Now in a new city, Kanpur, Chulbul (Salman Khan) and wife Rajjo (Sonakshi Sinha) are battling bigger, more dangerous demons in the form of politico Baccha Bhaiya (Prakash Raj) and his two wayward brothers.
The film is full of 'seeti-inducing' moments. Note the full-of-drama moment where Chulbul saves a bride from being kidnapped at the mandap. And then says his signature dialogue 'aate hain' just before the interval!
The comedy is omnipresent! Chulbul does not spare anybody - right from the caricaturish side goons to his own step-father (Vinod Khanna) and brother Makhi (Arbaaz Khan).
The sweet romance from Dabangg continues, this time in a post-marriage set-up.
In one of the film's best scenes, Chulbul keeps asking Rajjo for his belt, comb, etc., and when she angrily complies, he tells her: "You are my wife not a slave. The next time I boss over you, you must protest."
Rajjo, in her part, is not your TV serial wife. With a sense of self-worth and identity, she's the only one who Chulbul listens to.
Note the time when Chulbul gruffly says, 'aate hain' while leaving for work and she reminds him, 'pyaar se' as if admonishing a child. He complies with a more polite goodbye!
Of course, everything else is convenient here - the goons, except the main one are caricatures and so is Chulbul's boss whose belly is a sign of his overeating. No competition for Chulbul, no siree!
In fact he competes with himself, you realise.
One of the most iconic characters of our time, Chulbul is no Ram avatar. While he valiantly rescues a child from the goondas, he merrily keeps the ransom for himself.
The eager media is charmed by him, even as he lies to them to protect his force. And yet, despite all these shortcomings, he's a hero alright!
The film has been shot beautifully and the frames soak in the sights and splendours of Kanpur. The background score is superb and you have the guitar strumming at key points.
The cast, the highlight of Dabangg, remains so even in the sequel.
What to say of Salman Khan? As Vinod Khanna rightly said to this writer, "Salman Khan just melted into this role." Such that at times it is difficult to differentiate between the two.
Sonakshi Sinha, looking ethereal in her ethnic wear, delivers yet another solid performance.
Prakash Raj plays a role he can perform in his sleep, but one can't deny his screen presence and intensity.
Debut director Arbaaz Khan has worn many hats with this film. As the producer and actor as well, this film is his baby.
Luckily, Arbaaz has taken the flavour of Dabangg and let it waft into the sequel. So the old-worldly values, sweet low romance, language nuances, pretty costumes, and melodic songs reign in Dabangg 2 as well.
The film is formulaic, but great fun! Recommended!
Rating: 3.5 stars