by Taran Aadarsh | Posted Aug 27, 2004'Yashraj Films' - The banner is a brand to reckon with today. It goes without saying that the expectations from every Yashraj product are gargantuan. But after having watched DHOOM, you wonder whether you've entered the wrong cinema hall or perhaps, the makers weren't able to control this [mis] adventure after a point!
Yes, DHOOM, directed by Sanjay Gadhvi, contradicts all expectations. You saunter into the cinema hall expecting the banner to change lanes [from mushy love stories to thrillers], but this bike ride is as nightmarish as driving a BMW on a road full of potholes.
DHOOM has style, but no substance. DHOOM has gloss, but no script. DHOOM has thrills in abundance, but the outcome is least exciting. In short, DHOOM ranks amongst Yashraj's weakest films.
A gang of four robbers is up to robbing banks, giving nightmares to the police department. The robbers commute on their hi-tech bikes - the slickest, meanest and fastest riding machines on the road.
Jai [Abhishek Bachchan], an honest police officer, is entrusted the responsibility of nabbing the culprits. He is soon on the trail of the robbers, a gang headed by Kabir [John Abraham]. Kabir and his gang transform into pizza delivery boys soon after their unholy missions are accomplished.
So brilliant is their metamorphosis that no one suspects them of being the same wicked robbers who don their helmets and commit these daring robberies.
Initially daunted by the speed and mannerisms of the gang, Jai ropes in the services of Ali [Uday Chopra], a happy-go-lucky garage mechanic and a prodigious bike rider. Ali is very different from Jai; while Jai is serious, Ali is flippant, casual.
The two don't get along, but they decide to team up and take the robbers to task. From the mean streets of Mumbai, the focus shifts to the beaches of Goa. Can Jai and Ali nab Kabir and his gang?
To start with, the viewer has witnessed such chor-sipahi, cat-n-mouse games time and again. However, DHOOM not only takes its inspiration from several Bollywood flicks, but also seems slightly similar to a few Hollywood thrillers [coincidental?], namely THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS and BIKER BOYZ.
The problem with DHOOM is that it relies too heavily on thrills to take it forward. That explains why the bike chase, at several points in the story, is far more interesting than the story itself. In fact, all you remember at the end of the show are some expertly executed chases [Allan Amin], not the drama.
The first half has a few interesting moments and part credit should be reserved for Uday Chopra. His constant search for that perfect woman does bring a smile on the face, while the pedestrian lingo that he uses is also enjoyable at times.
But the film goes completely haywire in the post-interval portions. The heist in a Goa hotel should've been the soul of the film. The crooks are up to their final act the finale should've been nothing short of a novel experience.
But look at the glaring flaws in the script! The convenience with which the gang members get themselves a job in the hotel [John becomes a bartender, the second gets employed in the kitchen, the third is in room service, the fourth looks into the computer systems] gives the impression that kindergarten children were entrusted the responsibility of writing these portions.
Even that can be overlooked. But the ease with which the gang performs the heist and robs Rs. 18 crores from the hotel looks like one cakewalk. It's as if robbing Rs. 18 crores from the basement of a plush hotel is as easy as preparing a cup of coffee. Surely, the writers need to smell coffee!
Even this can be pardoned! But after having cornered John and the cronies, the lights suddenly go off and what follows is one long chase, with heroes fighting atop a goods carrier thats speeding at 150 miles an hour and then, of course, the climax.
Director Sanjay Gadhvi has concentrated too heavily in making each frame look beautiful. The film is a notch above the ordinary as far as the technique is concerned, but, perhaps, he isn't too well aware that what the viewer hopes to watch are not gadgets and gizmos or mean machines, but a well structured story.
Pritam's music sounds good to the ears. The title track [filmed on Esha, Uday] and 'Shikdum' [filmed on Abhishek, Rimi] can easily be singled out. The choreography of the title track in particular is spectacular. Cinematography is first-rate. As mentioned earlier, the thrills are the saving grace.
Abhishek Bachchan makes a sincere attempt to look the character. John Abraham looks cool as the evil guy. But it is Uday Chopra who stands out with an above ordinary performance, playing to the gallery completely. Rimi gets more scope than Esha; she is quite likeable. Esha gets two songs and two scenes - thats it!
On the whole, DHOOM is a terrible letdown thanks to its insipid script. At the box-office, DHOOM will lose its sparkle after the first day or two of glory!