Dunki Movie Review

Limited Appeal Only


U/A, 2h 40m

Shah-Rukh-Khan-Dunki-movie-ReviewWhat Is the Film About?

Manu (Tapsee), Balli, and Buggu want to go to London to overcome their problems locally in Paltu, London. The movie’s basic plot is how an outsider, Hardy, comes into their lives and helps in the process.

The subplot involves Sukhi, another guy desperate to reach London. His track leads to the bunch taking the risky Dunki to London. What is it and how did they survive the ordeal forms the overall story.


After transforming into an action hero successfully, Shah Rukh Khan is back to doing an emotional drama with Dunki. It is his zone and coming with master storyteller Raju Hirani raises the expectations.

Shah Rukh Khan plays a typical Rajkumar Hirani protagonist who is earnest and sincere from the word go. The actor does well in getting the pitch right, however the accent and overaction at times act as distractions. In the key moments where the dramatic moments occur, Shah Rukh Khan provides a glimpse of his vintage days.

On the whole, it is a good chance for Shah Rukh Khan to be back at dramas, but it isn’t a completely satisfying outing that one might have expected.

Tapsee gets a biggie, a double whammy of sorts here in Dunki. She not only gets to work with Rajkumar Hirani but also is paired with Shah Rukh Khan, playing a substantial role. One look at Manu and we know why she has been picked. The tough girl role is perfected by the actress and she nails it here as well.

Apart from the expected bubbly and rooted presence, Tapsee also gets a good deal of emotional sequences where she is fine as usual. However, as is with the hero, she too doesn’t get anything memorable. Tapsee has done well, and that’s it.


Rajkumar Hirani directs Dunki. The director needs no introduction as he is regarded as one of the best in the country, if not the best. He joins hands with Shah Rukh Khan for the first time and that’s what makes the movie special.

Dunki ties well with the themes of both the director and the star. Here we have a film that talks about the meaning of ‘home’ with the theme of immigrants and features a star who is synonymous with that diaspora.

Despite the right theme and perfect combination, Dunki, unfortunately, isn’t the output that one expected.

The issues with the narrative can be felt at the start itself. The blending of the theme with the Hirani brand entertainment doesn’t look organic. There are moments like the Barbershop intro of a character involving a bald guy, or the National Anthem bit at the station that highlight the quirky hilariousness of Hirani, but the rest either fall flat or not up to the mark. It feels like there is a lot of effort made to appeal.

The first half an hour of the movie passes through searching for the right tone and emotion to hold everything together. One doesn’t actually care for a long time with the various characters struggling to get to London. We get that with the introduction of Vicky Kaushal’s character and it leads to a smooth ride until the interval.

However, things again miss the mark post-interval when the real Dunki journey commences. It is a serious issue that feels tonally jarring when executed in Hirani style. The lightheartedness of the proceedings doesn’t fit right with the gravity at hand. The resultant drama, as a result, didn’t register as they ought to.

Another major block involving seeking political asylum is dealt with superficially. This is where Dunki fails to go to the next level.

The disappointment with Dunki can be felt towards the end when the friends reunite. It is supposed to evoke certain emotions and it utterly fails in doing so. A major twist follows it, but again it fails to connect emotionally (which is also the case with the end). There is a decent block in between which helps salvage things to some extent. But, it’s only a marginal affirmation.

Overall, Dunki has the trademarks of Hirani all over and a relevant theme involving immigrants, but the narrative lacks the depth to connect emotionally. It works in parts but fails to land the emotional punch collectively.

Taapsee-Pannu-Dunki-movie-ReviewPerformances by Others Actors

Dunki has an excellent ensemble cast comprising Hirani regulars like Boman Irani, and Vicky Kaushal (seen in Sanju) and new additions like Vikram Kochhar, Anil Grover, etc.

Among the supporting cast, Vicky Kaushal easily stands out. One can say he is the soul of the movie and steals the show from everyone else. It’s his emotional scenes that hit us like a ton of bricks and make us glued to the journey. The core theme of seriousness is highlighted due to his act.

Vikram Kochhar and Anil Grover are more than adequate and generate a chemistry among them that’s usually a hallmark in Hirani dramas. The rest of the cast playing minor parts is also adequate.

Music and Other Departments?

The songs by Pritam bear his trademark melody and are nice to hear. But, they aren’t the type that stands out on their own. The background score follows a regular Hirani pattern which adds to the formulaic feeling narrative-wise.

The cinematography is neat, but the editing lacks the razor-sharpness usually associated with Hirani flicks. The movie looks slick, from start to end with neat production design and sets. The writing is consistently okay.


Vicky Kaushal

Hirani Mark Quirky Humor



Second Half

Predictable Story

Uneven Narrative

Forced Emotion Parts

Vicky-Kaushal-Dunki-movie-ReviewDid I Enjoy It?

Yes, in parts

Will You Recommend It?

Yes, but only if this genre works for you.

Dunki Movie Review by M9