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Dunki Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Thursday, December 21, 2023 • Hindi ]
Dunki Review
Jio Studios, Red Chillies Entertainment, Rajkumar Hirani Films
Shah Rukh Khan, Taapsee Pannu , Vicky Kaushal , Boman Irani , Vikram Kochhar, Anil Grover, Jyoti Subhash , Deven Bhojani, Manoj Kant , Arun Bali , Amardeep Jha , Rohitashv Gour , Jitendra Hooda, Mahavir Bhulla, Sapna Sand, Jatinder Kaur , Richard B. Klein,
Rajkumar Hirani
Gauri Khan, Rajkumar Hirani, Jyoti Deshpande
Aman Pant, Pritam

'Dunki' : Shah Rukh Khan and Taapsee Pannu Shine in Hirani's Flawed Yet Captivating Film

Rajkumar Hirani, the maestro of heartwarming narratives, returns with Dunki, a film that embarks on a journey of laughter, love, and the often harsh realities of illegal immigration. Hirani is someone who proves that great storytelling needs no special effects; his masterful narrative alone pulls you in and keeps you captivated. Dunki is the first collaboration between Hirani and Shah Rukh Khan after 5 years of Hirani's hiatus. Shah Rukh Khan plays as a patriotic soldier in "Dunki", the 3rd time this year following "Pathaan" and "Jawan"  

The story centers around Manu Randhawa (Taapsee Pannu), a 50 year old Punjabi woman yearning to return home after years abroad. However, visa rejections leave her and her two friends, Buggu (Vikram Kochhar) and Balli (Anil Grover), with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Enter Hardy Dhillon (Shah Rukh Khan), a charismatic figure with a shrouded past, who promises them a way back. As they embark on their clandestine journey, Dunki delves into their shared past, revealing a 25-year-old dream of a better life in England planted in their youthful hearts.

The first half is pure Hirani magic. Witty dialogues and laugh-out-loud moments seamlessly intertwine with poignant scenes, drawing the audience into the characters' lives. The blossoming romance between Manu and Hardy is a delightful watch, fueled by SRK's effortless charm and Taapsee's grounded portrayal. The supporting cast, including a memorable cameo by Vicky Kaushal, delivers equally strong performances, adding depth to the narrative.

However, the magic falters as the second half unfolds. The reasons behind their desperation to leave the country feels outdated and underdeveloped, and the plot meanders, losing its initial momentum. Hirani's attempt to amp up the emotional quotient in the climax backfires, stretching scenes and adding unnecessary predictable baggage. While the film retains its heart, the narrative stumbles where it should soar.

Both Shah Rukh Khan and Taapsee Pannu deliver captivating performances throughout. SRK effortlessly transitions between ages, portraying both the youthful Hardy and the weathered man guiding the group. Taapsee shines as the determined Manu, showcasing both her vulnerability and strength. The supporting cast, including Anil Grover and Vikram Kochhar, adds layers and humor to the narrative, making them more than just sidekicks.

Pritam's usual soulful music complements the film's emotional core, while the cinematography captures the diverse landscapes of their journey, from the lush fields of Punjab to the harshness of foreign deserts and snowy mountains. 

Dunki is a bittersweet experience. The first half is engaging, but the latter part falls short. Despite its faults, the outstanding performances , meaningful themes, and portrayal of the challenges faced by illegal immigrants make it worth a watch.

However, it may not rank among Hirani's top works. Fans of Shah Rukh Khan might find it a bit underwhelming, although the initial part brings humor. Ultimately, Dunki reflects that even hopeful journeys can encounter unforeseen obstacles, leaving us with a blend of emotions.

Verdict: Dunki - A mixed bag of laughs, love, and immigration struggles, served with a sprinkle of Hirani magic.

Rating: 3 / 5.0

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