Friday, November 24, 2006
Cut the crap... Cut the gyan... Let's come to the point straightway: Is Dhoom 2 as big as its hype? Does it meet the monumental expectations? Or is it a gas balloon with a leak? Yes, Dhoom 2 works big time and here's why...
- Very rarely do you come across Hindi films that marry form and content so beautifully. Dhoom 2 is cool, but beneath the sheen there's substance too.
- Mounted on an extravagant scale, the film is a visual delight. The film travels from one breath-taking locale to another in those 16 reels, often making your jaw drop to your knees thanks to the sweeping impact it makes.
- For any sequel to score high marks, it ought to be embellished with pulse-pounding moments. Dhoom 2 is a hi-octane thriller and the thrills, stunts and pace -- vital for any thriller to strike a chord -- are sure to keep you on the edge from Scene A to Z.
- Most importantly, Dhoom 2 delivers what it promises: Escapist cinema at its best!
So, what's the verdict then? A film like Dhoom 2 raises the bar for Hindi films. If you've tasted the best, you would never settle for anything komsi-komsa stuff later, right? That's the Dhoom 2 effect. For film-makers that tread a similar path, it's going to be an added responsibility to go beyond Dhoom 2.
In terms of business, Dhoom 2 is bound to create dhoom at the ticket window. It's a box-office triumph all the way. Time for Yash Raj to pop champagne yet again!
Ali's [Uday Chopra] dream of becoming a police officer has come true. He is now ACP Jai Dixit's [Abhishek Bachchan] right hand man. Together, they are trying to keep a tight leash on the crime in India. Little do they know what they are going to be up against.
Enter Aryan -- Mr. A [Hrithik Roshan]. A hi-tech international thief. After pulling off a series of impossible heists all over the world, his next target is Mumbai, India. The case is given to ACP Jai and Ali. Helping them put the pieces of the puzzle together is ACP Shonali Bose [Bipasha Basu], Jai's college mate, now a police officer in her own right. For the last two years, Shonali has been tracking these amazing thefts and is now an expert on this thief, who no one has seen.
Once in Mumbai, Mr. A finds his match in Sunehri [Aishwarya Rai], a petty yet clever thief. She makes him an offer he finds very hard to refuse. A partnership! Aryan accepts. And so the game begins, a game of cat and mouse, a game of good v/s bad.
The cops -- Jai, Shonali and Ali -- are after the robbers -- Aryan and Sunehri. From the deserts of Namibia to the backwaters of Goa, the mean streets of Mumbai and the ancient forts of Rajasthan and finally to Rio, Brazil.
Dhoom 2 is modeled on the lines of the chor-police sagas that Hindi films specialized in the 1970s and 1980s. In essence, it's not a path-breaking/inventive story, but what takes the film to dizzy heights is the sequence of events that unravel at a feverish pace. Right from the start of the film [Hrithik's first heist in Namibia; the robbing of a crown from a moving train] to his next target [robbing a precious diamond from a museum in Mumbai] to the theft in Jamnagar [Hrithik and Ash come face to face for the first time], the film whets your appetite from the word 'Go'.
If the first hour focuses on the cat-n-mouse game, the second hour changes tracks as it transforms into a love story. While the scenes between Uday and Bipasha [in a dual role] are cute, the ones between Hrithik and Ash build up slowly. The pace drops intermittently in this hour since the thrills are reserved for the penultimate reel, but a number of worthy sequences in this half conceal this tiny blemish.
Note the turning point in the tale -- the revolver sequence between Hrithik and Ash and the lip-to-lip kiss that ensues; it's an outstanding sequence from the writing, execution and performance point of view. The pre-climax -- the robbery of man-made gold coins -- as also the climax chase are breath-taking as well.
The end is distinctive and will have its share of advocates and adversaries. Yet, in all fairness, it's one of the highpoints of the sequel. Any scope for the third installment? Oh yes, there is. Don't be surprised if Abhishek and Uday embark on their third mission. As for the climax shot vis-a-vis John Abraham's surprise appearance, it's an unfounded rumor!
Dhoom 2 is director Sanjay Gadhvi's finest effort so far. The execution of the subject is such, you just can't help get transported to a world of make-believe. Gadhvi has handled a number of sequences with aplomb. The Hrithik-Ash sequence mentioned above is one of them. The dialogue between Hrithik and Abhishek -- after they've known each other's true identities -- is another. The final scene of the enterprise [it would be unfair to reveal it here!] is yet another sequence that indicates that the director has done his homework well.
Pritam's music is fair. Barring the 'Krazy Kiya Re' track and the title track [filmed on Hrithik], the score is outright mediocre. However, the saving grace is the vibrant and energetic picturization, which takes the songs to another level. The choreography of the title track by Shiamak Davar is outstanding. Vaibhavi Merchant's choreography of 'Krazy Kiya Re' is admirable as well. Salim-Sulaiman's background score is highly effective.
Dhoom 2 is peppered with good looking visual effects [Tata Elxsi], besides a stylish decor/look. The action sequences as also the stunts [Allan Amin] do complete justice to the genre and the Indian audiences are bound to gasp with disbelief. Cinematography [Nirav Shah, Vikas Shivraman] is impeccable. The camerawork can easily match international standards. Dialogues [Vijay Krishna Acharya] are wonderful. Costumes [Anaita Shroff Adajania] are upmarket. In fact, the styling of Hrithik and Ash [the tanned look et al] deserves distinction marks.
Hrithik's casting as the antagonist can be accurately called a masterstroke. He's the actual star of Dhoom 2, the real scene stealer. In fact, you can't imagine any other actor enacting the cool robber with such precision. If there's anyone who's bound to benefit the maximum from Dhoom 2, it's Hrithik. No two opinions on that!
Abhishek in Dhoom 2 is what Shashi Kapoor was in Amitabh Bachchan starrers. Important yes, but relegated to the backseat. Abhishek does a fine job nonetheless. Only thing, he needs to take care of his appearance and posture when he's pitted against someone with a personality like Hrithik.
Aishwarya evolves into a different person in Dhoom 2. Her tannevid makeup, her styling, her performance, it's a different Ash here. It's a complete departure from what Ash has done in the past. Does it work? Of course, she is in form!
Bipasha is just about okay as the cop, but is lively as the twin sister. Uday irritates at times, but handles a few scenes well. His portions with Bipasha's twin sister in Rio are sure to bring a smile on your face. Rimi Sen is hardly there.
On the whole, Dhoom 2 is a winner all the way. At the box-office, the film has already embarked on an earth-shattering initial and with multiple shows being conducted at multiplexes [16/18] with inflated ticket rates, the film will set new records in days to come. For Yash Raj, who've not only produced but also distributed the film, Dhoom 2 should emerge as one of the biggest hits of their career. Blockbuster!