Monday, December 04, 2006

Dhoom 2

Dhoom 2 is all style and no substance. But it is further proof, if ever it was needed, that style, when used right, can make the lack of substance less of an issue.

Dhoom 2 is a heist movie. The focus is on Hrithik and though he is on the wrong side of the law and has the good guys after him, the movie’s high points are his well-orchestrated heists. The movie is more about how he robs stuff rather than how the cops chase him. So there is no shortage of thrills or stunts. The movie is very stylishly shot with exotic locations, slo-mo shots, multiple camera angles, split screens and a techno score. So it is bright, fast-paced and energetic. It slows down occasionally but it is never dull.

Unfortunately, the heists are also the segments where the lack of substance is glaringly obvious. The fun in watching heists onscreen lies in seeing both the planning and the execution. We see how things are going to be done, then how things go wrong and then how they are overcome. Here we scarcely get a glimpse of Hrithik planning his operations. And the stylish and high-energy picturization fails to obfuscate the fact that the heists are completely implausible. Key parts of the logistics of each operation are never shown(because there is no way they could have happened) and all the heists consist of blatantly impossible steps (like using a mini-crane to grab a jewel while a bunch of policemen are on watch just a few feet away).

While one expects the climax to provide the biggest jolt, the last heist ends up being really weak. After all the build-up and the planning, the actual heist is lame and the director cheats by not even showing the actual robbery. And what’s with all the training Hrithik talks about putting Aish through? As far as I could see, all she needed to do in the entire operation was put on make-up and walk on her knees!

The stunts and chases that follow the heists are terrific though. Hrithik's escape on roller-skates and the final chase with Abishek and Uday on bikes are thrillingly picturized. Special-effects and wire-fu techniques are nicely integrated and some stunts, like Hrithik-Aish's leap from the cliff, are dazzling.

The superficial nature of the heists extends to the romances too. The romance between Hrithik and Aishwarya is never remotely convincing and its surprising that two good-looking people can make such a bland couple. The 2 big one-on-one scenes between them lack passion and come off funny rather than sexy, passionate or emotional. Abishek is never given a chance to romance while Uday Chopra is used as a comedian, going after anything in a skirt (or in this movie’s case, a bikini). But he does elicit a few chuckles.

Hrithik looks dashing and carries the role off with aplomb. His screen presence has definitely improved and his swagger isn’t overdone. His dance skills are breathtaking as usual in both Dhoom Machaale… and Dil Laga…. Abishek could sue the director for sidelining him so much but he manages to hold his own in many places. He does surly and serious very well and has some good lines. He looked like he was a good dancer in KANK but looks awkward dancing for Bheege Bheege… here. Aishwarya actually seems to be becoming a worse actress with each new movie. She is plastic and irritating and her stiffness and artificiality are the main reasons that the romance with Hrithik doesn’t work. Thank God she looks hot! Her costumes are the skimpiest she’s ever worn and she looks great in some of them(she doesn’t carry them all off well though). Bipasha Basu was apparently brought on board only she has the perfect bod for a bikini. She does nothing of note after a slam-bang introduction and is relegated to the role of a comedienne in the second half.


At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"bikini podnuma sollu, podren..."
"bikini ena, kuttikarnam-ey poduvaan!"

At 12:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did I know Ram's would be the first comment here, even before I clicked "Your Thots" under the post?! :-) ;-) Balaji, your reviews have become very predictable.. so much so, that I'm able to predict on which ones Ram's comment would be first! :-) ;-)

All I have been hearing is that "it's a Hrithik show all the way." So, is he (forget the movie! :-) really worth the price of admission?

At 12:41 AM, Blogger Jam said...

Hey there,

Sandya, first of all to answer your question, if you are even a small fan of Hrithik, then D-2 is absolutely worth the price of admission. If anything, he probably is the only thing worthwhile in this movie.

PS: Have an associated review of D-2 on my blog as well. Although I disagree with the fact that Ash has not done anything in D-2. Read my post and figure out for yourself ;-)


At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incidentally I caught dhoom 2 yesterday on the big screen. Havent been watching too many Bollywood flicks of late I guess. The pathetically Hollywood'ish dialogues were downright funny and caught me by surprise.Most of the main characters(save for Uday Chopra who was natural) were guilty of that. Its one thing to try to hape Hollywood-like stunts but most of the main characters use typical American phrases in their dialogues, as if they all had spent a good part of their lives in the US. Ash's put-on accent accent at times was quite annoying. She doesnt have a single acting bone in her. Guess Gautam Menon is not alone.He has quite a few directors for company in Mumbai.
Ash wasnt quite as hot as all the hype I read in reviews earlier suggested. She looked too lean at times, especially standing next to Hrithik. Basu was probably hotter in a couple of scenes.

Is the movie worth it? If you are a die-hard fan of Hrithik and cant help but gasp loudly when he appears topless(yeah, you lady fans out there), then yes. Otherwise considering that they charge 10 bucks for a ticket (and add another 10 for popcorn/drinks) I wouldnt say the experience was worth it overall. The problem with making obvious Hollywood-wannabe films, comparisons to Hollywood films and the stunts in them are inevitable and takes place sub-consciously. And every time you end up coming off unimpresed. I couldnt convince myself saying "hey for just a Bollywood film the stunts and special effects are pretty good" Nope.Every stunt scene reminded me of something better I have seen in other filme before.

At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ash bash has become so cliche now. I dont think she's that bad, just that the pretty face tag almost seems to warrant a wooden face automatically. Cmon she's not that bad and its not as tho the Ranis, Preites and Kareenas are in the ranks of Shabana Azmi :) She's probably average and as blah as the rest of them. I too heard that Hrithik is searing hot in the film and cant wait to catch it.

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only plus point was Hrithik. He has worked a bit on body and looks great, plus, did some catchy dance sequences. But how much of hrithik can you take? This is my first time seeing him after Koi Mil Gaya, and he got boring even before intermission.

Aiswarya's accent& dialogues were lousy , but otherwise, she was alright. I think she is a good actress. The romance scenes were pathetic and that is the director's fault. Even Hrithik couldn't pull through in them.

Abhi was okay. Not much screen time. Didn't like Udhay, even though he evoked some laughs.

At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Aiswarya's accent& dialogues were lousy , but otherwise, she was alright. I think she is a good actress."

Huh?!! What great acting did she had to pull off in Dhoom 2?

and Ash IS pretty bad. Not quite in the league of even a Rani or Preity

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

aiyyaiyaiyyo, porum da annangalaa en chellatha thittinadhu...avalla vidunga pa...! ava oru pachcha kozhandha...avaluku ena therium...edo rendu moonu boyfriends-a dump panniruku kozhandha...adha thavira adhu oru pachcha pappaa...vaay-la verala vechcha kadikka kooda theriyaadhu...mugathula make up vecha nadikka kooda theriyaadhu...!

At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't like this one much! Sanjay Gadhvi is a pathetic director, and this movie is just so hollow! I prefer DON or even DUS to this.

At 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

any reviews for Don. Just caught it and I think it was really good..very stylish and slick. And the twist makes it better than the original. Oh and btw is Billa 2007 gonna stick to the original Billa storyline or issit a screen to screen remake of SRK's Don?


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