Dangal (2016): It’s a biographical sports drama based on the lives of Mahavir Phogat and his daughters, Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat. Majority of us might have seen the movie by now, and if not must be planning to see it or waiting for its telecast on television. Reviews: Thumbs Up, in every facet, be it script, direction, acting or the final execution. This sounds a bit obvious write up read by all in jumbled words. This is also a review, yet with a tweaked perspective.
The audience watched the movie with general the expectations like the movie is going to reflect upon the hard work, grit, struggle, nail-biting finishes etc. Till the interval, it was all good, girl child, general struggles with the authority, making of champions, etc. Post interval, the real dangal started, the dangal between the two generations, two coaches, the unparallel aspirations. Why did Geeta failed at the beginning? To extract the argument, let’s get back to their history. The aims for both the daughters were created by their father. While growing up, both of them were never given any option to choose from. Geeta and Babita were devoid of eating fast bards, watching movies, or attending social functions. They followed their coach’s (their father) each instruction with trust, discipline and belief. So, the next question arises, was it the parenting style of the father that lead to the doom of Geeta? Well, not at all. The place where there was no agenda for girls to grow up other than getting married and give birth to our next generation, the father created a goal for his daughters. He formed the foundation for Geeta’s and Babita’s destiny. So, what went wrong? It may be, the freedom to choose was completely given a skip to their learning lessons. Somewhere down the lines the desire for Geeta’s favourite to-do things did not die. It popped out as soon as the opportunity peeped in. As she entered the National Academy, she lived the life that she wished to, and her direct surrounding encouraged her actions. She lost focus because the one whose aim she was living (by then, getting an international medal had become her own dream, too) was not around her. The image of the person who wanted to see Geeta on the top and who had given his life for this one aim was blurred due to i) distance, ii) a simpler life and iii) ‘being happy with mediocre achievements’ team. The results were quite evident of choosing this option – a lot of time, money, energy, feelings, relationships were lost. So what happened next? Geeta reflected on her life. We saw how Geeta responded to her inner will’s call. She was again put in a situation where there were two schools of thoughts on every bout. This time she was confident and made decisions on her own without any external coercion. If one had noticed in the movie, the younger sister, Babita was very sure what to select when exposed to similar choices. She had seen the consequence of opting for the alternative.
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This is not an issue with an individual. It is what our system is like – be it our schools, home or office. We just follow instructions. We grow up without given any opportunity to make choices from available resources.
Dangal, the word itself means a wrestling drama. This movie is also about dangal, a veiled wrestling drama about freedom to make choices. Given this freedom, one may make mistakes and it gives a scope to accept defeat and look for alternatives. This self learning is what needs to be taught on ground level, the rest is history!