Film Review: 'Dhoom:3'
Opened: 20 December 2013
Cast: Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Katrina Kaif, Uday Chopra, Jackie Shroff, Tabrett Bethell and Andrew Bicknell
Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya
Producer: Aditya Chopra
An Aamir Khan film is almost always an event. The actor is immensely talented and versatile, and more often than not, his films have content. Which is why the excitement and expectations of him coming on board as an antagonist in Yash Raj Films' money spinning Dhoom franchise were astronomical. The first two were great fun and a similar kind of film was expected this time round too, and Dhoom 3 does deliver on escapism and entertainment, albeit not entirely.
The plot unravels in the 90s in Chicago, where we're introduced to a top notch magician (Jackie Shroff), struggling to keep up with ever increasing debt and his desperate attempts to keep his dream, a circus (which is more of a theatre, so I'm unsure as to why it's referred to a circus, but anyway) running. Unable to meet the demands of his bank, he ultimately buckles under and kills himself, leaving his son, Sahir to go about and fend for himself. Consumed with hatred and revenge, Sahir (now a grown up Aamir) pulls off a series of heists to bring the bank that made his father take his own life to its knees.
To help solve the case, the Chicago Police Department (presumably because its that darned incompetent), enlists the helps of Jai (Abhishek Bachchan) and Ali (Uday Chopra), who's only qualifications above the CPD seem to be that they can read Hindi (Sahir leaves a clue at every robbery just like Hrithik Roshan's character did in the second one). Jai is baffled and at wits end, until he unwittingly uncovers a secret that could change the entire course and outcome of the case.
Films like Dhoom 3 should never be taken seriously, which is why the first two worked so well. The actors seemed to be having a blast, and here bar Chopra, nobody else seems to be. Bachchan scowls his way through his part, and just like the previous film, resorts to manipulation and blackmail to solve a case which doesn't bode well for his character and neither does it justify his 'super cop' tag. There seems to be no progression for his character either – for instance no mention is made of his wife (played by Rimi Sen) in the first two, and that seems to be the major problem with Dhoom 3. There are far too many liberties taken so that the spotlight remains on Khan's character.
Katrina Kaif has precious little to do and has even less screen time and prominence than Bipasha Basu did in the second one. An utter shame considering she's a sought after, top bracket, Bollywood heroine. At least in Dhoom 2, Aishwarya Rai had a role and was part of the proceedings throughout, and even though both of them can't act, Rai at least had screen presence in her favour. To her credit though, Kaif does look stunning in the two scenes and three songs she has in the film and seems to have worked hard on the acrobats and absolutely wows in the 'Kamli' number.
Khan, of course, walks away with the film. His screen presence and intensity are magnetic, and it is undoubtedly one of the better performances of the year, it's just a shame that he hogs the whole show, which at times is a good thing, but in this case the film suffers. And the much hyped tap dance, isn't all that, in fact that's when you realise that overall, Hrithik pulled of his thief act with much more aplomb, and Khan comes nowhere near Roshan when it comes to dancing.
That said and done, though Dhoom 3 is an incredibly fun film. The chase sequences, although silly are slick and of an international standard. And the whole circus where our protagonists perform draws audiences in and has to be witnessed on the big screen, to appreciate the scale, magnitude and vision for the film. At three hours, you never get bored and the plot twists are engaging enough (even if they are ripped off The Prestige) and a little stupid. The music of the film hasn't had much time to catch on, but I loved the 'Kamli' and 'Malang' numbers, and overall, its apparent no expense has been spared to make the film look good.
I'm going with three stars for Dhoom 3. It's not as tacky as last month's Krrish 3, is visually spellbinding, and is great fun while it lasts. It's a shame though that so many cinematic liberties were taken to accommodate Khan's character (ego?), and virtually everything and everyone else took a backseat. And like all recent Yash Raj Films, it all looks very pretty, but there's little that audiences eventually take home. The production house of course will be laughing all the way to the bank, but guys a humble request if I may. Please focus on script and screenplay going forward – after all, that's what cinema should really be about, not just escapism.