Sunday, December 22, 2013

Abhishek Bachchan's Temple of Dhoom 3

In the second major sequence in the year's last big Bollywood release Dhoom 3, Abhishek Bachchan - who plays a supercop called Jai Dixit - rams a ricksha through a wall and lands right in the middle of a bunch of goons. He and his buddy Ali (Udai Chopra hamming for the preteen demographic) then take on the gundas while still in the ricksha. The vehicle takes a pounding - the top cover comes off, the wire frame gets knocked off, the wheels come off and the steering pops out.

Amusingly, the ricksha turns out to be a metaphor for the movie itself - an un-ingenious movie with great intent and such poor execution, that the wheels metaphorically come off in the end.

I would like to say for the record that I enjoyed the movie immensely. There are some cool things in it - that I marveled at - and a bunch of lame things in it - that amused me greatly. As in major Bollywood studio movie these days, one must make one's own entertainment because the filmmakers cannot be relied on to do that for you with any modicum of consistency.

I could list all the lame things in Dhoom 3, but that would be a little like going to Kebab Factory and complaining about too much meat on the menu. So instead let's focus on the one character who fascinated me in this movie, shall we?

Supercop Jai has a penchant for stating the obvious. He's called in all the way from India to solve a crime in Chicago. Why? Ostensibly because the thief (played with conviction but a surprising lack of imagination by Aamir Khan) leaves messages in Hindi and you need a native desi to interpret it.

What a great way to bitch slap the Indian community in the US!

As he moves to trap the thief, Jai makes one amateur mistake after another. Failing miserably to stop Aamir's rampant thievery, he gets fired from his job. But on the verge of returning home, he turns back. See, he wants to solve the case so no one thinks less of desis in the US. 

Now at this point I got really worried. How on earth is this nincompoop going to catch Aamir Khan, I wondered. Surely the reputation of desis will turn to dust in Chicago!

Indeed Jai Dixit seems to get even more screwed with time in the movie. Because he's messing up all the time, the filmmakers make Jai do a lot of slo-mo strutting to make him appear competent. Jai glowers and scowls all the time. He starts looking increasingly constipated and gassy. His hair starts to look bizarre and develops a personality of its own. His entire character gets marginalized. (On the other hand, he does slightly better than Katrina Kaif)

At one point he gets tied to the tracks of a roller coaster and helplessly awaits the severing of his body via an incoming high speed gondola. His partner Ali has to pop out of nowhere (this sort of stuff happens all the time in Dhoom 3) and rescue him. Jai can't even save his own life! (This is also applicable to Abhishek's acting). Adding cunning subtext, Ali unties Jai's feet first and his head next - thus telling us indirectly what's more important.

Things get nuttier after that: towards the end,  Aamir gets away on a bike with a jet pack (yes! believe it!). Ali throws up his arms and says "They're getting away!" Jai glowers and scowls and says: "Don't worry. The night belongs to the thief, but the day belongs to the police!"
Having delivered those lines on a boat on a marina in Chicago, Jai Dixit against all odds tracks down Aamir Khan at dawn right as he riding his bike over Hoover Dam. (Hey, it was a bike with a jet pack!) Having caught his man, Jai Dixit restores the reputation of desis in America. 

What a guy!


Radhika said...

Jai scowls all the time? Yikes what about AK? All I remember from the movie is the seriously scowly look of Aamirs, in fact the whole movie everyone seems to be scowling all the time. Yes, and that includes Victoria from Chicago PD:). ..and they make everyone Strut Walk ALL.The.TIME. Including a random female exec who strut walks into the bank boardroom and we never see her again:) I'd rather watch Race, they seem to have more evil fun.

Hubs sitting next to me kept up a running list of continuity problems not the least of which was withered yellow fall leaves floating around in April:) and the awesome twist was ofcourse the Great Indian Circus was really Western Bank!

Drift Memsaab said...

Having watched the same movie at the same time, but in a different continent than Drift saab, all I can say is that my co-audience members were gushing about the fil. I noticed the same things about JD's intellect, and the fall leaves in Spring. I also noticed that the homeless folks were photo-shopped away (?) from Lower Wacker Drive, and the music scene of Chicago, and African Americans/ diversity were sorely missing from the movie. But at least the Desi reputation was saved! And I adored the short and sweet Aamir!!!

Unknown said...

Was this movie directed by Rohit Shetty? Sure felt like it.

Anonymous said...

Reading this over my breakfast. Have you anymore information
or followup to the subject?

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Unknown said...

I like the way you described it and would like to see more from you. Dhoom 3