Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dhoom 3 

Bollywood Circus

The marketing clout of big production house like YRF and a major star, Aamir Khan, ensures that Dhoom 3 is a hit. The first two installments of the Fast & Furious-inspired franchise were also lavishly mounted entertainers like this one—films that provided enough thrills and visual dazzle to camouflage the lack of a plot.

Dhoom 3, directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya, is particularly weak in the script department; what worked earlier, like throbbing music and the witty banter between Jai (Abhishek Bachchan) and Ali (Uday Chopra) is also lacking here. Nobody expects logic from commercial Hindi film, but even the most easy-to-please audience will have a ‘oh come on!’  thought several times in the film.

With bits and pieces cobbled from films like The Prestige, Now You See Me, the film works in some old-style Bollywood father-son (Jackie Shroff-Siddharth Nigam as the young Aamir) melodrama to the mix, which pops in when characters are not vrooming around in speeding vehicles, in one scene, even an auto-rickshaw.  But this must be one of the few films in which the drama between the action set pieces is marginally more interesting, thanks to Aamir Khan.  Revealing what he does—apart from robbing banks—would be a spoiler, but after the twist before the intermission, it’s easy to see why Khan accepted the role of the antagonist.

The disadvantage of having so much of Khan is that the other characters get short shrift.  Jai and Ali are toned down and the leading lady Katrina Kaif has a little more to do than an item girl. The two Mumbai cops are sent to Chicago to solve a case (that any half-witted American cop would have been able to with some simple computer searches and looking at CC TV footage), because the thief leaves behind a message in Hindi, so must be Indian. Duh? 

The chase sequences have a seen-it-before feel—for instance, why does that have to be a huge trailer truck in the middle of the road except to have the biker expertly tip over to the side and go under it?  

The point of  reviewing a film that is a hit before it even reaches the theatres is that a small number of sceptical readers wan to know whether the film is worth watching.  Dhoom 3 certainly is -- may not be worth the exorbitant Rs 900, but at a modest Rs 120 that this reviewer paid, it’s not a con.


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