Dunki Movie Review
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Dunki, a 2023 Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama film, emerges as a cinematic exploration of the intriguing world of illegal immigration techniques. Directed and edited by the acclaimed Rajkumar Hirani, the movie unfolds under the banner of Red Chillies Entertainment and Jio Studios, bringing together a stellar cast featuring Shah Rukh Khan, Taapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal, and Boman Irani. The collaboration between Shah Rukh Khan and Rajkumar Hirani in this social comedy-drama has ignited anticipation, marking a significant convergence of two influential forces in Indian cinema. Amidst the heightened buzz and the film’s clash with Salaar, audiences are eager to witness the unfolding narrative and discover how Dunki navigates the uncharted territories of its illegal immigration concept.
In a calm town called Laltu in Punjab, four friends – Manu (Taapsee), Bali (Anil Grover), Buggu Lakhanpal (Vikram Kochhar), and Sukhi (Vicky Kaushal) decide to go to London for different reasons. They understand that knowing English is important, so they join a coaching center to prepare for a test called IELTS. Along the way, they meet Hardy (Shah Rukh Khan), a soldier, who helps them reach London using a tricky method called Dunki, like a Donkey Flight. This way of crossing borders is not legal. Who is Hardy? Why did he help them? And why did they choose this Dunki way to go to London? The movie answers these questions and shows the adventures and challenges they face during their unusual journey.
In Dunki, Rajkumar Hirani, one of the best directors, teams up with Shah Rukh Khan for the first time, making the movie extra special. Despite the right theme and a perfect duo, Dunki doesn’t quite hit the mark. The story’s issues start early on, as the blend of the theme with Hirani’s style feels forced. While there are funny moments that showcase Hirani’s humor, others fall short. The first part struggles to find the right tone, and it’s hard to care about the characters. Vicky Kaushal’s character adds a nice touch, leading to a smooth ride until the interval.
However, things falter post-interval when the real Dunki journey begins. The serious issue feels out of place in Hirani’s style and the lightness clashes with the heavy concept. The Dunki concept is not explored properly. The drama doesn’t hit as it should. The part about seeking political asylum is handled superficially, preventing Dunki from reaching the next level. The letdown intensifies towards the end when the friends reunite. It’s supposed to evoke emotions but falls short. Even a major twist afterward fails to connect emotionally, echoing the issue with the ending. There’s a decent part in between that helps somewhat, but it’s only a small positive. In summary, Dunki carries Hirani’s signature style and a relevant immigrant theme, but the story lacks the depth to forge an emotional connection. It has moments that work, but the emotional impact as a whole is missing. Disappointed.
- Some comedy scenes work here and there.
- Didn’t explore the main point.
- A silly way of handling a difficult concept.
- Lack of emotions.
The music by Aman Pant and the songs by Pritam are good. The production values of Red Chillies are decent, and the cinematography is neat. Since Hirani himself is the editor, he may have trimmed the flashback scenes of Hardy. The writing is weak, as the concept of Dunki is not explored properly, and the emotions are not showcased effectively.
Dunki has some funny moments and good performances, but it misses the emotional connection, making it a bit of a letdown overall.
Movie Title: Dunki
Banner: Red Chillies Entertainments, Jio Studios
Release Date: 21122023
Censor Rating: U/A
Cast: Sharukh Khan, Taapsee Pannu, Boman Irani
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Music: Pritam Chakraborty
Cinematography: Manush Nandan
Editor: Raj Kumar Hirani
Producer: Rajkumar Hirani, Gouri Khan
Runtime: 161 minutes