“Dangal” (2016) 

"Dangal" (2016)
“Dangal” (2016)

“Dangal” (2016) is a powerful and inspiring sports drama that tells the true story of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his daughters, Geeta and Babita Phogat. Directed by Nitesh Tiwari, the film explores themes of gender equality, determination, and the pursuit of dreams against societal norms. With its compelling narrative, exceptional performances, and emotional depth, “Dangal” captivates audiences and leaves a lasting impact.

The film takes place in the state of Haryana, India, where wrestling is predominantly seen as a male-dominated sport. Mahavir Singh Phogat, brilliantly portrayed by Aamir Khan, dreams of winning a gold medal for his country. However, societal pressures and financial constraints force him to give up his wrestling career. Determined not to let his dream fade away, Mahavir sees an opportunity in his daughters and decides to train them in wrestling, defying traditional gender roles and expectations.

The first half of the film focuses on Mahavir’s strict training regimen and the girls’ initial resistance. Geeta and Babita, played by Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra respectively, gradually develop their skills and transform into competitive wrestlers. The film beautifully portrays the challenges they face, including societal stigma, gender discrimination, and the physical demands of the sport. The emotional bond between the father and daughters forms the heart of the narrative, emphasizing the power of love, dedication, and family support in overcoming obstacles.

“Dangal” skillfully blends sports drama with poignant family dynamics. The relationship between Mahavir and his daughters evolves throughout the film, showcasing the complexities of parental expectations, sacrifices, and the pursuit of excellence. The performances of Aamir Khan and the young actresses are exceptional, immersing the audience in their emotional journey and creating a deep connection with the characters.

One of the film’s strengths lies in its realistic portrayal of wrestling. The intense training sequences and the thrilling wrestling matches are expertly choreographed, capturing the physicality and technicalities of the sport. The film also sheds light on the mental and emotional challenges faced by athletes, emphasizing the importance of discipline, focus, and resilience in achieving success.

“Dangal” not only celebrates the triumphs of the Phogat family but also raises important social issues. It challenges gender stereotypes and highlights the potential of women in sports, inspiring a generation of girls to pursue their dreams and break barriers. The film addresses the regressive mindset prevalent in society and advocates for equality and empowerment, making it a significant contribution to the discourse on gender equality.

The film’s success can be attributed to its strong script, skillful direction, and exceptional performances. It garnered widespread critical acclaim and struck a chord with audiences worldwide. “Dangal” became a box office phenomenon, earning both commercial success and critical accolades. It received numerous awards, including the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and several Filmfare Awards.

In conclusion, “Dangal” is a remarkable film that combines sports, family drama, and social commentary to deliver a compelling and emotionally resonant story. It celebrates the power of determination, challenges societal norms, and highlights the importance of gender equality. With its exceptional performances, engaging narrative, and powerful message, “Dangal” continues to inspire and entertain audiences, leaving a lasting impact as one of India’s finest cinematic achievements.


1. Aamir Khan as Mahavir Singh Phogat: Aamir Khan is one of India’s most acclaimed actors and portrays the role of Mahavir Singh Phogat, the determined and strict father who trains his daughters to become wrestlers.

2. Fatima Sana Shaikh as Geeta Phogat: Fatima Sana Shaikh plays the role of Geeta Phogat, Mahavir’s eldest daughter and a talented wrestler who goes on to achieve great success.

3. Sanya Malhotra as Babita Kumari: Sanya Malhotra portrays the role of Babita Kumari, Mahavir’s second daughter and a skilled wrestler who follows in her sister’s footsteps.

4. Sakshi Tanwar as Daya Shobha Kaur: Sakshi Tanwar plays the role of Mahavir’s wife, Daya Shobha Kaur, who supports him in his unconventional approach to training their daughters.

5. Zaira Wasim as Young Geeta Phogat: Zaira Wasim portrays the younger version of Geeta Phogat in the film.

6. Suhani Bhatnagar as Young Babita Kumari: Suhani Bhatnagar plays the younger version of Babita Kumari.


1. Nitesh Tiwari (Director and Co-writer): Nitesh Tiwari directed and co-wrote the screenplay for “Dangal.” His direction and storytelling skills contributed to the film’s success.

2. Piyush Gupta and Shreyas Jain (Co-writers): Piyush Gupta and Shreyas Jain collaborated with Nitesh Tiwari in writing the screenplay for the film.

3. Aamir Khan (Producer): Aamir Khan not only portrayed the lead role but also served as a producer for the film. His involvement played a significant role in shaping the project.

