Friday, August 27, 2004


Practically every scene of Sanjay Gadhvi’s Dhoom can be traced to some foreign film or other. If you can ignore that, overlook the fact that there is no real plot; or that the film is full of Indian boys pretending to be American men, then this is a well crafted, fast-paced action thriller.

A gang of four bikers lead by Kabir (John Abraham) pull of a series of successful heists and escape on their superfast bikes. ACP Jai (Abhishek Bachchan) takes the help of petty crook and bike fanatic Ali (Uday Chopra) to try and catch the bandits.

The first half of the film devotes a lot of time to the comic encounters and banter between the taciturn Jai and chatterbox Ali. But they fail to capture Kabir and gang, till one of them gets killed and Jai gets a clue to their identity.

The film then shifts to Goa and picks up Hollywood caper Ocean’s Eleven, as Kabir plans to run off with 18 crores from a hotel’s casino (surely for a final heist, the sum is pathetically small!)

The director just sets up action pieces, so there is no time for character development, or even proper introductions. Jai’s entry is, uncharacteristically, with a bedroom song with skimpily dressed wife (Rimii)—her sole contribution to the film being ample skin on display. For that matter, the other female character and Ali’s love interest is Sheena (Esha), seems to be there’re just parade around in tiny clothes.

Despite an ill-defined role, John Abraham brings in an evil edge and loads of sex appeal. Uday Chopra gets the best lines (writer--Vijay Krishna Acharya) but tries too hard to be cute. Abhishek Bachchan and the rest are passable.

Salim Sulaiman’s zingy background score, Nirav Shah’s cinematography, Allan Amin’s stunts and the compulsively hummable title track (Pritam) all add to the film’s slick feel. But as it often happens, when they is too much style, there is no substance.


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