The stakes are high and lined up when it comes to Dum Maaro Dum. For Abhishek Bachchan, he needs to come back to form after Game and Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se failed to muster up the marks. Rohan Sippy returns to wield the megaphone after 5 years. Besides the success duo, Bipasha Basu, Rana Daggubati and Prateik Babbar join them in a movie that has all the makings of a hard-hitting suspense thriller that’s been hyped since the initial promos were released. Does it live up to the expectations? Read on to find out.
Goa: A beautiful paradise on earth for so many. But every paradise has its demons that lurk in the night. For Goa, the snake with the forbidden fruit is drugs and Goa is swamped with them. It’s the black stain on a white cloud and it’s ACP Vishnu’s (Abhishek Bachchan) job to get rid of it. But the battle against drugs is not his alone. There is Lorry (Prateik) who takes a wrong turn out of desperation for money. His story intertwines with Joki (Rana Daggubati) who bares scars from his lost love Zoey (Bipasha Basu) and who tries to help Lorry get out of the trap he’s fallen into. However, before they can blink, the two get caught into the sickening web that Kamath is trying to clean. Kamath begins working with Joki and Lorry and turns his investigation to public figure Lorsa Biscuita aka the Biscuit [Aditya Pancholi]. But it is not only Biscuit that is at the heart of the evil, it is the shadow that hides in the background. The Drug Kingpin that has had the Goan police fooled for so long. The time has come for Kamath to get rid of this shadow named Michael Barbossa and with help from Lorry and Joki, Dum Maaro Dum is about the three men’s battle with the snakes in the society but also the demons hidden within.
First of all, this film bears no resemblance to the past successes and failures of Rohan Sippy so it is best that the past be left where it is, in the past. This film marks his shift in genre to a thriller that has enough suspense to hold the audience’s attention and entertain. But let’s step back a bit and start with our performers. He may have hit damp squibs in the recent past but Abhishek Bachchan works ACP Vishnu Kamath to the full capacity while looking amazing. Whether it’s anger, frustration or the confidence of a street-smart cop, he scores and is convincing to say the least. Right by his side is Rana Daggubati. The actor acts his part well and his potential that shined through in his first film Leader is evident again in his Hindi debut. He is fresh yet restrained while standing his ground next to A-list actors. This film is yet another example of the acting talents of Prateik Babbar. Only three films down, he is proving to be versatile with his role selection just like co-star Rana, and throughout the film there is never a moment that you feel he doesn’t fit the character with his emotions and body language matching perfectly. Bipasha Basu plays an ambitious Zoe that is like a modern version of her role in Aakrosh as a “traumatized victim” character. However, the actress does make her presence felt in a male dominated cast and her chemistry with Rana is sweet and simple. Aditya Pancholi has an impressive track record somehow the actor doesn’t hit the mark as needed. Where he scores in his outbursts, the subtle slyness and evil persona that is necessary for the antagonist isn’t present all the time in his performance. Govind Namdeo hams on occasion and gets to the point of irritating in the second portion. Anaitha Nair is cute but barely there while the actor that plays Ricky is effective as is Vidya Balan.
Rohan Sippy has taken his time to get back into the director seat but the wait has proved beneficial. The director brings to life Sridhar Raghavan’s story about three men of varying backgrounds and weaves them together in an easily understood yet intriguing narrative. If there is one aspect that stands out in DMD, its the cinematography by Amit Roy. Not a stone out of place like authenticity yet stylishly sexy, Amit brings the beauty of Goa onto celluloid that has rarely been seen before. From the intoxicating surroundings of a rave to the town parades, his work speaks for itself. Background score by Midival Punditz is top notch while Purva Naresh’s dialogue is sharp at times.
However, DMD isn’t a straight clean shot, the scenes in the second half lack the necessary depth needed, making them more like speed breakers to a fast pacing narrative. Editing by Aarif Shaikh should have reduced the intermittent lag that is present in the second half, including in the sequence leading up to the climax, but instead it falters and considering the crispness of the first half is so fresh, the audience tends to get bored and restless.
Yet, is this enough to call it a bad film or even a badly made good film? With so much hype and gloss surrounding the film, does Dum Maaro Dum deliver? No and Yes. With awesome performances, great visuals, a thought out story and easy to understand screenplay, Dum Maaro Dum isn’t a masterpiece but it has merit. And Abhishek Bachchan.