Tuesday, August 02, 2016


Brawny No-Brainer

Hollywood had perfected the two-hero ‘bromance’-action genre over three decades ago with films like 48 Hours and Lethal Weapon; even with a readymade template in front of him, Rohit Dhawan could not get it right in Dishoom.
The idea isn’t too bad—an Indian star cricketer Viraj (Saqib Salim) is kidnapped two days before a crucial match with Pakistan. The incident takes place in a Middle-Eastern country (looks like Dubai), and a chain-smoking, trigger-happy cop, Kabir (John Abraham) is sent to solve the crime. Loath to deal with officious local cops, he picks as his partner, a chatterbox rookie, Junaid (Varun Dhawan), who till then has been assigned domestic chores for the boss and the hunt for a missing dog.
After setting up so well, the film trips on its own lazy scripting—there is no tension, little nail-biting action and a villain so tepid, he couldn’t scare a goose!  Akshay Khanna plays Wagah (because he doesn’t belong to any side), a bookie who wants to fix the match, because he is broke!
Joining the two on the hunt for the missing cricketer is a thief, Meera (Jacqueline Fernandez), for no reason but that she finds Kabir hot. Also, she had stolen Viraj’s phone from the kidnapper (Rahul Dev), and is a suspect.
Nobody expects sense in a film like this, but would a cop go illegally into a country and hunt for a dreaded criminal by showing his sketch around in the bazaar? Meera does a dance number amidst a bunch of wild men, at the end of which the cops are asked to drop their revolvers (“ours are bigger” says the bad dude), and immediately they are seen careening around the desert on bikes with sidecars. Were all those men waving around toy guns?

Varun Dhawan gets the best lines and his energy is infectious, but it’s not good for the male leads when the funniest scene has Akshay Kumar playing a campy character, who has Kabir and Junaid wading in his swimming pool in their undies, so that he can check out their, um, buns (his word). For the straight men to whistle at, there’s Nargis Fakhri doing a scene in a bikini. The one takeway from Dishoom? The compulsively hummable Sau tarah ke song.


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