themselves from there and enter India in an honorable manner. Does the director want to prove that after taking political asylum in England you cannot go to India on a British passport?
Regarding acting, Vicky Kaushal’s performance feels heavy on other actors including Shah Rukh. The first half was entirely in the name of Vicky Kaushal.
A lot has to be endured in the second half, including Shahrukh’s overacting. If you look at it, it doesn’t feel like a Shahrukh film. Raju Hirani is nowhere to be seen in this film. Shahrukh’s getup is also not impressive. There are numerous jumps of continuity. In Old Get Up, Shahrukh is shown to be older than necessary and where he is shown to be forced to be young, there is something more.
The penances did not impress much either. The supporting cast did justice to their roles.
The cinematography of the film is flawless and looks quite grand.
Pritam’s music cannot be described as exceptional. A couple of songs leave a good impression on the listeners but none of the songs are memorable.
The script department gets three names including Raju Hirani but this department is the least emphasized aspect of the film. How can a quality film be made if you don’t have a good story and screenplay to tell?
Raju Hirani’s name is flashing in the film’s credits for direction and editing, but Raju might wake up from his deep slumber after this film. Suffice it to say that the director of Munna Bhai MBBS and 3 Idiots, did not come.
Overall, it is a traditional type of entertaining Bollywood movie but Bollywood may have gone beyond this cinema.
I would give this movie three out of five stars.