Movie review – Dishoom – Bollywood finally gets a buddy-cop film after Bade Miyan Chote Miyan
By Joginder Tuteja
Now this is own genre which hasn’t been much seen in Bollywood. While Hollywood has its likes of 21 Jump Street, Bad Boys and more, the last buddy cop Bollywood film that one remembers to have done really well is Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. Before that, it was perhaps Main Khiladi Tu Anari, where Saif Ali Khan wasn’t exactly a cop partner to Akshay Kumar. No wonder, while Akshay does make a fantastic cameo appearance in Dishoom (more about that later), there is homage paid to Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, what with its signature theme score playing on and Vijay Raaz enacting a character similar to the one that Satish Kaushik played in the David Dhawan flick. As a matter of fact Kaushik returns as well, hence closing the loop, albeit as a hilarious voice. This isn’t all as he turns to be father of Parineeti Chopra and the item song in the end makes one remember Madhuri Dixit’s cameo in the Amitabh Bachchan and Govinda starrer.
Well, the circle of life continues and son Rohit Dhawan brings on good single screen elements in this multiplex friendly film that has visuals, vivacity and volatility coming in equal measures, even as John and Varun go about searching for Saqib Saleem (playing India’s top cricketer) who is nowhere to be found. Well, there are no surprises whatsoever when it comes to the core plotline and even the manner in which the film ends, courtesy the promo which had revealed it all. Still, it’s the fast paced narrative packed in those two hours that make Dishoom a full-on popcorn entertainer.
That said, the fast pace has its own minor blemishes, especially in the first half where the film moves at an extremely rapid pace. There are multiple characters and scenes introduced, right from the ones featuring Nargis Fakhri to Jacqueline Fernandez to Vijay Raaz to Rahul Dev and then of course Akshay Kumar. As standalone scenes, each of them works really well. However, it becomes a tad tough to tie them all together since you don’t really see much of a coherence there. Who is doing what and why and where and for whom becomes a bit difficult to be tied in.
Nonetheless, it is this very fast pace that ensures that you enjoy your popcorn while the film is in. So you move on from a comic scene to an action sequence to a song-n-dance to a thrilling moment to a twist in the tale to back to some laughs, hence making you content with the fact that the film doesn’t bore even once. In that context, Rohit has to be credited for making sure that never once does he make a scene overbearing or dull by dragging along the pace.
This also means that while there is grip over the narrative, it also demands audience not to question some of the on-screen proceedings. How can cops go scot-free in a foreign land, how can an illegal migrant suddenly reach a villain’s den, how can a dog shift owners, how can action move from one country to another in a single chase sequence, how can a police department allow certain action in their land which are unfathomable, how can all cops other than John and Varun (barring one, played really well by Tarun Khanna) never ever be seen on the scene of crime and many more are the questions that one is not allowed to ask.
All of that is made possible with the kind of big screen experience that Dishoom turns out to be, courtesy Rohit Dhawan’s eye for visuals and the go ahead given to him by producer Sajid Nadiadwala, which ensures that you don’t blink away, what with an ultra-cool look carried by Dishoom. You do exclaim ‘it is a big film’ at many junctures and with some fast paced action and a couple of good song sequences by Pritam filling in the screen, you do give it a nod of approval. In the middle of this all comes a lovely cameo by Akshay Kumar which brings the house down, only to make one exclaim all over again that the man is a scene stealer whenever he is up there. Watch him click a selfie in the film and you would know why!
Meanwhile, John and Varun find good space for themselves and none of them has any reason to complain. Unlike Dilwale where Varun was missing in action for a good part of the film, he is pretty much present right through, and impressively so, despite a senior actor on board. On the other hand John too gets many good lines and scenes to his name, even though it is Varun’s brother (Rohit) who is at the helm of direction. In short, a good balance being scored. As for Akshaye Khanna, he impresses extremely well in his introductory scene and though one would have loved to see more of him in the second half, he makes for a fine appearance whenever a scene needs him on the frame. Jacqueline Fernandez adds on to the sunshine, though frankly, a little bit more of her would have only made Dishoom lighten up even more. She is cute though in the scenes she appears. On the other hand Saqib is fun to watch in a role which is reasonably substantial and one wonders why this talented actor is not seen more often.
That said, as a film Dishoom can well be seen quite comfortably. The film keeps the fun element on right through its playing time and its USP lies in the fact that it entertains and never bores. That’s good enough!