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During the scripting process, actor Salman Khan and his brother, producer-director Arbaaz Khan, would often debate — and sometimes also argue — over the evolution of Chulbul Pandey's character in Dabangg's sequel. "The progression is organic because the circumstances that Chulbul finds himself in, have changed. But a writer writes the script in his living room. When these aspects are discussed or come up while shooting of the film, opinions can differ," explains Salman.
However, the arguments have not proven futile and the brothers have delivered a blockbuster with the film having collected Rs 65.16 crore by Monday morning. The numbers match the industry's expectations from the second instalment of the franchise, but the critics, who lauded the first part, have expressed their reservations regarding the sequel. The complaint is that the makers have turned Dabangg's first part into a formula, applying the same elements — dialogues, slow-motion action sequences and characterisation, family drama and a baddie — to the sequel to deliver a film that is highly reminiscent of the first part.
Arbaaz, who makes his directorial debut with the film, however, is unfazed by the reviews as he believes that it is tough to keep everyone happy. He adds that sequels are of two kinds. "The first ones are the sort that completely change the setting of the film, such as the Munnabhai series, where even the leading ladies are different. The second are like the Rocky series, where the characters and formula remain the same, but the character's life story moves ahead. In such cases, some characters, including that of the lead, are carried forward and see only limited progression," points out Arbaaz, "And Dabangg 2 belongs to the latter kind."
Talking about his character, Salman says that Chulbul Pandey has worked with the audience because he, like Radhe in Wanted or Lovely Singh in Bodyguard, is a straightforward man with a rustic touch. "He is unpredictable — you can't say what will anger him and when he will laugh. Since that is the perception people have of me as well, they feel such characters are true to my personality and like to watch him," he says. The film, in his
opinion, has worked because it offers a mix of "fun, emotions and some bit of reality in a story that could do justice to the character of Chulbul Pandey".
Having broken the weekend collection records of Bollywood with Dabangg 2, the brothers are now hoping to take the franchise forward. "Salman is very keen on a prequel. But we have begun discussing the subject and its possibility," says Arbaaz.