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Slick, Stylish, Lacks Punch: Dum Maro Dum

Rating: *** (Mediocre)
Produced by: Ramesh Sippy
Directed by: Rohan Sippy
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Pancholi, Bipasha Basu, Rana Daggubati, Govind Namdeo, Deepika Padukone (Special Appearance)
Music by: Pritam Chakraborty and R.D. Burman

(Above): Bipasha and Rana in “Dum Maro Dum.”

Bollywood filmmakers have a penchant for chewing. Whether it is the good old paan or the brains of the audience, they can work on it all and that too without much trouble.

Dum Maro Dum lost on punch and storyline as the focus turned on publicizing only one song. True, that was the most important selling point for the producers, but then the writers, actors and directors deserve some credit. The storyline of the movie is not bad but gets lost as the screenplay takes foreground.

In today’s world, where visual attention is at the helm of all else, we cannot blame Rohan Sippy, who does have style and substance. But when you try to pack too much punch in too little time, certain things tend to be overlooked, either on purpose or simply because the logistics don’t allow.

The director has to consider visual appeal, pace, glamour and in doing so, the story itself starts moving towards the back row. This is precisely what happened with Dum Maro Dum.

Sippy got it right with a perfect title, a good plot, a decades-old hit number, and to top it all, Deepika in absolute steam for all the promos that were available to the audience. So what happened? Well, if you are not a critic, the movie is a good flick for visual entertainment, if you know what that means in Bollywood. The cop-chase-bad-guys story with quick paced actions and bikini-clad or scantily-dressed ladies to complete the cocktail.

(Above): Deepika in “Dum Maro Dum.”

Here’s the story, Abhishek Bachchan (the super cop) goes after Aditya Pancholi (drug mafia) who operates out of the country’s tourist haven and party capital, Goa. Dum Maaro Dum revolves around four characters who cross paths. ACP Vishnu Kamath (Abhishek) is on a mission to cleanse Goa of its drug scene, air hostess Zoey (Bipasha) and student Lorry (Prateik) work for the drug mafia run by Lorsa Biscuta (Aditya Pancholi), and musician Joki (Rana Daggubati) is trying to lead Lorry down the right path.

The dialogues are snappy, the action sequences are impressive and the songs are hummable. Deepika’s item number feels right and there’s even a cameo by Vidya Balan. The script could have been tighter but with what he has, Rohan Sippy manages to keep you interested for two hours.

The film itself is fast paced and the audience is left at their own mercy in case they choose to sip a soda or chew on popcorn. It moves quickly in the first half and requires constant attention to merely keep up with the story. Violence in its most real form is fast becoming the essence of Bollywood action films. Why, is anybody’s guess.

(Above): Abhishek in “Dum Maro Dum.”

Graphic scenes of bloodshed can be avoided to maintain sanity, especially for the younger audience or the more aged ones.

In all, Dum Maro Dum is an average film that will appeal to a Bollywood buff. However, a film critic might think otherwise. The movie provides enough attractions – just as you would expect, when you head out to a theme park. The rides are good, visuals are stunning, action is fast paced, but at the end of the day, if you think about the story and how it was carried, the bubble goes bust, kind of reminds us of the good old dotcoms and then the bubble that blew it all away.

Watch it with an open mind (and feisty eyes), do not work on the story and you will be fine. For the amount of options this vehicle carries, we can call it ‘fully-loaded’ without the elegance and legacy of a premium brand.


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