4. Kiran Rao (Producer): Kiran Rao, Aamir Khan’s wife, also served as a producer for “Dangal.”

5. Pritam Chakraborty (Music): Pritam composed the music for the film, including the memorable songs that added depth and emotion to the narrative.

6. Sethu Sriram (Cinematography): Sethu Sriram handled the cinematography, capturing the wrestling sequences and the emotional moments with finesse.

7. Ballu Saluja (Editing): Ballu Saluja was the editor of the film, ensuring a seamless flow of the narrative and enhancing the impact of the storytelling.

These talented individuals, both in front of and behind the camera, played crucial roles in bringing “Dangal” to life and creating a memorable cinematic experience. Their collective efforts contributed to the film’s success and received widespread appreciation from audiences and critics alike.

Commercial and Critical success

“Dangal” (2016) achieved tremendous success, both commercially and critically, making it one of the most successful films in Indian cinema. Let’s delve into the details of its success:

1. Box Office Success:

“Dangal” shattered box office records and became one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time. It grossed over ₹3.8 billion (approximately $56 million) domestically and earned over ₹3.9 billion (approximately $58 million) internationally, totaling more than ₹7.5 billion (approximately $114 million) worldwide. The film’s phenomenal performance at the box office solidified its status as a blockbuster.

2. Critical Acclaim:

The film received widespread critical acclaim for its performances, direction, and compelling storytelling. Critics praised the film’s emotional depth, powerful narrative, and realistic portrayal of wrestling. The film’s exploration of gender equality and social issues resonated with reviewers, who applauded its progressive themes and thought-provoking message. “Dangal” holds an impressive average rating of over 8.4/10 on popular film review aggregator sites.

3. National and International Awards:

“Dangal” garnered numerous prestigious awards and accolades, both at home and internationally. It won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, recognizing its cultural impact and mass appeal. The film also received several Filmfare Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor for Aamir Khan, along with several other category wins and nominations.

4. Overseas Reception:

“Dangal” received immense acclaim and performed exceptionally well internationally. It resonated with audiences in various countries, especially in China, where it achieved unprecedented success. The film’s relatable themes, compelling performances, and universal message transcended language and cultural barriers, leading to its popularity and strong box office performance in several international markets.

5. Cultural Impact:

Beyond its commercial success, “Dangal” made a significant cultural impact. The film’s narrative, which emphasizes gender equality and challenges societal norms, sparked conversations and debates about women’s empowerment in India and beyond. It inspired a new wave of interest in women’s wrestling and encouraged parents to support their daughters’ athletic pursuits.

6. Audience Appreciation:

“Dangal” received overwhelming praise from audiences, who embraced the film’s emotional resonance and inspiring story. Viewers were captivated by the performances, particularly Aamir Khan’s portrayal of Mahavir Singh Phogat, and the film’s engaging screenplay. Audiences praised its authenticity, attention to detail, and the way it balanced entertainment with meaningful social commentary.

7. Longevity and Legacy:

Years after its release, “Dangal” continues to be celebrated and cherished by audiences. Its impact has endured, and the film remains a significant part of Indian cinema’s legacy. It continues to inspire aspiring athletes, break gender stereotypes, and serve as a reminder of the power of determination and parental support.

In conclusion, “Dangal” achieved remarkable success on multiple fronts. It conquered the box office, garnered critical acclaim, and left a lasting impact on audiences worldwide. The film’s compelling narrative, stellar performances, and exploration of social issues elevated it to a status of both commercial and cultural significance. “Dangal” stands as a shining example of the power of cinema to entertain, inspire, and spark meaningful conversations.


The making of “Dangal” was filled with interesting behind-the-scenes moments and challenges. Here are some noteworthy aspects:

1. Physical Transformations:

To portray the characters realistically, the actors underwent physical transformations. Aamir Khan, known for his dedication to his roles, gained weight to accurately portray the older Mahavir Singh Phogat. He gained over 25 kilograms and then lost it to play the younger version. The actresses playing Geeta and Babita, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra respectively, also underwent rigorous training to build muscle and develop the physique of professional wrestlers.

2. Training and Wrestling Boot Camp:

The actors received professional wrestling training to authentically portray the sport. Renowned wrestling coach Kripa Shankar Bishnoi was brought on board to train the cast. They underwent a rigorous wrestling boot camp, which included learning various techniques, grappling, and honing their wrestling skills. The training sessions were intense, and the actors had to push themselves physically and mentally to portray wrestlers convincingly on screen.

3. Real-life Inspirations:

The film is based on the lives of real people, the Phogat family. Director Nitesh Tiwari and his team conducted extensive research and interviews with the Phogat family to understand their experiences and incorporate them into the film. Their insights and personal stories added authenticity and depth to the characters and their journeys.

