“Dhoom 3”: Practical Magic (Note: No Spoilers)
14 March, 2014
Panned heavily by critics but hailed by viewers, Dhoom 3 is Bollywood’s highest grosser ever, so far.
Like the previous Dhoom films; the film is all about look/presentation and not so much about the story, though this is more emotional.
The revenge based-drama (not unlike a part in “Now You See Me” to which this film has been compared unfavourably) has two twists and a tear-jerker climax shot in Switzerland.
Amir Khan plays a magician/clown/thief who successfully avenges his father’s (Jackie Shroff) death brought by a racist banker.
Shot mostly in Chicago, the city is as much of a character of the film as the stellar cast.
Chicago was chosen not because of the “Batman” fixation as many were led to believe but simply because the city authorities went out of their way to extend full co-operation for the aerial/road shots, car, boat and motorcycle chases, needed by the script.
For some reason: the actual planning/robberies that were highlight of the first two films are not shown here.
The Indian duo played by Abhishek and Uday continue their work as an extension of the previous films: an intellectual policeman with his not-so-clever sidekick.
Amir has physical limitations and looks like a dwarf in Abhishek’s presence though he tries to make up with a methodical approach.
The Chicago police are shown as inept but no one seems to mind as Indians have been shown as caricatures in many Hollywood films:
Katrina is average in a short role (and shorter clothes) but mesmerises in her song sequences.
For “Kamli”, Katrina worked out for two months and exercised for 10 hours daily for a fortnight before the song picturisation and the song, along with "Malang" are the films highlights.
Drifting away from the bronzed, bikini/short-skirt/denim look in Dhoom and the biker-feline look in Dhoom 2, the heroine here is more flamboyant.
Her various looks: from a bondage/fetish facade in leather/latex, thigh-high boots and cleavage-flaunting bustier clinging to every curve of her chiselled body to a semi-nude, skin-look studded with crystals (“Malang”) oozes oomph.
And so does her gold/red corset, thigh-revealing bordello look and innerwear-as- outwear coupled with a dazzling gold gloves/boots appearance in the end-credits.
Bollywood’s second most artistic slow strip-tease (the first one is Padma Khanna's erotic dance in 1970 “Johnny Mere Naam”) performed by Katrina is unwarranted but who cares.
The focus is on sibling love and the chemistry between Katrina and Amir almost secondary.
Apart from the songs, it’s the technically polished chases, with sleek motorcycles that balance precariously on a tightrope to plunging into rivers and converting (irrationally) to those that float up to the final pursuit, shot brilliantly with two motorcycles combining to form a single powerful machine that impresses.
Contrary to Yash Raj’s policies and Amir Khan’s normal hyped marketing, a deliberate attempt was made for a low profile publicity so as not as to raise any expectation of the film or give away the plot.
Dhoom 3 was also the 74th highest 2013 grosser world-wide.
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