Dhoom: 2 falls short of expectations
By Arthur J Pais – Rediff.com
It is bigger and splashier than the first film in the series, but Dhoom:2 is less entertaining than its predecessor.
Though Dhoom was unconvincing like most Bollywood masala films, it was still a pleasant package and went on to become a surprise hit in India. Now, its director Sanjay Gadhvi has made a far more exotic film, with a bigger star cast that includes Aishwarya Rai at her bewitching best.
But the clumsily-scripted film is entertaining only intermittently. And while it has a few funny scenes involving the inept police officer Ali (Uday Chopra), it never goes full blast at anything it tries.
Given its attractive star cast and hype — not to forget two energetic songs, one featuring Bipasha Basu and the other Hrithik Roshan — the film may still emerge as a crowd-pleaser.
To heist film enthusiasts, Dhoom: 2 is anything but a yawn. Trivia hunters could have a field day listing the films that have ‚inspired‘ over a dozen scenes in the new film. Look out for the scenes in which the master thief appears in several disguises, and see if you can recognise the Hollywood inspirations.
Among the weakest scenes in the film are the ones set in Brazil in which Mumbai police officer Jai Dixit (Abhishek Bachchan) and sidekick Ali try to foil a daring heist by the master thief (Hrithik) simply known as A. It is strange indeed that there is no Brazilian police officer in sight as Jai and Ali go after him and his moll Sunehri (Ash). You seldom get to sense what Rio is like.
The first half of the film, which follows a train robbery in Africa by the mysterious A, has several plot developments that are, charitably put, half-baked.
Jai’s wife Sweetie (Rimi Sen, who appears for about five minutes) is expecting their first baby but he is distracted by the sudden appearance of an old sweetheart, Shonali (Bipasha), who is also a police officer.
Jai and Shonali work together to nab the master thief. Ali, luckless in love, hopes that he can woo Shonali and in the process also save Jai’s marriage.
Scriptwriter Vijay Krishna Acharya and director Gadhvi are clearly at a loss in the first half. They set us up for a complicated development, perhaps a domestic drama that involves suspicion with a hint of adultery. But suddenly, they write off the potential complications by sending Jai and Ali to Brazil in pursuit of the master thief, and we don’t see Shonali or Jai’s wife again.
In the script devoid of any real stunning or heart-tugging moments, there are a few minor surprises, though. In Rio, Ali and Jai are staying with Shonali’s identical twin; how she has been living in Brazil is an unexplained mystery.
Unlike her sister in India, she takes a shine to Ali. But her character too is hardly developed. Though Bipasha looks quite attractive in both the roles, she has hardly anything to do except gyrate in two songs with mediocre tunes (music by Pritam, who recycles the theme song of Dhoom endlessly).
Ash’s character too is all gloss and no depth. You seldom feel any tension in her behaviour and expressions as she accompanies the master thief on potentially dangerous missions.
Sunehri enters the film nearly 50 minutes after its opening in a disguise. In no time, she is wearing the flimsiest of clothes.
Once she opens her mouth — and she does it two minutes after appearing in the film — she spoils the image. There is no sensuality anymore, and half an hour later, one wonders what made the master thief fall for her. Even the kissing scene between her and the master thief barely has any passion.
With all its faults, there are a few things the movie can boast of, especially in terms of male performances.
Abhishek Bachchan looks rugged and turns in a decent performance. Hrithik is charismatic but goes around as if he is still in the Krrish mode. Uday could be the leather-faced comedian of the season but his bumbling scenes received the warmest applause at the opening day screening in New York
The ending is anything but mysterious. No one should be surprised if there is another Dhoom in the works.