Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dhoom Again!


OK, so I finally got to watch the much talked about, overhyped sequel to the under-hyped sleeper hit of 2004. And I'm glad I did! It is what is called as the perfect time-pass, paisa vasool film.

What Dhoom-2 lacks in terms of a coherent plot and neatly crafted screenplay, it more than compensates through a clever and consistent sprinkling of awe-inspiring stunts, energetically choreographed dance routines, picture-perfect scene compositions and oodles of eye candy.

Dhoom-2, like its predecessor, is the quintessential cop and robber tale where there's neither the place nor the need for logic. The film opens with a breathtaking visual of a lone train running through a vast Namibian desert. Though the execution of this robbery is disappointing (it almost seems that the writer and director felt that once they had a great setting, their task was done), it sets the stage for what would unfold over the next 2 hours. From then on we are drawn into a high-octane cat and mouse game (so what if the robber always has the upper hand...right till the end?). The action explodes with such energy that one doesn't get the time to think about the loopholes in the plot.

Yes, after the movie is over you wonder if the film would have been much better had the writer made it into a mind game between the adversaries - a kind of intelligent one-upmanship. But as long as you're in the theatre, you're hooked on! You don't regret that the cop - who insists that such games are won by the mind and not the bullet - has virtually no plan except planting a mole. You don't mind that the mole - seemingly a consummate crook herself - doesn't show any skill except loads of sexual energy. And you certainly don't mind that Mr. Perfect Thief gets away unscathed every single time, thanks to - if I may use the word - a DUMB cop who appears dumber than his bumbling side-kick. All this, because of the charismatic screen presence of Hrithik Roshan.

It wouldn't be wrong to say that Dhoom-2 belongs to Hrithik Roshan (Mr. A, Aryan). Mind you, that's not a tribute to his acting talent. He is at best an above-average actor, but when it comes to screen presence no one among the current crop of actors can come even closer to him. And boy, what a dancer! His dance movements are more unbelievable and awe-inspiring than the cable-supported, SFX-created action sequences. It is absolutely clear that Dhoom-2 was designed to be his showcase. How else would you explain the terribly underwritten character of the cop, or the fact that Hrithik is on the screen in 90% of the scenes?

And then there's Ash (Sunehri). Could anyone believe that her 'plastic beauty' persona could actually set the screen afire? What has she done to her body! What a metamorphosis!! Ash's Sunehri is HOT. She and Hrithik come across as the most perfect screen pairing in recent memory. But, hey, what was all that hullabaloo about their lip-lock?

On the acting front, Ash is adequate. All she is required to do is to look hot and be a perfect foil to Hrithik. She does precisely that with great élan. It's sad that Abhishek (Jai Dixit) got saddled with a hastily written role. It's unpardonable that the character of Jai Dixit, the main connecting link between the sequels - is so one-dimensional. Numerous reviews have lambasted Abhishek's acting in Dhoom-2, but the blame here lies with the producer-director-writer. They seem so hell bent on making this a showcase for Hrithik that they've given almost a step-motherly treatment to Abhishek's character. On his part, Abhishek honestly portrays what he's been asked to do.

Uday Chopra (Ali) should find solace in the fact that his father and brother are the most successful producers in India and they will continue to find roles for him in their films. He has no acting talent whatsoever. Hats off to Aditya Chopra for using the clever ploy of giving Ali's character dozens of one-liners that manage to draw a few laughs from the audience and divert them from Uday Chopra's unbelievable yet unquestionable lack of acting skills.

Should I get deeper into the negatives? For one, The music is very disappointing - had it not been for the Shaimak Davar's and Vaibhavi Merchant's choreography or Hrithik's and Ash's fluid dance movements the songs would have been unbearable to watch on screen. Also, despite a larger canvas and more style it doesn't cover any new ground compared to Dhoom....nah, I wouldn't get into all this. If one were to start, the list of negatives for Dhoom-2 might be quite long but why dwell on that? I found the film very entertaining and that's all that mattered to me while watching the film.