Hindi Film Review
Tiresome, Spurious and hackneyed
Film: Dhoom 3
Cast: Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Jackie Shroff
Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya
Rating: * * ½
A sequel can only do better than the original if it has a solid backing in terms of story and is driven by passion rather than rigid machismo. Dhoom 3, the third installment in the so-far-successful franchise is ambitious no doubt but the casting, the story and the stunt choreography leave a lot to be desired. Compromised by borrowed plot lines and thinly orchestrated stunts, this film is unlikely to capture the imagination of the masses the way the earlier two did.
Firstly , let me point out that most Hindi films with a circus/magic backdrop have not done well before this either. ‘Mera Naam Joker’ was a disaster and almost brought Raj Kapoor to his knees while everyone knows what treatment Vishal Bharadwaj’s ‘Ek thi Daayan’ and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Guzaarish’ received at the box-office. So to say that ‘Dhoom 3’ was overly ambitious in integrating circus tricks with magic and presenting it in age-old Bollywood song and dance action theatrics, was putting it mildly. Even the surprise element , a sort of standard set for the franchise, is way too ridiculously presented to be inspiring. The film opens in ‘The Great Indian Circus ‘ theatre owned by a down-on-his-luck performer, Iqbal(Jackie Shroff) who with his young son Saahir, is striving hard to keep their act afloat. Unfortunately, the bank supporting their endeavor decides to pull the rug from under their feet and Iqbal has no option but to end his life following that humiliation. Decades later we are presented with Saahir(a shirtless body-sculpted Aamir Khan ) making efforts to buy back the theatre with his ill-gotten gains. In a ludicrous opening stunt we see Saahir running down the face of a skyscraper with money bills floating around him, defying gravity and minus a rope/harness and seconds later the rope appears out of the blue. There’s yet another stunt where Saahir escapes by shooting a thick wire across two buildings and then maneuvering his bike on it in a bid to escape pursuant cops close on his heels. The CGI here is so badly done that the rope-trick comes off as stupid rather than thrilling. There are many more such instances in the film where the CGI and FX fail to camouflage the ineptitude of the stunt choreography. The choppy nature of the narrative allows for long-drawn action but the slo-mo displays and spare orchestration doesn’t allow for any great kinesis. The action in fact is terribly disappointing.
The continuity from the first two installments comes in the form of Jai Dixit (Abhishek Bachchan) an Indian super sleuth who gets called to do duty in the US alongside his buddy/side-kick Ali(Uday Chopra). In fact they’ve been called in from India to help the local cops crack a case about the systematic looting of a specific bank, several times in succession. Why these two bumbling idiots are brought in, we really don’t get to know for sure and frankly we just cannot care…they are that uninspiring! After a few tacky moments of irreverence where the side-kick makes dumb-cracks about the female cop sent out to escort them, they get into the job –wearing their ineptitude and lack of finesse like a blazing flag around them. A few spineless bike chases later we come to the intermission where the surprise element is revealed.
Ali’s continued attempts to perk-up the humor content does manage to ingratiate and Uday Chopra fits in nicely without being too loud or irritating. The same cannot be said about Abhishek though. As Jai, supposedly a serious , sharp persona, he displays a kind of shabby, washed-out irrelevance that can be off-putting. And his introductory auto-rickshaw stunt is absolutely outrageous. It in fact confirms his idiocy in the scheme of things. Kaif, in a small prettily packaged role, manages to charm with her sincerity and poise. Jackie Shroff displays some serious acting chops after a long time and his is definitely the most valuable performance in the film after that of the child artiste who assays Sahir. The film as expected, is basically meant to be a show case for Aamir Khan- Unfortunately it’s not one as grand as expected. The role itself is poorly written and conceptualized and casting a rigidly muscular Aamir as a fluent acrobat begs to be laughed at. Aamir though , valiantly uses his expressiveness to camouflage his physique-related short-comings and manages a decent enough turn. But it’s not completely convincing.
Vijay Krishna Acharya, screenplay writer and director, who has taken over the helming of the franchise from Sanjay Gadhvi, tries to make this offering have a little more depth. But the poorly constructed narrative surrounding characters who appear half-baked and devoid of warmth, the ‘returns’ oriented casting choices, the contrived ambiguity in it's storyline and the unspectacular stunt work, make this film a less than entertaining experience than it could have been. This film is unlikely to create a furor at the Box-office!