Saturday, October 23, 2004


The recipe: mix The Fast and the furious (and its source Point Break), MI2, Ocean's 11, The Man with the Golden Gun; add the "new Bollywood" elements (cleavage, salacious dances); add the regular Bollywood elements (songs, bad dialogue, bad acting); add the "this makes the movie different" bits (excessively stylish lame-brained stunts, pathetic editing, and a general lack of balance). What we get is the bolder-than-most-mustard-field-love-fests Yash Raj Films product Dhoom. It's easier to deal with the acting department -- Abhishek Bachchan manages (once again) to add some seriousness to his wafer-thin role. However, the legacy of his father's [now questionable] ability to rise above material that reeked is evident. And when Abhishek has his drunken scene he picks tips from the great roles of his father. With his voice and the fabulously unreal flying acts in the second half, Uday Chopra can now proudly bear the moniker of the castrated Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. The women serve only as objects to be ogled at ... and La Femme Sen makes sure that salivating voyeurs stay on in the theatre for the rest of this flick (and sticks to fast Bengali and bad Hindi for the rest of her time on screen). The producers exhibit smart thinking by putting the best song (the title song) in the second half, although the untalented and malformed Esha Deol ("Dharmendra in a bikini" screamed a friend as she rose out of the waters a la Honeychile Rider) destroys the magic of the title song, and a much better music video pops up during the end credits [more about that piece of eye candy]. Salim-Sulaiman's background score cannot overcome the doddering foundation of crappy dialogue, where no attempt is made to even imbue any character with more than a fractional dimension. As for the rest of the soundtrack, squeaky-voice Chopra gets to do an ek laDakii bhiigii bhaagii sii.

The film also makes no assumptions about audience intelligence. Note the extremely dumbed-down B-grade explanation for the custom-made bikes that John Abraham's biker gang employ.

The only conclusions you can draw from this movie are: (a) the world is full of stupid people (b) some people are more stupid than others (c) some idiots were so smart that they managed to fool a whole slew of idiots to shell out valuable rupaiyaa-dollari for a exercise in inappropriate exposure (of footage). That this film was a hit only speaks volumes for the kind of progress that lobotomy-Bollywood-style has made.

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