4. Filming in Authentic Locations:

The film was primarily shot in the state of Haryana, India, where the story is set. The production team meticulously scouted locations to capture the essence of the Phogat family’s journey. They filmed in real villages, wrestling akhadas (training centers), and arenas to create an authentic backdrop for the narrative. The use of real locations added a sense of realism to the film.

5. Emotional Atmosphere on Set:

The film’s emotional moments often left the cast and crew deeply moved. Aamir Khan, in particular, would get emotional during intense scenes and take some time to regain composure. The emotional bond between the actors playing the Phogat family translated into powerful performances, as they shared a genuine camaraderie on and off-screen.

6. Challenges of Filming Wrestling Scenes:

Filming the wrestling sequences posed unique challenges. The team had to carefully choreograph the action to ensure the safety of the actors while maintaining the intensity and authenticity of the sport. The wrestling scenes required meticulous planning, precise execution, and a balance between realism and cinematic flair. The dedication of the actors and the choreography team brought these sequences to life.

7. Incorporating Real Wrestling Events:

To enhance the film’s authenticity, real wrestling events were included in the movie. The crew filmed the Commonwealth Games, National Championships, and other wrestling tournaments to capture the atmosphere, excitement, and competitive spirit of professional wrestling. The integration of real events added a layer of realism and further immersed the audience in the world of the sport.

These behind-the-scenes insights highlight the dedication, hard work, and attention to detail that went into making “Dangal” an authentic and compelling cinematic experience. The commitment of the cast and crew, along with the collaboration with real-life inspirations, contributed to the film’s success in capturing the essence of the Phogat family’s remarkable journey.

Hit songs

“Dangal” features a remarkable soundtrack composed by Pritam Chakraborty, with lyrics penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya. The songs not only complement the narrative but also resonate with the emotions and struggles depicted in the film. Here are some of the hit songs from “Dangal”:

1. “Haanikaarak Bapu” (“Dangerous Father”):

This lively and energetic track captures the essence of Mahavir Singh Phogat’s strict training regimen for his daughters. It humorously portrays his tough love and dedication towards molding them into successful wrestlers.

2. “Dhaakad”:

“Dhaakad” is an empowering song that celebrates the strength and determination of Geeta Phogat. It showcases her journey as she defies societal expectations and emerges as a fearless wrestler. The song’s energetic beats and powerful lyrics make it a standout track.

3. “Gilehriyaan”:

A melodic and introspective song, “Gilehriyaan” reflects the inner conflict of Geeta as she grapples with the desire to pursue her dreams while longing for a sense of normalcy and freedom. The song beautifully captures her emotional journey.

4. “Naina”:

“Naina” is a soulful and emotional track that portrays the inner turmoil and longing of Mahavir Singh Phogat as he witnesses his daughters’ struggles and sacrifices. The heartfelt lyrics and soothing melody make it a poignant and memorable song.

5. “Idiot Banna”:

This catchy and playful track showcases the lighter moments in the film. It captures the humorous interactions between Geeta and Babita as they navigate their wrestling journey and share a unique bond as sisters.

Unforgettable scenes

Apart from the songs, “Dangal” features several unforgettable scenes that have become iconic and have left a lasting impression on the audience:

1. Geeta’s First Victory:

The scene where Geeta wins her first wrestling tournament is a powerful moment of triumph and validation. It showcases her perseverance, skill, and the fruits of her father’s relentless training.

2. The Climactic Wrestling Matches:

The intense wrestling matches, especially Geeta’s matches at the Commonwealth Games and Babita’s matches at the Nationals, are riveting and filled with suspense. The choreography, combined with the emotional stakes, creates a thrilling experience for the audience.

3. The Training Montages:

The film includes several training montages that highlight the rigorous physical training and the mental fortitude required for wrestling. These sequences effectively convey the determination, discipline, and hard work of the Phogat sisters.

4. Mahavir’s Speeches:

Mahavir’s inspirational speeches, particularly the one where he confronts societal expectations and encourages his daughters to challenge the norms, leave a lasting impact. His words resonate with the audience and inspire them to question traditional stereotypes.

5. Emotional Family Moments:

The film portrays poignant family moments that evoke a range of emotions. The scenes where Geeta and Babita share their dreams and aspirations with their father, and the moments of conflict and reconciliation, showcase the complexity of familial relationships and add depth to the narrative.

“Dangal” is also known for its powerful and thought-provoking dialogues. Some notable dialogues include:

1. “Gold toh gold hota hai, chhora laave ya chhori” (“Gold is gold, whether brought by a son or a daughter”):

This dialogue challenges the traditional gender bias and highlights the equal potential and worth of both sons and daughters.

