Saturday, December 16, 2006

Dhoom 2 - Review

Dhoom 2 boasts of a rich lineage. A predecessor in the form of Dhoom 1 which was very stylish and successful, a producer like Yashraj Films and Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai to boost its image at the box office. It sure has all the ingredients to be dished out as an out and out commercial potboiler. The biggest question that one would ask is - Does it live upto the expectations raised? The answer according to me is - Almost!

If you think that this Dhoom is all style and dare-devilry you are wrong. It has oodles of emotional quotient as well. The second half is not really a cop-thief chase saga but a love story.

As always let me list out the positives and the negatives of the film and then let you make the choice.


Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai: Hrithik Roshan towers over everyone else in the film. For the first 40 minutes of the film, he doesn't even have a single dialogue to his credit but even then its him all the way.
Thankfully he doesn't over act and carries the film forward almost single handedly.

Aishwarya Rai looks sexy throughout. She undergoes a complete transformation for this role. Her pairing with Hrithik looks good on screen.

Picturisation: Stylishly shot globally. Yes, you have scenes shot in Nigeria, Rio, India and Fiji. The opening scene is deftly handled. All the songs are shot beautifully. You can expect that with so many glamorous faces and sun tanned babes frolicking around on Copacabana beach, or rather Cocabanana as Uday Chopra calls it!

Good Production Value: The effort shows in every frame of the film. The producers have spent lavishly to package it as a complete entertainer and promoted it well too. Yashraj without doubt is India's best
production house.


Script: A feeling of rendezvous - There are more than a few occasions when you are reminded of Dhoom 1 which to an extent is okay but the scene where Abhishek and Hrithik sit and talk reminds of a similar scene from the earlier version where Abhishek and John talk. Also, its difficult to digest that the world's best thief falls for a stupid ploy by the Mumbai Police.

Music: Not as great as the first one. I don't know if I am biased but I have sort of begun to dislike Pritam's music now after getting to know that he copies almost all songs from somewhere or the other. Yes, I heard the original version of at least 15-20 of his most popular 'copied' songs.

Characterization and direction goof ups: I really couldn't find out what Bipasha was doing in the film. For the first 1 hour or so she is shown as the Indian Lara Croft and then for the rest of the film, her dumb twin sister from Brazil takes over. She is then given just one song and one bikini moment and then sidelined from the whole plot. Maybe it was done to allow Uday Chopra to get some screen space.

The way the diamond is robbed from the Museum looks too kiddish. How can one digest that a remote controlled robot comes and picks up the diamond and none of the security guards standing around see it.
Since this review comes quite late, all of you must already be aware of the box-office collections of this film. It has become a top grosser for 2006. So, as Aishwarya kisses Hrithik and Abhishek Bachchan and family simmer within(I think the whole story was just a publicity stunt!), Dhoom 2 sizzles!

Be What You Wanna Be!

Picture source: Picture

Have you ever heard this cry from your conscience? Has it ever occured to you that you were destined for something different from what you were presently doing? Well I can tell you for sure that its definitely not a sign of you suffering from the lymphosarcoma of the brain. So just relax!

I remember reading a poem once that said that when two roads diverged in the wood, I took the one less travelled by and that made all the difference. Everyone at some point or the other wants to make this choice. Discussing on whether he/she goes ahead and takes the next step on the untrodden path is something that would make this crap meaningful so let me rather recount a few of those rush-of-the-blood moments that most of you would relate to.

Moment 1: After having one pretty bad day at school, I decided on turning into a bus driver. I was always fascinated with the job and loved to see the way a driver handled the huge steering and sat on the majestic driver's seat towering over all others. I used to mock-drive all my way from the bus stand to my home. As I sat back reminiscing about all the bad memories of the day at school, the inner voice enlightened me - "Be what you wanna be!" I asked Mom if it could be befitting my family's social status. I could see the twinkle in her eyes, I felt that her eyes were actually living my dream and that she was happy that I had made a career choice at such an early age. She sounded inspirational too -

"Tujhe jo banNa hai ban, par itni badi bus chalne ke liye pehle thoda bada ho ja".

I never knew that it was her gameplan of making me postpone my decision. Sometime later while I was mock driving from the bus stand to home, I suddenly felt stupid about the whole thing. The idea of being a bus driver didn't seem all that fascinating and my first step towards that untrodden path was retracked.

Moment 2: India's semi final loss to SriLanka in the '96 world cup left me in rude shock. I seriously felt that the Indian cricket team needed my services. I could bowl off-spinners, keep wickets, bat at a strike rate greater than Sanjay Manjrekar's and my fitness was definitely better than Venkatpathy Raju's. The night was a really long one. My inner voice came calling again - "Be what you wanna be!" and the next day I was all ready to enrol myself in a cricket coaching institute not far from my place. Mom came back with the same old game plan. I was asked to wait until my final examinations got over and then I could go and do whatever I wanted to.

Just after the examinations, we packed off for a holiday in a hill station and by the time I came back, I was too exhausted to remain motivated for a silly game played through the day in the heat.

Moment 3: Bollywood has been a major influence in my life. But I was inspired by Manoj N Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense. After watching the film I wanted to turn into a writer and director. I read scores of english movie scripts to get a feel of how to go about the whole thing but never really got a 'different' story to tell. All this when I was in a make-or-break situation, staring at an F grade in one of the courses back at college. All my writing, acting and direction talents were put to severe test when I went to the Professor to ensure that I didn't end up spending a summer at the campus for a silly course. It was really a heart wrenching scene with tremendous emotional quotient and laced with typical dialogues. I was not all alone in that endeavour. Piyush held center stage then but I supported him well enough to escape with a surprising C in that course. To our surprise, the professor accepted our request to take another of his courses the very next semester! Anyways, the Be what you wanna be call died another meek death.

Moment 4: People generally don't attend morning classes because they are not able to wake up early in the morning (by morning I mean 9 AM!). I did not attend classes despite waking up as early as 8 daily. The reason - I still don't know. One of our professors expressed his concern over this habit of ours and warned us about all that was waiting for us in the outside world - the professional life basically.

After almost two years of working hard to keep working, my conscience again woke up from its slumber.

"Hey buddy! How come you wake up so early to go to the office and then spend the next 10 hours fixed to that chair in front of the computer day-in and day-out? Remember the free soul that you were at college? Break lose, be what you wanna be!"

I went to Dad straightaway, told him that I will not be able to continue working in a 9-6 job. But damn me! My parents have followed the same old game plan over the years and I still fall for it.

Me: Dad I want to quit working. I was thinking of actually..

Dad: Yes, everyone should think once in a while! If you want to quit working and do something on your own, then go ahead but don't you think a management degree or something can help you?

Me: I think so.

Management school? That would have required a re-assessment of everything. The whole procedure of applying and stuff took one year and my past records proved without doubt that I might later retract and go about the tried and tested ways of life by sticking around with the same routine job. I know that this is not just my story. While I continue to go through that phase, from what I perceive of several of my friends, they too are in the same mode.

I know that I must have wasted a few chances that I should have taken but despite all my failings in putting the next foot forward, I somehow still see hope. I feel that a lifetime is long enough for you to make mistakes and then correct them. As for anyone asking - What if you died early? Just shoot back with a I'll live long enough dude!

The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost

Monday, December 04, 2006

Of Roller Coaster Rides and Braving the Tides

I am not one of the adventure sports kind. Though I have tried my hands at jet skiing, white water rafting and some thrilling roller coaster rides but all that was just because I did not want to be the odd one out in my group. I know that I speak not just for myself but a lot of others who too find themselves in this predicament where they are left with making the choice of going all topsy turvy in insane rides or falling prey to the barrage of embarassing censure from everyone around. 'Non-confrontational' as I am, I generally go for the first option.

Jet Ski ride at H2O - half throttle, not a big deal!

6 of us went for a speed boat ride but then saw this water scooter.

"It skims at 90 kmph, wanna give it a try boys?" asked the intelligent businessman who saw us as subjects who could help him make some quick money out of a 5 minute ride.
"We are actually looking for the speed boat ride as most of us don't know swimming" came our consensus reply.

"C'mon now! watch those chicks there, they would love to see you all take this ride" the businessman's pursuit continued.
"No, thanks!" we spoke in unison.
"I'll go for it",Nikhil - The traitor revolted.

This put the rest of us in a fix. The point was that if we allowed Nikhil to go back as the only one who dared, we would have been labeled the losers for life so we had to do it. 25 minutes and 1080 rupees later, we all walked with a swagger that could put Arnold to shame.

The Roller Coaster ride in Orlando- Turned upside down with your feet dangling in air cannot exactly be called scary, can it?

I had already refused going for one of the roller coaster rides the other day complaining of headache and stuff. The truth was untold but understood and therefore not discussed. I couldn't sleep the whole night thinking about it.

"Man, I feared a silly 3 minute roller coaster ride as if it was life threatening. Give me another chance and I will make up for it", I said to God.

Although I don't remember any other wish of mine coming true at such a short notice, God decided to make an exception this time around. A more convulated and soaring roller coaster ride greeted us. I had no excuses. I had too much in my mind when I went for it and when I realised that I had forgotten to keep my cell phone and cap away, it was too late. I was suspended at 45 degree angle at a height where cars looked like ants and I could literally see Angels peeping from the skies. I didn't know what to take care of - my cap, my phone or my fake smile! Yes, smile! They had installed cameras at points where the roller coaster took a plunge towards ground and they clicked pictures of people in at least 4-5 different poses. You had to give that fake smile even if you were half as happy with the roller coaster diving down and you trying to not let go of that cell phone. 3 minutes and at least 5 instances of fake smiles later, I was separated from my beloved cap but regained my pride!

A Walk in the Sea at Puri - Walk? A sea is for you to swim!

I did not know swimming and without my specs I feel lost. I can't even make out whether the person standing 10 feet away from me is a boy or a girl without my glasses! But again when I saw the rest of the guys taking to water and having all the fun, I too had to. Stripping to the socially prescribed minimum clothing norm acceptable to the moral police, I made the plunge. Since I did not know swimming, I kept walking..and walking and walking until I reached a point where just my head was popping out of water. The water appeared calm and I began to enjoy quite oblivious to the fact that the Moon up there had decided to play little games with me. I simply forgot that this damn moon keeps pulling the water from the sea towards itself every now and then which we commonly term as 'tides'. I suddenly felt a gush of water over my head and then my feet being swept off the ground.

I didn't even try to give myself another chance to survive and when fate saw how big a loser I was who didn't even put up any fight to survive, it dumped me back to the ground. I again felt the sand at my feet. The mission was accomplished. I too had braved the tides, though not deliberately. With an excess of 500g/l concentration of salt solution inside my body and 15 seconds of uncertainty about my survival later, I was one amongst those making fun of one of the guys who never dared to get close to a sea beach!

Next on the list - someone pointing a gun at me and pushing me from a clifftop for a bungee jump which I would later claim to be done at will and sky diving when someone fools me into believing that the plane engine has developed some snag and the only option is to jump. I would later call that dive a childhood dream that finally came true and would go about proclaiming that I was born to live dangerously and that adventure brought out the best in me!

AddThis Social Bookmarking Button

--- ---