The director of Tashan, Vijay Krishna Acharya, writes and directs this cops and robbers drama, Dhoom 3, headlining Aamir Khan as Sahir the clown, the latest adversary revving into ACP Jai Dixit’s (Abhishek Bachchan) crosshairs.
Sahir’s heart and soul belong to The Great Indian Circus – a Roman columned grand stone building in Chicago. You wonder, rather than default on a bank loan, why didn’t Sahir’s father (Jackie Shroff) give up the large building and move his show to more modest premises? It’s supposed to be circa 1990, but the costumes and production design make it look more like 1960!
Sahir grows up to channel all his energies into avenging his father’s death and bringing down the Western Bank of Chicago, headed by a Mr Anderson who acts more like a mafia don than the head of a big bank. Sahir leaves behind a signature at the site of his heist – a phrase in Hindi (on the wall of an American bank?) and a clown mask. Enter Jai and his sidekick Ali (Uday Chopra). After a long intro scene, the pair is exported from Mumbai to Chicago in order to help the local police crack the case. The ensuing cat and mouse game shows the Chicago police to be most inept and that Western Bank of Chicago clearly needs better security systems!
Sahir’s second modus operandi (MO) is reinstating The Great Indian Circus to its former glory. Jai’s MO is flushing the joker out into the open. Jai and Sahir are engaged in a battle of wits and sleight of hand that only one can win. There are unmistakable shades of Hollywood films like ‘Prestige’ and ‘Now You See Me’, (and even a rip off action scene from the recent remake Zanjeer)! But there isn’t enough polish to pull off the biggest illusion of all.
The dialogue often leaves you gagging. For example, when the bank owner asks the blonde, shapely police lady, “Who robbed by bank?”, her IQ-challenging reply is, “It’s a thief sir, that’s all I can tell you!” Elementary my dear! Still, till interval point the film holds your attention. The dances are visually fresh especially Aamir Khan’s tap-dance, Katrina’s ‘unwrapping’ in her audition and the spectacular Cirque du Soleil style ‘Malang’ song. The action for the most part – bike chases and boat chases – are derivative and will look hackneyed to those exposed to Hollywood films of the genre. In the scene where Sahir is seen sprinting down the side of a building, notice that often his feet don’t even touch the walls. Bad CG and wirework are other weak points though the bikes, one must admit, are rather good looking. Khan tries hard to weave mystique around Sahir but in trying to create multiple personalities, he overplays the part. Jai and Ali are present but have no presence. There isn’t one scene that gives them the space to claim Dhoom as their franchise.
Katrina Kaif plays Aaliya, the female performer at the circus who rocks those leotards and is choreographed in acrobatic and gymnastic moves, which once more disguise her lack of grace and elegance while dancing. But that’s pretty much all the purpose she serves – eye candy. But where is that sexy dhoom machaoing girl? She seems to have been left behind in Rio or Mumbai, along with the cheeky repartee between Jai and Ali that made the earlier films such fun.
Fun – that’s mainly what’s missing from Dhoom 3.