“Dunki,” directed by Rajkumar Hirani, brings Shah Rukh Khan and Taapsee Pannu together in a heartwarming story. The film follows the journey of Manu Randhawa (Taapsee Pannu), along with her friends, trying to return to India from London. Unable to secure a visa, she seeks help from Hardy aka Hardayal Singh Dhillon (Shah Rukh Khan) in Punjab. The narrative unfolds through flashbacks, revealing their dreams, struggles, and the pivotal role played by a soldier named Hardy in their lives.
Blend of Emotions and Humor:
Rajkumar Hirani’s signature style is evident in Dunki, which balances high emotions with humor. The film delves into the story of illegal migrants, tackling the challenges they face while pursuing a better life abroad. Hirani seamlessly weaves a love story into the narrative, using a lighter tone to shed light on the struggles faced by non-English speaking Indians in obtaining visas. The film resonates with impactful moments, accompanied by soulful music that enhances the overall experience.
Compelling Story with Flawed Execution:
While the story, co-written by Abhijat Joshi, Hirani, and Kanika Dhillon, is compelling, the execution falls short of expectations. The slow-paced first half may test the audience’s patience, but the film picks up momentum in the 20 minutes before the interval, promising a more engaging second half. The humor, particularly in the IELTS exam preparation scenes, feels forced, lacking the organic and subtle charm seen in previous Hirani films.
Star Power and Chemistry:
Shah Rukh Khan shines as the star attraction in Dunki, portraying a character familiar to his fans. Taapsee Pannu’s natural performance, rooted in her Punjabi background, adds authenticity to her role. While the chemistry between SRK and Taapsee is okay, the aging prosthetics raise questions about the timeline in the film. Supporting cast members, including Vikram Kochhar and Anil Grover, deliver convincing performances, with Vicky Kaushal’s special appearance standing out as a high point.
Dunki, despite its flaws, manages to keep audiences hooked with its emotional narrative and family-centric theme. The film is a departure from Shah Rukh Khan’s recent action-packed roles, providing a refreshing take on his acting prowess. Taapsee Pannu’s natural portrayal and the supporting cast contribute to the film’s heartwarming moments. Overall, Dunki is a tearful yet smile-inducing family entertainer that addresses important societal issues with a touch of humor.