level 777 Dunki Movie 

Four friends from a village in Punjab share a common dream: to go to England. Their problem is that they have neither the visa nor the ticket. A soldier promises to take them to the land of their dreams.

Director: Rajkumar Hirani

Writers: Kanika Dhillon Rajkumar Hirani Abhijat Joshi

Stars: Shah Rukh Khan Taapsee Pannu Boman Irani

Dunki Movie Review

The principal strength of Dunki, directed and edited by Rajkumar Hirani, springboards from the fact that it does not rely solely on Shahrukh Khan's phenomenal star power. There can be no denying that without the lead actor's singular charisma this would not be the film that it is. But its charm stems equally from a slam-dunk solid screenplay.
Dunki, written by Hirani, Abhijat Joshi and Kanika Dhillon, deals with the perils of illegal immigration with infectious jollity, piercing drama and a clear-eyed awareness of the ethical and legal questions surrounding the act of entering a foreign country without a visa.

The circularity of the story evokes all the confusions that stalk the prodigals as they dangle between their aspirations and the realities of the path they have chosen. It is at the same time informed with near-perfect structural roundness as it examines the fears and misgivings of those who deign to flee their land and seek a new life surrounded by strangers in a faraway country.

The first half of Dunki - the film kicks off with an old woman giving a London hospital the slip and landing up in an immigration advocate's office with a plea for help - is consistently lively and frequently funny. The second segment of the 16o-minute film anchors itself in a more solemn tone.

A dangerous voyage without maps across a river, a desert, a snow-covered mountain and a wilderness that extends all the way to the horizon brings death and disaster in its wake. All this transpires after the hero and his mates have tried every trick in the book to hoodwink their way through the IELTS system.

Dunki is buoyed by an array of flawless performances, with the lead actor and Taapsee Pannu, playing a woman who is far more than just the hero's romantic interest, leading the way through the ups and downs - more of the latter really - triggered by the characters' repeated leaps of faith across unknown terrains and into an equally alien land.

At the core of the plot is a love story that springs many a surprise. But in doing so it does not have to labour overly hard. It strikes a neat balance between heart, head and soul, crafting an emotionally engaging tale with its fair share of twists that do not strain credulity beyond reasonable limits.

Dunki, co-produced by Red Chillies Entertainment, carves out distinct (if not equal in terms of screen time) spaces for the four pivotal characters - a never-say-die ex-soldier Hardayal "Hardy" Dhillon (SRK), Manu Randhawa (Taapsee Pannu), Buggu Lakhanpal (Vikram Kochhar) and Balli Kakkar (Anil Grover).

Each of them has a story, and every story counts for more than the footage that is accorded to it because all of them contribute substantially to the tapestry of experiences and impulses that constitutes the storyline.

Buggu's mother works as a security guard in a factory to keep the home fires burning. Balli's mom does odd tailoring jobs to feed the family. And Manu has had her home taken away from her as a result of an unrepaid debt.

The film moves between the present and the mid-1990s and revolves around a trio of young and restless residents of Laltu, Punjab. Manu, Buggu and Balli dream of winging it to London no matter what. They are determined to get away from the poverty that they are trapped in.

One of the three has to literally break the bank to fund his aspiration, another has to learn the rudiments of wrestling to apply for a visa in the sports category and all of them have to enrol in a spoken English academy run by Geetu Gulati (Boman Irani), who claims that a passage to England would be "a piece of cake".

Their attempts backfire pretty badly. A couple of lives are lost, money is squandered and moves learnt in a wrestling pit come to naught when it really matters.

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