First off, the title has nothing to do with the basic theme and storyline of the film at all. Unless, of course, it refers to the “dum” required to fight crime.
For those who don’t have time to read and just want to know whether or not they should go for it – I’ll tell you now: yes, go for it.
For those who wish to know why, read on.
Dum Maaro Dum is… ok let me not make this boring. It’s a film, we all know that – but of a kind that actually makes you feel what’s going on and what the people are feeling. You feel the excitement, you feel the shocks, you feel the adrenaline, the loss, the love and the desperation. It’s symbolic of the world’s larger fight against the ever-booming drug business that steals an undeserving part of the world’s economy. Vishnu Kamath, brilliantly played by Abhishek Bachchan [an actor with immense talent, but missed opportunities to prove it], is personally requested by the some-big-politician of Goa to clear Goa of the drug business. And that’s what basically happens throughout the film.
It’s a take on how out of desperation and the desire to make it big, innocent people fall prey to this disease. And it tells us that they all share one common end – the end. Rohan Sippy has gone a step further in his career with Dum Maaro Dum, owing to his brilliant direction in this film. It’s impressive how he cuts from the past to the present, to the past again and to the present. The first half is basically time-shifts that explain the situation at the airport: how a series of events circled around drugs converge and collapse at the airport – just as all was going to go well for the criminal side. The second half is an exciting, what can we call it, a chase – a chase to get the people involved, and to uncover the identity of the evasive Michael Barbossa, the master of the business, who never left a clue, never showed his face… who’s basically a ghost. I will not give away who Barbossa is – the shock is truly shocking. Not shocking, but yes, it does take you by surprise.
The dialogues are poor. At least, in one part of the film. That is one part where the script hangs loose – dialogues. They could have been much, much better, seeing the true potential of this production. The performances are worthy. Whilst Abhishek Bachchan stands out in the lead role, the other actors, Prateik, Rana, Bipasha, [Deepika in the small role she had], have all done ok. Though Prateik’s performance in this film is inferior compared to his skill as portrayed in Dhobi Ghat, but an ovation to him for being so open in his acting. Biscuita, played by Pancholi, is bad. His acting is bad, very bad. He doesn’t have expressions, his voice modulation is ok-ok, though his screen presence is still commendable.
The direction – I have already praised that enough.
The music is a plus point. Whilst the title track Dum Maaro Dum is already a classic [maybe except the line “potty pe baitthe nanga”], other tracks, Jiyein Kaun, Te Amo, are also good. But my personal favourite is Abhishek Bachchan’s rap – Thayn Thayn. I just love that one. Bachchan raps well.
The editing – slick and brilliant. No complaint. The sound editing – I can say it was good because despite the poor sound quality of the theatre I was in, I didn’t have a major problem in hearing the dialogues. The choreography of the Dum Maaro Dum title track – wait, a special paragraph for this alone.
The major problem with the “sexy” Dum Maaro Dum video is that there are so many cuts, that you really don’t get the chance to have a proper look at Sheila’s and Munni’s competitor, the nameless Deepika Padukone. But no doubt, the choreography is good. Whilst the video doesn’t threaten Sheila Ki Jawaani or Munni Badnaam Hui in its sex-appeal, it’s still definitely worth a watch. In fact, it’s more than worth a watch. It’s well done. And it’s placement in the timeline of the film was perfect, I’d say. I got impatient because it’s far into the film, late in the second half, but once it came, I realized that it was perfect in its position.
A special mention for the cinematography. In layman’s terms – the camerawork. LOVE the angles, the style, the everything they’ve done with the camera. A big pat on the back to Amit Roy – the lead cinematographer, and his team involved.
What’s different about DMD is the style – typically Hollywood-ish, but unlike Kites, it doesn’t lose the Indian, desi touch. That’s what makes it tick for the Indian audience. There are again some ooh!, aah!, WHOA! moments that are of the typical bollywood drama character, but seeing the effort and talent put into this film, that’s easily forgivable. They’re a part of the film, and these twists and turns, some expected, some not, make the film more exciting.
So, as I always do at the end of a film – the rating. I would rate this film in a few ways, so that I satisfy as many people as I can.
6½/10… [Being a cruel, cruel critic]
7/10… [Being the diplomatic critic who’s trying to please both sides]
7½ /10… [My honest rating]
But yes – not below that.
Not below that.