The ApunKaChoice movie review of Dhoom 3. NO SPOILERS AHEAD. Yash Raj Films sees off 2013 with a bang. Their latest offering Dhoom 3 is an edge-of-the-seat thriller, a roller-coaster ride, a riot, a breathtaking entertainer that grips you from the get-go and gives you bang for your precious buck.
A cerebral cops-and-robber caper this film certainly isn’t. The real thrill of a plot involving multiple bank heists lies in the devilish details. How does the robber bypass or breach the security; how does he break into the vault and get away with all the money? The film conveniently skirts these tricky, cerebral parts, but rather banks on tickling and pumping a viewer’s adrenaline with the chases that follow. In short, it’s a ‘catch-me-if-you-can’ film, with the robber, played by Aamir Khan, cocking a snook at the cops, and winding his way through the bustling Chicago streets on a BMW bike that can miraculously turn into a speed boat and then back into a bike. At times, this bike even goes aerial, leaving the cops, played by a scowling Abhishek Bachchan and cheeky Uday Chopra, looking like two dorks chasing their own tail.
I am not going to give away the plot, but let it be said that every thief has a backstory and many aces up his sleeve. In Dhoom 3, Aamir Khan has many such surprises for his pursuers and us viewers. Just when you think he’s cornered, the man flips out an ace and poof! is gone, vanished like a name scribbled on a glass window on a cold day.
Sahir (Aamir Khan) is the robber, trickster, speed demon and circus acrobat all rolled into one. He wreaks havoc on the Western Bank of Chicago, but his aim is not the riches, but the ruin of the bank’s head honcho who once slighted circus as “a girl in a short skirt putting her head in a hippo’s mouth”. Little did the banker realize that by shutting down that circus and shattering our anti-hero’s life, he put his own hand into a snake’s hole?
Green dollars rain down in broad Chicago daylight, as our robber hero mocks gravity (due apologies to Newton), shocks the cops and gets away from all the traps like a magician who can be at two places at the same time.
Perplexing, intriguing, right? That’s where Dhoom 3 gives you the thrill. The chases are brilliantly executed, the bike stunts are topnotch. There’s even a scene in which a half dozen cop cars pile up in pursuit of our anti-hero.
Bowler hats off to Aamir Khan for a performance that keeps you thoroughly gripped in the second half. He’s every bit the chameleonic, Janus-faced robber one can expect in a Bollywood actioner. Katrina Kaif is sadly relegated to a ‘Kamli’ song, a few circus acrobatics and a short date she goes out on with Aamir. Abhishek Bachchan sticks to scowling, glowering and brooding over his own lack of the smarts. Uday Chopra is the happy-go-lucky sidekick who doesn’t use his ‘tubelight’ much and does look the part.
The real heroes of Dhoom 3 are the action directors Conrad E. Palmisano and Sham Kaushal who raise the bar for the action and stunts in Bollywood films. A special mention for VFX by Joel Hynek for the reasons that can’t be disclosed.
And a word of praise for Vijay Krishna Acharya, the writer and director of Dhoom 3. Never does he take his foot off the pedal. Though he discounts logic for lavishness at many turns and makes a few slips, he crams the film with so many twists and turns that one hardly complains even for the slack bits in between.
In a nutshell, Dhoom 3 may not be a perfect thriller, but it’s a ripsnorting entertainer, with catchy songs, elaborate choreography, superb stunts, bike chases firing on all cylinders, and a wonderful climax that leaves you high, but not dry.