It is a sad state of affairs in the Hindi Film Industry that the actual quality of a film comes way down in the hierarchy for it to be a success. Today it is all about making a saleable proposal with an ensemble cast of A 1 stars, then creating all the hype and frenzy through marketing, flooding the market with maximum prints so that essentially the money is made in the first three days irrespective of whether the film is good or bad, in fact more often than not the latter. We saw this with Fanaa. We saw this with Krrish and now we see it with Dhoom 2. So yes, the film has opened with a phenomenon initial and will probably be one of the biggest money spinners ever. But coming to the critical factor - How good is the film? The answer is – not very good actually.
Dhoom 2, essentially a cops and robber film with cops Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra out to nail professional thief Hrithik Roshan, aims to be a stylish, roller coster of a ride with spellbinding action but neither are the action sequences convincing nor are they innovative in conception even if an attempt has been made to eloborately execute them. We may spend more and more money in this field and hire stunt directors from Hollywood but somehow we still fall flat. Earlier on in the year, Krrish and Don had some fine action sequences but again they were good by Indian standards only. Also looking at Casino Royale and other films, Hollywood continues to mesmerize us with fantastic sequences that look and feel more real, living behind the exaggerated poetics of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon or The Hero, the Matrix series and the like but as usual we are a few years behind creating action sequences that look anything but plausaible and more in the lines of the latter films mentioned. This after, paying Stuntmen and Action Directors from abroad.
The film is a sequel to Dhoom, which though an average film still had its moments, was genuinely different from the usual Bollywood stuff when it came out and had a rocking musical score to boot. Dhoom 2 is supposed to be a bigger, better, faster film but really is just a bigger film with a bigger cast.
True, plotlines are incidental in films like these providing the excuse for elaborate action set pieces but even the wafer thin plot, repeated from the earlier film, is full of holes. In an extremely weak screenplay, potential situations are created and chucked aside without any development (or have they been reserved for Dhoom 3???) like the Jai Dixit, Shonali Bose angle. College mates and ex flames, they meet again as cops and clearly the sparks fly again even though Jai is married and his wife is now heavily pregnant. But then Shonali goes back, Jai goes to Brazil and we don’t see her anymore. The characters are not well fleshed out at all and the film hardly has any human moments barring perhaps the Hrithik - Aishwarya sequences once he finds out the truth about her. That is one of the few sequences in the film which works along with the epilogue, the final twist being totally predictable nevertheless. A thing about these final twists, here. The way they are being used in our films like Don, they actually end up negating the entire film.
If anyone salvages the film it is Hrithik Roshan. Of course he has never looked better, he has the author backed role and carries off a variety of disguises but still, he clearly enjoys himself playing the cool dude to the hilt. Abhishek Bachchan is adequate while Uday Chopra is well…Uday Chopra. But it must be said he is better in the Dhoom films and when padded by other stars is a lot more bearable (unlike the hideous Neil n Nikkie where he was the solo hero) and does have the odd corny moment. Bipasha in a double role (She also plays Shonali’s twin sister Monali, staying in Brazil who takes a fancy to Uday) suffers from badly sketched roles in both avatars and frankly for all the skin show, adds nothing to the film. Aishwarya Rai though looking sexier than usual (though those wobbly knees are a no-no), still has miles to go as an actress. As the talkative Sunheri using ‘like’ in all her sentences, she is plain stilted and irritating. Though she is the one character the film goes a little into, we still don’t feel for her or for her dilemma or the tension of seeing which way would she go. And what is it with all our actors’ English? Where do all these accents come from???
Regarding the ‘stylish’ look of the film and its characters, everything is overdone and obvious to make the actors look ‘cool.’ If the girls have to be sexy, it has to be skimpy almost non-existent clothes. (Aishwarya frankly looked hotter in the Kajra sequence from Bunty aur Babli) Why is it that even today, a lot of the clothes our Bollywood actors wear is just not wearable in real life even if the look has to be stylized?
The music is hardly anything to write home about. The songs are beat-oriented and ok for the dance floor (Crazy kiya re) or while the film is on but that’s about it. The title track from the previous film, good though it was, is hammered throughout the film to the point of irritation. On the technical side, a film like this should have had far more finesse. The cinematography though eye catching in places is inconsistent but this could be since the original cinemtographer was replaced halfway into the film. The Brazil sequences tend to drag and could have been trimmed. And some of the stunts and special effects (the final fall) are tacky to say the least. The sound design and the background music are again loud and obvious.
All in all, a major disappointment.