2. “Mhari chhoriyaan chhoron se kam hai ke?” (“Are my daughters any less than sons?”):

Mahavir’s powerful dialogue questions society’s discrimination against daughters and challenges the notion that girls are inferior to boys.

3. “Tumne kahaani ko gold banana hai, maine toh gold se bhi upar le jaana hai” (“I don’t want to turn my daughters into gold, I want to take them even higher than gold”):

This dialogue reflects Mahavir’s aspirations for his daughters. He envisions their success not only in terms of winning medals but also in becoming individuals who transcend societal expectations and achieve greatness.

4. “Medal toh apne aap mil jayega, par nafrat kisi se koi nahi cheen sakta” (“Medals will come on their own, but no one can snatch away hatred”):

This dialogue conveys the idea that while winning medals is important, the real victory lies in overcoming hatred, discrimination, and prejudice.

5. “Tumhari chhoriyaan bhagwan nahi, tayaar hai, jeeti hai” (“Your daughters are not goddesses, they are ready and they have won”):

This dialogue challenges the notion of placing women on a pedestal and treating them as fragile beings. It emphasizes the daughters’ strength, resilience, and their ability to achieve success on their own terms.

These dialogues, along with the impactful performances by the cast, bring depth and emotional resonance to the film. They inspire introspection and spark conversations about gender equality, determination, and the power of dreams.

The hit songs, unforgettable scenes, and powerful dialogues in “Dangal” contribute to its enduring popularity and critical acclaim. The film’s ability to weave together sports, family dynamics, and social commentary makes it a compelling and thought-provoking cinematic experience. “Dangal” not only entertains but also challenges societal norms and inspires audiences to believe in themselves and strive for greatness.


“Dangal” is a poignant and inspiring film that tells the remarkable true story of the Phogat family’s journey in the world of wrestling. The movie concludes with a powerful message of determination, gender equality, and the pursuit of one’s dreams against all odds.

In the climactic scenes, Geeta, now a renowned wrestler, competes in the Commonwealth Games. The audience is on the edge of their seats as they witness Geeta’s transformation from a young girl with raw talent to a confident and skilled athlete. She faces formidable opponents from different countries, testing her physical and mental strength. The wrestling matches are intense and exhilarating, capturing the attention of not only the spectators within the film but also the viewers in the theater.

As Geeta battles her opponents, her father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, anxiously watches from the stands, his hopes and dreams invested in her success. The emotional weight of the moment is palpable, and the audience shares in Mahavir’s mix of anticipation, pride, and anxiety. Geeta’s victories are not only her own triumphs but also a testament to her father’s unwavering belief in her abilities.

Meanwhile, Babita, Geeta’s younger sister, also makes her mark in the wrestling world. She showcases her skills and determination as she competes in the Nationals, facing tough opponents and proving her mettle. The film beautifully captures the sisters’ individual journeys while emphasizing their unbreakable bond as they navigate the challenges of the male-dominated sport.

The film’s climax brings the story full circle, as Geeta and Babita return to their childhood village, Balali, Haryana. They are warmly welcomed by their family, friends, and the entire community. The villagers are proud of their achievements and acknowledge the revolutionary change the Phogat sisters have brought to their small town. The film celebrates their success not only as individual athletes but also as symbols of hope and progress.

The conclusion of “Dangal” highlights the impact of the Phogat sisters’ achievements on society. Their success breaks down gender barriers and challenges societal norms, inspiring a generation of young girls to pursue their dreams fearlessly. The film champions the idea that talent, hard work, and determination know no gender limitations.

The emotional core of the film lies in the relationship between Mahavir and his daughters. Mahavir, once strict and uncompromising, evolves into a loving and supportive father who empowers his daughters to soar beyond societal expectations. His transformation reflects the broader theme of breaking free from patriarchal norms and recognizing the potential of women in all spheres of life.

“Dangal” concludes with a heartfelt and emotional reunion between Geeta, Babita, and their father. The scene captures their deep love, respect, and gratitude for each other. It reinforces the message that family bonds, perseverance, and unwavering support are instrumental in achieving success.

In its entirety, “Dangal” is a cinematic triumph that seamlessly weaves together sports, drama, and social commentary. The film celebrates the triumph of the human spirit and the power of self-belief. It leaves the audience inspired, introspective, and hopeful, with a renewed sense of the transformative power of dreams and determination.

“Dangal” will forever be remembered as a groundbreaking film that not only entertained but also challenged societal norms, paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable future. Its impact extends beyond the screen, igniting conversations about gender equality and inspiring generations to dream big and break barriers.

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