Family Night at the Movies: Dangal


During my week-long family reunion at a cabin in the mountains of Utah in July, my sibs and our kids and I watched this fascinating movie out of Bollywood called Dangal. The title word literally means “wrestling competition” in Hindi. Since my brother just moved from India after living there for three years I thought this movie was his idea. He had just hosted my parents on a June vacation in India where they toured the Taj Mahal and other amazing Indian places. Nope, watching the movie was my baby sister’s idea. She and her husband live across the country on the east coast with six kids. After we watched the movie, as we got ready for bed, she told me that her husband has a passion project of watching movies in the winter on weeknights after the kids are in bed. She paints art. He watches movies. They both get to unwind in their own way, then go to bed feeling relaxed, ready to sleep, to refresh and restore for a new day. Sounds like a great recipe for happy home life!

So I’m sharing this movie with you all. It’s a great story of fatherhood, love, marriage, family life, and mentoring. Best of all it’s based on a true story! So fascinating! It’s all in a foreign language though, so you can’t multitask while watching (which I do all the time, working my hands while I listen). You have to watch the screen to read the subtitles or you will miss out!

My brother in law found the movie on Netflix when he watched it in Maine but just now I found it on YouTube. I’m assuming it’s legal to watch it there. If it’s not maybe this video I embedded below won’t work in a few days.

So here’s the full movie. It does have one crude statement about female bodies that I missed because I was out of the room when the young girls start wrestling. Other than that it’s a clean family movie, as far as I can tell. I did leave the room a few times and then came back. It held all the younger grandkids attention for over two hours. I give it five out of five stars. It raises a lot of questions like:

What is the true role of a father? Is it OK to push your children to do things?

What is the true role of a mother? Is it OK to interfere with your husband pushing your children to do things? How do you find a compromise?

What is the role of children in obeying parents?

Is it OK for females to wrestle in public?

What gender roles are OK? Is it OK to have gender roles?

What experiences do you see in your life of women or men being treated less than respectfully because of gender?

Do you see a need for female empowerment in your society?

Do you see a need for male empowerment in your society?

Is it important to do things to please your father or mother, even if you don’t want to do that thing?

I won’t ask any more questions about the movie otherwise I will spoil it for you! Just watch it and tell me what you think in the comments section below!


The guy who played the dad, Aamir Khan, had to transform himself from fat to fit to play his character. He started out looking old and fat (after gaining weight– he said he had fun eating to do that) and then in five months, after a vigorous regiment, he was fit and young, to play the younger self. So they filmed the “older dad” part of the movie first. Wow, he’s so inspiring! A six-pack after age 50 to play a thirtysomething!


This next video shows the star who played the mom, Sakshi Tanwar, talking about her role. I loved her as the mom. She’s so gorgeous!



Then here’s the soundtrack. I love the music!


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