Is the movie worth your buck?

Khalid Mohamed’s Film Review: Dishoom

By Khalid Mohamed
First published on

Khalid Mohamed

Khalid Mohamed

Glow and behold. Yucktion packed, your brain ransacked, here’s a Middle East-located jeepers creepers bristling with daredevilry, cornball humour, a harem peepshow, chase scenes, mid-air acrobatics and for a puff of the politically incorrect, cigarette smoking. Still smokin’ hot, it ain’t.

Director Rohit Dhawan, after the eminently forgettable Desi Boyz, has no other agenda but to Dishoom the viewer senseless. In the name of entertainment, presumably, kuchh bhi karega. In retrospect, the action head-bangers of Abbas-Mustan (the Race franchise, for instance), strike you as virtual masterpieces. If the Abbas-Mustan duo were cobbling together plots and stunts from the Hollywood bullet buffets, at least they were the first ones to bring the guns-‘n’-cars dopiaza to the table.

Anyway, Rohit Dhawan and co-scriptwriter Tushar Hiranandani are determined to serve the same ‘ole formula in a new Moroccan-cum-Abu Dhabi package, not that you haven’t been there already. You have in the super company of the James Bond-‘n’-Jason Bourne flicks. In the event, you might as well just grin and bore it all over again. What you expect is what you get. Neither any surprises nor any unusual suspects in Planet Dhawan, alas.

Over then, to a crack cop (John Abraham) and his cracked partner (Varun Dhawan), who are in scalding hot pursuit of one Mr Wagah (Akshaye Khanna). Why why? What is the saga of this gaga Wagah? A beastly cricket match-fixer, it seems this bookie has run into a debt trap. What a flap.

To get out of this lose-lose situation, the fixer has organised the kidnap of an ace Indian cricketer (Saqib Saleem), just a few deadly hours before an Indo-Pak face-off. No ace player, presumably no sixers and boundaries at the stadium. Such tedium.

The plot could have been written on a pinhead, actually. Result: there are mandatory diversions galore topped by the curious case of Lady Ishika (Jacqueline Fernandez). A reformed drug-addict and a pocketmaar, she fetches up to aid Cops Crack and Cracked in their Mission Possible. Are her heart and costumes in the right place? Sorry, can’t share the answer since that would subtract from whatever there is of the suspense factor.

Also, there is an apparent lack of confidence in the bromance which develops between the cops, who’re as unlike each other as chalk and cheddar. To add fuel to the commercial fire, guest appearances pop up led by Akshay Kumar, and Parineeti Chopra (uh oh, as an item gal no less).

Sure, star value helps but there’s already a sufficient heft, isn’t there? And the more bemoaned about the distracting product endorsements, the worse. Producer Sajid Nadiadwala seems to be working towards milking maximum profit, not the ideal route towards quality control.

On the upside, the chemistry between John Abraham and Varun Dhawan does yield some mildly amusing moments. Since neither is summoned to display any acting chops, they sprint through the clichés with ceaseless stamina.

Abrahamji fixated with a ciggy, however, could have learnt lessons on how to be cool instead of looking as if he didn’t know whether to exhale, inhale or what on earth to do with the damn weed. Jacqueline Fernandez dances as if she’s on hot coals, looks uber glam but that’s it.


If an occasional acting spark can be detected, it’s from Akshaye Khanna on the comeback trail.’t he have opted for a project which could have been an outlet for his considerable talent? Stupid question that, maybe. To each actor his own.

Technically, the Dishoom-nama wears a polished look, gracias to Ayananka Bose’s cinematography. And the action feats masterminded by Allan Amin and Stefan Richter are close to jaw-dropping intermittently. As for the music score, theek hai, it blasts while it lasts.

So to see or not to see? Answer: why not if you’re an actionoholic? For the undecided, the recommendation is stay at home and zzzzzzzz.

Critic’s Rating: two stars


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