Raja Kumar For no other reason than the way his characters evoke strong emotions in viewers, Hirani’s cinematic universe has won over many hearts. He is one of the few directors who can impress you with just the storytelling. He doesn’t use scenes with a lot of visual effects or loud dialogue. Rather, he concentrates more on the writing and the dialogue of his characters. Five years later, Hirani returns to theaters with his picture starring Shah Rukh Khan. These are not the same times.
Would a story about illegal immigrants find an audience in a year when action-packed dramas starring big-name actors have found an audience?
Those who want to enter a country illegally are referred to as “Dunki.” The narrative of Hirani begins in Punjab and travels all over the world to the Middle East and London. Shah Rukh Khan plays the role of Hardy Singh meets a group of outcasts who have a dream to travel to London one day. Despite their Indian origins and affinity for the regional tastes and hues, their hearts skip a beat whenever Big Ben is brought up. But getting to London is not a simple task. It is lined with perilous questions and examinations where the team must learn English language to obtain the required visa.
The group chooses to go down a less-traveled way that leads to their dream place after they fail the English language exam. They become even more aggressive to reach London at any costs after a tragic incident.
Even though SRK is the main character, Rajkumar Hirani makes sure to give the other characters plenty of chances to shine. Rajkumar Hirani’s specialties have always been story writing and dialogue making. Hirani’s signature feel-good humor and straightforward style are evident in Dunki’s first half, which is multilayered and nuanced.
Vicky Kaushal is an impressive character as Sukhi, and thankfully the character has been developed by the writers despite his brief appearance in the story. When called upon, he can be ferocious and quiet at the same time. Taapsee Pannu seizes the chance whenever it presents itself. Her timing on the comedic lines with King Khan is marvelous.
In a similar vein, the other members of team Dunki, Anil Grover and Vikram Kochher, are excellent in their parts. Shah Rukh uses his charming personality to great effect in his portrayal of both the young and old Hardy in the movie. King Khan once again demonstrates his timeless appeal as he finishes this year with a hattrick. Conversely, Dunki’s second half is drawn out and poorly done. The humor is weak and the plot wanders.
Hirani’s story writing is also at its least enjoyable in the climax. In an attempt to overdo the emotional content, the director extends scenes and packs an already large series entourage with extra baggage. Compared to three idiots or PK, Dunki may not be Hirani’s best work, but it is still entertaining and gives you a good feeling when you leave the theater. Furthermore, there is no better way to cap off the year than seeing SRK enchant you on the big screen once more.