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Dunki Movie Review: Shah Rukh Khan rules as Hardy but Vicky Kaushal outshines all

Dunki Movie Review: Rajkumar Hirani is back on silver screens after five years and does not disappoint you, this time too. Shah Rukh Khan-Taapsee Pannu's film can be a good end for 2023.

Sakshi Verma Sakshi Verma Updated on: December 21, 2023 14:53 IST
Shah Rukh Khan Movie Dunki Review
Dunki: Shah Rukh Khan and Taapsee Pannu starrerPhoto:SOCIAL
  • Movie Name:Dunki
  • Critics Rating: 3.5 / 5
  • Release Date: December 21. 2023
  • Director: Rajkumar Hirani
  • Genre: Comedy-Drama

Dunki Review: During the Red Sea Film Festival 2022, Shah Rukh Khan had said that Dunki is a story of people who want to come back home when they finally get the calling. And that's the most apt line to describe the story. Rajkumar Hirani's latest starts in London with the 50-year-old Manu (Taapsee Pannu) who thinks of her homeland, Punjab. She takes us in the past and to her other two friends Buggu (Vikram Kocchar), and Balli (Anil Grover). The trio seems to be done with their lives in India and want to move to London to improve their lifestyle and help their families. 

And then enters Shah Rukh Khan as Haridyal Singh Dhillon to visit Manu's brother who is no more. Being indebted to his late brother for saving his life, Haridyal commits to helping Manu to travel to London, However, his love for her, makes him go beyond that. All four then join an English-learning coaching, where they meet Sukhi (Vicky Kushal), who has the most significant but smallest role in Dunki. Vicky's sheer grace and honesty in portraying Sukhi's tragedy is a standout. He deserves so much praise for his performance. 

All five commit to clear an English test for Visa approval however, only Balli gets to travel to London. The rest four face disappointment followed by Sukhi's suicide. Honestly, that scene just before the interval is the biggest shock and the turning point of the film. Post interval, the remaining three (Hardy, Manu, Buggu) give in to reach London through Dunki. For the unversed, Dunki is called for those who wish to enter a country on illegal grounds. Facing several hardships and dying times, the trio finally reach London. But then Shah Rukh gets deported to India and 25 years later, the rest contact him once again to travel back to for a special purpose. 

However, Rajkumar Hirani does not try to take an illogical route to travel either way. The filmmaker stays honest in his representation of going to London and back to Punjab. Hirani also talks about the obsession of people to migrate to another country for a better lifestyle. While mentioning the England Immigration Act 1971, Hirani also highlights the discrimination on language during visa approval, reflecting that today's border only bars the poor. 

Being the least gripping climax of Hirani, Dunki will entertain you throughout. The film also never goes unfair with its supporting cast and gives time to each actor to grow and emote. Dunki is not just about Shah Rukh Khan as Hardy and his life history but also mentions each actor's character graph, even their parents too.  

Dunki can seem stretched in the end, especially when Hardy finally gets to propose to Manu but the music compensates for that too. Hirani is not a director who relies on VFXs and cinematic verses but focuses on his writing and that is the USP of Dunki. The film is so well-written for its ensemble cast and the two timelines that you'll feel connected till the end. The Dunki album is worth the hype and Chall Ve Watna is easily the best song of the film. Each of the songs is placed at the perfect time and duly fulfils the purpose.


Shah Rukh Khan is also able to build chemistry with Taapsee as both, young and old Hardy. In his true SRK spirit, the actor does justice to all the romantic and emotional scenes and has again given an applause-worthy performance in the film. His dialogue "Banda bandook se mare ya pet ki bhookh se" comes at the perfect time and the London court scene will stay with you for a while only because of Shah Rukh and his ability to perform an emotional scene with such grace. 

Taapsee is great as Manu, her Punjabiness, and sorrowful eyes build a bond easily. You don't get to hate her even for what she does to Hardy in London. Vikram Kocchar has the best comic time and jokes don't fall flat only because of him. Anil Grover is more impressive in Hardy's outburst scene. He also outshines the rest in the old-aged timeline. Boman Irani is good in his short role and it's safe to say that Dunki is a film with all good performers.  

Overall, Dunki is a fine watch movie with a lower repeat value. Rajkumar Hirani is back on silver screens after five years and does not disappoint you, this time too. Shah Rukh Khan-Taapsee Pannu's film can be a good end for 2023.

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