Reviewing the Reviews: Mostly two, some three stars for Dhoom: 3

23 Dec,2013

By Deepa Gahlot


Dhoom: 3

Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya

Starring: Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Abhishek Bachchan


You can almost hear the collective grinding of teeth along with the ringing of notional box-office registers everywhere, as a film almost universally panned by critics, takes the expected huge opening. And the usual cheeky Dhoom jokes are making the rounds of the internet.


Vijay Krishna Acharya, the original writer of Dhoom, takes over as director with the third film in the franchise and gets a huge budget plus Aamir Khan– so mostly you see big bucks spent and lot of Aamir Khan…might as well get the paisa paid to him vasool-ed.


Mostly two stars, some three, and most reviewers disappointed by the lifting of ideas and scenes in such a big film, and not enough bang for the buck.


Aniruddha Guha of Time Out writes: “Keeping that in mind, and going by everything the industry has produced with mega stars in the recent past, Dhoom: 3 is a small step up for mainstream Hindi cinema. It’s as devoid of depth and sensibility as other films made with the sole intention of belling the box-office cat, but Dhoom: 3– to its credit – is not a lazily-made film. As writer, Vijay Krishna Acharya sticks to the tried-and-tested, but the franchise gets its most sturdy film under his directorship, and he ensures the film never really strays from what it promises to be – a big-ticket entertainer that’s meant to provide instant gratification and little recall value.”


Pratim D Gupta of The Telegraph grumbled: “You can hire the biggest movie stars, you can copy the biggest blockbusters and you can have the biggest budgets but if you don’t know how to tell a story, tashan is all you’ll be left with. Vijay Krishna Acharya, who made his directorial debut with Tashan, lives up to his first film. The Dhoom franchise has never been high on logic. The earlier two films have had preposterous plots and cheesy lines but under director Sanjay Gadhvi they have been a whole lot of fun… The threequel wants to retain the signature Dhoom punches and punchlines and yet take a real route to the fireworks. Maybe because Yash Raj Films wanted to sign on Aamir Khan as the adversary. So in comes a backstory coated with angst and anguish…”


Shubhra Gupta of Indian Express did not stint on criticism, “Somewhere in the build-up to the film, a character tells another: just make sure my eyes do not move from you for five whole minutes. Dhoom: 3 is nearly three hours long, and I am here to tell you that my eyes strayed from the screen many, many times. My attention shouldn’t have wavered. Because the third installment of ‘Dhoom’ has the kind of tech specs the slickest Hollywood flicks do: superb cinematography, great-looking sets, expansive foreign locations. And the promise that leading man Aamir Khan is meant to bring to his act. But very soon into the film, you are overcome with the feeling that engulfs you when you encounter stuff you’ve seen too many times before. Dhoom: 3 is a victim of both a crying lack of imagination, and franchise fatigue.”


Raja Sen of was scathing: “Twenty minutes into Dhoom: 3, reeling from the assault of cinema so amateurish it’s hard to believe it was put together by grown men, I began to ask myself precisely what this film was trying to be. There was an annoying kid borrowed from the melodrama of Subhash Ghai movies, complete with a moist-eyed Jackie Shroff. There were the cheesiest of dialogues, Kader Khan in Dickensian mode. There were stunts seemingly executed in slow-motion and shown to us even slower, resulting in yawnworthy chase scenes. There was Aamir Khan running down the side of a building for no apparent reason. Everything — repeat, everything — looked too goofy to be either thrilling or realistic or compelling or even plain fun. And then it hit me. Dhoom: 3 is a children’s film made for children who’ve never seen a film.”


Saibal Chatterjee of was kinder: “When the writer of the first two films of a successful franchise takes the director’s chair for a third shot at more of the same that is exactly what one gets: more of the same. This time around, the bikes, babes and brawls formula is dished out even more liberally than before. So, for the most part, Dhoom: 3 is a high-voltage action flick that relies squarely on known methods of the genre. Actually, familiarity of this kind isn’t such a bad thing. Since the audience knows what is coming and does not have too many unsettling surprises sprung at them, acceptability is that much easier.


Srijana Mitra Das of the Times of  India dished out the mandatory rave, “Straight up, Dhoom: 3 makes you laugh, gasp – even sniffle. The most emotional of the Dhoom series yet, this is Aamir Khan’s show all the way. As revengeful circus star Sahir, whose father Iqbal (Shroff) dies after losing his beloved Great Indian Circus to a stony-hearted Chicago bank, Khan is terrific. The Dhoom series usually showcases brawn on bikes but in this one, mind meets machinery, Khan’s brain almost visibly ticking behind his eyes, calculating every second before he vrroooms off on a bike – across a wire stretched high between buildings, beneath a mega-truck, even underwater.”


Vinayak Chakravorty of India Today nailed it.”The barely-there plotline lets you understand the true intention of this film. Dhoom: 3, unlike the prequels, is not about antiheroes driven by sheer lust for money. There is old-fangled revenge drama at work here. Baap ka maut and bete ka badla have been integral to Bollywood themes forever. Dhoom: 3 is just about reimagining that hackneyed plot on a spectacular scale.”


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