Mahavir Singh Phogat (Aamir Khan), a National level wrestler expects his kids to go past him and fetch International awards. But even after his wife delivers 4 kids, they all turn out to be girls. Unperturbed, Phogat trains his two elder daughters and brings them under his experienced wing. The film is the story of how Phogat trains his daughters (Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh) to become professional wrestlers. Will his daughters achieve what Phogat dreams about all day and night?
One would expect Aamir to carry the film on his shoulders but the veteran has underplayed his role, especially in the second half with his subtle yet power-packed performance. His amazing body transformation from fat to fit would make teenagers jealous but considering it's a blink-and-you-miss scene that shows him all beefed up, we're left wondering if such a transformation was useful for the script. Aamir travels across the length of the film with a heavy belly and grizzled facial hair that only goes whiter by each passing scene to denote the passage of years. But what we see in the film is not the hero but a performer Aamir who wouldn't mind his image as he gets down and dirty both literally and figuratively. He loses, he cries, he fails as a father and as a trainer at certain points but that doesn't deter him from his main aim of getting an International medal for India.
After Aamir, its the siblings Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh who steal the show with their performance. Be it the emotions or the actions, the sisters, especially Fatima takes the center stage, both on the wrestling mat and in our hearts. The raw gritty feelings one would feel has been well emoted by the on-screen siblings which leaves the audience feel for them despite the fact that they know what's going to happen next.
The film talks about the relationship a father shares with his daughters. Though they despise him in the beginning, scenes that show how the girls get convinced about his dreams are a treat to watch. Dangal also sends its messages loud and clear on issues such as obsession with male child, child-marriage, administration's attention towards sports and many more.
Nitesh Tiwari shines as the director and credit has to be given for him for taking a simple story-line and making it intriguing with emotions and interesting match scenes sprinkled with a healthy portion of humour. The music by Pritam Chakraborty has produced a few chart-busters but its his background score that sets the mood perfectly. Sethu Sriram's cinematography gives a couple of spectacular shots, especially the rich fields of the villages and the match scenes.
Overall, Dangal is a feel good film that leaves you wanting more, just like Aamir Khan who doesn't get satisfied with the awards he wins.