I dedicate this post to my dear friend Fenil Seta who is a seasoned Bollywood movie reviewer plus a director-in-making. This movie is an informal lesson for him (and the aspirants like him) to become a film director in future. Cinema is said to be the art of storytelling. But I assert that it is ‘the art to make believe’, i.e., the art of making the viewers believe whatever is shown on the screen and letting it go down their throats even when it is not real. Dum Maaro Dum (2011) may be quoted as a classic example of it in the times to come.
During the seventies, Salim-Javed used to write the scripts of crime thrillers which were actually the stories of cat and mouse game between the police and the criminals. They were skilled in drafting such spellbinding screenplays (according to the standards of that period) full of blows and retaliations between the two rival sides, thrillng action, witty dialogues with some dose of emotions and romance just equal to the quantum of salt in the recipe of the pulse being cooked and they were paced so fast that the viewer hardly got any time to think anything about the characters or the story, who was made to watch the movie without a blink and holding his breath. Salim-Javed wrote the stories of the movies of Ramesh Sippy too during that period whose son, Rohan Sippy has come up with this movie and this movie falls under the same genre of movies, a mesmerizing thriller with an element of suspense too. And it is the screenplay of this movie which makes it a winner all the way through its duration of around 130 minutes. Such type of movies made Amitabh Bachchan a superstar during the seventies and now perhaps, it’s the turn of his son, Abhishek.
Dum Maaro Dum, as the name suggests, deals with the illegal business of narcotic drugs with the backdrop of Goa. In between the investigating adventures of the supercop, Abhishek Bachchan; a name is tossed as the main criminal behind all this illegal trade but who is this person, remains a suspense till the climax and myself (being proud of my success in guessing the real culprit most of the times whenever I watch or read a mystery) could not identify him till the storyteller himself revealed the suspense. And that’s a great achievement of the narrator, I must admit.
The screenplay itself is the hero which rules over all the characters including the investigating cop, Abhishek Bachchan. The pace of the narrative is fast enough to keep the viewers glued to the screen and not missing a single moment of the movie. For the thriller fans, it’s a very big treat indeed.
Technically the movie is good and the cinematographer has done a praiseworthy job in not only capturing the beauty of Goa but also moving his camera quite skillfully amidst light, semi-dark and dark sequences. The action scenes are well-picturized and the dialogues are also quite impressive. The production value aspect is also up to the mark. Length of the movie could be trimmed by a few minutes in the second half but still the overall length of the movie is quite okay. The first half is more engrossing than the second one though the suspense deepens in the second half only.
Music is quite in line with the mood of the movie and according to the scenes running on the screen alongwith the background score. However had Rohan Sippy managed a fresh song instead of the remix of the old hit – Dum Maaro Dum from the movie Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971), it would have been better on his part because neither the remix version nor Deepika Padukone is any match for the original track in Asha’s voice or Zeenat Aman for the on-screen performance. Despite being the title track, it is the most unimpressive one (both the song as well as the scene) in the movie.
Rohan Sippy has extracted highly satisfactory performances from most of the performers. I count Abhishek Bachchan’s performance as one among his five best performances till date. All others also fit the bill and almost every principle characters is able to maintain his / her identity in the movie for which the writers and the director deserve a pat. Rana Daggubati and Prateek Babbar stand out among others. The movie stars two of my most favourite actresses – Bipasha Basu (who is today’s birthday babe) and Vidya Balan (she impresses in a cameo too), however the movie mainly belongs to the male cast.I wrote this review after returning from the theatre with my wife who watches a movie with me in theatre once in a blue moon only. Despite not being very fond of thrillers or mysteries, she liked the movie very well. The movie proved so engrossing for her that she did not talk much to me during the watch which is unusual for her.
It’s not a classic movie but a very very entertaining thriller. I don’t know whether such type of activities and such type of scenario prevail in Goa or not (where I visited on the Christmas of 2009) but Rohan Sippy has been able to make me believe whatever he has portrayed in Dum Maaro Dum.
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