Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dhoom 2 

There’s a scene between Abhishek Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan in Dhoom 2. Jai (Bachchan) is sitting in a café in Rio de Janeiro. Aryan (Roshan) asks in Hindi if he can share the table. Indian? asks Jai. Aryan nods. Can’t tell from the face, comments Jai. Which is really true of Hrithik Roshan in this Sanjay Gadhvi film. He looks spectacular, and has such superb control over his body that he is able to pull off amazing stunts and dance moves. He could easily fit into a film from any country and he’d maintain that Greek God like star quality.

If it wasn’t for him, Dhoom 2 would be a lavishly mounted but juvenile caper movie. Gadhvi thinks up extravagant and totally implausible heist sequences, that Aryan or the mysterious ‘A’ carries out all over the world. They are too sophisticated and so fool proof that there isn’t a single delicious moment of frisson—the fear that the almost superhuman thief could err or face a blockade. A gaggle of school kids arrives when he needs to buy time, a marathon race takes place just when he needs cover and he even has the right T-shirt under his costume.

After establishing the eccentric loner—he tinkers with gadgets and never sells all the expensive booty he whisks away from under the noses of cops, and of course the loos are always vacant when he needs to pile on the paint and whiskers for his perfect disguises-- Gadhvi has him flip for the lovely Sunehri (Aishwarya Rai), planted for the purpose by Jai, and blow his cover.

Gadhvi lines up three fantastic heist sequences one after the other in the first half of the film, and just when you are settling to a fast-paced action thriller, with cops Jai and Ali (Uday Chopra) joined by Shonali Bose (Bipasha Basu) trying to capture the master thief (the Interpol dozing?), the movie shifts to Rio and starts two parallel romantic tracks. Aryan and Sunehri is the serious, intense romance, while Ali has a comic flirtation with Shonali’s Brazilian twin (why is Shonali dispensed with post-interval?) The scene between Aryan and Sunehri that really creates tension is the Russian Roulette one, but the kiss after that is timid and passionless.

Are cops allowed to dance with criminals, and wait to catch them in action? Even when Jai knows what Aryan looks like and what he is planning, he sits around sparring with him verbally. (A Bunty Aur Babli situation, another idea from this film also recurs in the end.)

However, the film—at least the first half—is very enjoyable. If only as much attention had been paid to plot and character development as has been expended on the action sequences in novel (for Indian cinema) locations like Namibia and Rio de Janeiro, it would have been an even more entertaining film. Anyway Dhoom2 proves that if budget is not a constraint, the Bollywood (with some filching of Hollywood ideas) can also produce slick movies on par with anything in the world. But a beautiful body also needs a brain to make the package truly satisfying. Dhoom 2 ends at a point where it looks as if Dhoom 3 will go the way of After the Sunset (a pleasant caper film with Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek).


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker