09 January 2007

Extraordinary Dhoom:2

Storytelling. Truth. Art. And the cinema. It’s not easy to bring all these elements together, but great filmmakers know how to achieve this extraordinary feat. I believe ‘Kabul Express’ and ‘Babel’ (see my previous posts) have the semblance of such extraordinary-ness. But, tragically, they have very few viewers. I say ‘tragically’ because these two important films of 2007 are likely to be ignored by the world in which they are trying to bring in some meaning.

Risking criticism from those millions of film-viewers (which, sadly, included me), and critics too, who’ve helped a utterly meaningless film like ‘Dhoom:2’ achieve Box Office success, I wish to put on record that ‘Dhoom:2’ from India’s Bollywood possesses none of the greatness of a great film. Storytelling, truth, art and the cinema do not feature in ‘Dhoom:2’. They are noticeably absent. Yet, the film has achieved what many films haven’t: extraordinary Box Office success.

‘Dhoom:2’ has three heroes: One, a senior police officer (with an expecting wife at home who is always talking to her husband in Bengali, although he never responds to her in Bengali… which made me wonder why it was included in the film), always fully clothed and not too hot on the dance floor, but intent on chasing an international crook. Two, an international crook of Indian origin (we’ve gone global now), who, apart from being a master of disguise, loves to take off his shirt and show off his rippling muscles, and is capable of fantastic acrobatic feats… including great dancing. Three, a simpleton and somewhat imbecilic police officer, die-hard partner to our first hero, who brings in the comic relief we expect in a typical Hindi/Bollywood film.

‘Dhoom:2’ has three heroines (or is it really two?): One, a fabulously sexy senior police officer, who remains fully clothed throughout her short role in the film, is really hot with a handgun, and is chasing our second hero, the international crook. During a chase she breaks a leg and her role is aborted. Two, a fabulously sexy crook who, apart from being a great dancer and sometimes shedding her clothes just for a little attention, is really the bait for the international crook set up by our first hero, the police officer. However, she brings in a twist in the tale by falling for the international crook, our second hero. Three, an absolutely dim-witted, non-Hindi speaking, scantily-clothed and fabulously sexy sister of our first heroine (our fabulously sexy police officer in a double-role), who is doing something or the other on the beaches of Copacabana, Brazil, which has nothing to do with the film except provide a home for our two police officers who are hot on the heels of the international crook whose next big heist is planned in Copacabana.

The first two heroes meet, seemingly coincidentally, sizing each other up and suggesting that, under different circumstances, they could have been friends as they are really the same kind of people. Well, circumstances are different, and so ‘Dhoom:2’ turns out to be a cat-and-mouse game of a Hindi/Bollywood action-thriller with great-looking actors but little acting, bad songs but great dancing, intermittent comic relief from our third hero, and an unexpected love scene towards the end of the film (the only thing I enjoyed as it was well-executed)… all leading to a finale which is, predictably, a touch reminiscent of the earlier ‘Dhoom’ film.

Storytelling, truth, art and the cinema? ‘Dhoom:2’ is not about any of these things. But surely, you can’t expect such filmmaking from a Hindi/Bollywood Box Office superhit! That would indeed be extraordinary.

No comments: