If one were to analyze the success of Dabangg one thing that would emerge as a stark motif is the one liner in the film. As a matter of fact, off-late, Salman Khan has specialized in this genre, be it in Veer, Wanted or in Dabangg. These one liners attract the audience to the cinema halls on a repeated basis, and it is not that the phenomenon only happens in the Hindi or the South Indian film industry, Hollywood also has it in droves, in fact they have it on more regular basis than it is happening these days in the Hindi film industry at least. Remember the dialogue from Godfather, Revenge is a dish that tastes the best when it is cold, or “Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you can get” from Forrest Gump.
As a matter of fact the pretty long and romantic innings that Rajinikanth has with the box office, particularly in Southern parts of the country is owing to these one-liners, and one of the fans of Rajinikanth went on record to say that he saw the film second time to go through the dialogue and the third time to learn them. There are scores of Rajni fans who profess this philosophy. But can it be said with the same conviction for Hindi cinema, if one were to leave aside the dialogues of Salman Khan. Not likely. In the current generation, no star is identified with a dialogue as his signature statement as it was with the stars in the previous generation.
Right from the times of Shri 420, when it was uttered to Raj Kapoor, that “ye Bambai hai mere bhai, yaha pehli baar to sab girte hain”, it still is a dialogue that identifies the chutzpah of the city of Mumbai. The real fault line however was the advent of Sholay, which pushed dialogues and its fan following to a totally different orbit. It was for the first time in the history of Hindi cinema that dialogues were sold in the form of audio cassettes and they sold like hot cases. One can say with conviction that it was the period of Salim Javed that saw one of the best phases of one-liners in the Indian history and was also responsible for creation of the iconic brand called Amitabh Bachchan.
Salman Khan seems to be doing his own in a small way, but somebody from the new generation needs to take the charge.