Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dhoom 3 Movie Review : An overlong circus of ham and cheese

Dhoom 3 is the most expected movie of the year, without a shred of doubt. More than Chennai Express or Krrish 3, there is an assured perception amongst everyone that it is indeed this film that will be the first one to reach the Rs 300Cr mark at the Box Office. And to be honest, it might just hit it as well, gauging from the blistering hype around it that is conspiring to make it happen. But one cannot ignore away the fact that this is a woebegone film. Well, in an alternate world, with Vivek Oberoi playing the villain here, it would have been subjected to less harsh criticism. But wait, it is Aamir Khan who is fronting this swansong of the series (or so we hope?) and one cannot allow a mishap here. Every single one of us want this movie to rock. Dhoom 3 isnt a mishap, rather it is an intentional collision. Seriously, WHY?

Lets go back in time and figure what Dhoom movies are known for. Fast bikes, molls, slow-mo leading men, intriguing heists and heavy dosages of adrenaline. There is also a bunch of ham and cheese which has been a significant ingredient in the previous two movies of the series. But then we dont complain as long as it is a thrill ride, and even the glaring gaps of logic can be ignored since this isnt the genre to look out for those. Yes, I am not the guy who would say only Indian films contain senseless heists as I have seen tons of Hollywood cash grabs which ride on zero brains. But Dhoom 3 has another acerbic issue. It robs the franchise of its own forte, atleast for a large part of its ridiculous runtime of 172 minutes. The BMW bikes have become gimmicky toys that can do things that will put Batman's Batmobile to shame, and the heists have no setup or planning just an outcome that complies with the contrived emotional backdrop of the villain's story. This, along with an overlong hammy parlance by every single character strips Dhoom 3 of the skittish tension or the pumping rush you go in looking for. The other big problem is that the entire first half of the film is lifted straight from a famous Hollywood flick, which came out some years ago and is one of the most acclaimed ventures of an ace director. If I tell you the name of that film, Dhoom 3 will lie naked in front of you, sadly. How could Aamir allow that? What happens in the second half is slightly better than the first, but still is largely obvious and tuned to Indian sensibilities of every story being a love story. 

Vijay Krishna Acharya made Tashan before this one and despite having a slightly fresh plot, the film suffered from bad direction. Much hasnt changed here where he struggles to whet up the excitement, save for a few sequences. A chase scene before intermission where Aamir escapes from the waterfront is particularly well-done, along with a confrontation scene towards the second half between two characters about one of them going on a date. Even the climax is shot well but it comes at a point where you are too bored to feel anything for the film. Despite lifting a chunk of its basic plot, Dhoom 3 isnt flawed on conceptual level but the misplaced drama and emotion hurt its intentions largely. Again, what was Aamir Khan offered that he came on board? Yash Raj Films has shelled out millions on every frame and to make it look spectacular but a handicapped script can only go so far. Vijay Krishna Acharya or Victor, as he is known as, must be awarded for the sloppiest dialogues of the year for sure, if not for Pritam's despicable music which fails to churn up one memorable track. Sudeep Chatterjee's camera is pretty obsessed with pretty looking things - the panoramic views of Chicago, the breathtaking views of Katrina and the imposing pecs and abs of Aamir. Ritesh Soni's editing leaves a lot to desire. 

It is a sad happenstance when I have to tell you that Uday Chopra gives the best performance in a movie. Yes, this is true. He picks up his character Ali from where he left it, shapes it well and takes it to the next level with his comic timing, most of which comprises of him taking potshots at himself. Abhishek Bachchan carries a singular expression of an angry young man all through 3 hours and one wonders if someone played the children's game of 'statue' with him, where in if someone says the word to you, you have to remain like a statue. Katrina Kaif may not be able to act but could have signed on the script for more than a special appearance. But her smoking sultriness can wipe off most complaints, even in a very small role. Jackie Shroff does play to the part well and that's commendable itself. However, it is Aamir Khan who has frustratingly over-acted here and it is appalling to see him play Saahir with such an unctuous, cloying approach. He struggles hard to play bad, twitches unnecessarily, rolls his eyes goofily, stammers every third word caricaturish-ly, and finally falls flat in the few romantic tid-bits. It could be hard to believe but it is a very average performance by the auteur. 

Dhoom 3 has no tenacity of a thriller which it should have, like a D-Day which came earlier this year, or the adventure of a successful heist film, but it is not a pathetic film either considering we see much worse. I went with people who had decent amount of fun and rated it as a good one-time watch upon my grimacing face. It may well be the case with a large section of the audience that are looking for just regular fun. Its just me who is more disappointed because it is too unapologetic-ally tedious of a film for the pedestal it is standing at. The rollicking fun is missing and believe it or not, one does expect a lot out of an Aamir Khan film. This one just delivers ennui at your doorstep. If you like over-the-top action with a lot of melodrama, give it a try. I do like the same as well but not in a franchise that has been known to sell a lot of other things with much vim. I am slashing off another half a star rating just for the disappointment it caused. Having been a fan of the series, I appeal for a fourth part to correct for this one!
Rating - 2/5

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