Dhoom : 3 – A Review

Vijay Krishna Acharya directs Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra and Katrina Kaif in the threequel to the Dhoom franchise innovatively titled Dhoom: 3. He does not so much as direct them as he shows them snippets of various Hollywood movies and musicals and asks them to imitate those.

Yashraj productions hasn’t been known to turn in quality cinema in many a decades now – but it still manages to make mildly entertaining fare which the Indian audiences and the Indian diaspora abroad lap up with enthusiasm . But with Dhoom 3 there seems to have been no effort made to make even a half intelligent somewhat original entertainment caper.

The story starts off with a Illusionist like setup in a dim theatre aptly titled “The Great Indian Circus” with an aging Jackie Shroff putting up a show for the evil bank guys in shiny suits. Mr. Anderson (our knowledge of western surnames is limited to Mr. Anderson) isn’t impressed and orders for the theatre to be shut down so that he can auction it. Jackie Shroff does what every responsible father does – kills himself in front of his son Sahir, who we are introduced to as the Oliver Twist kid who dresses like Hugo in 1990s Chicago.

Cut out of dream sequence and Aamir wakes up in a loft overlooking the John Hancockbuilding and looking mighty short in front of the imposing Chicago skyline (in my opinion the best in the world). Cut to The Dark Knight-esque bank robbery (of the same post office building) with a very serious looking Aamir walking down the building with the harness that is there one moment and missing the other. The chase goes from The Dark Knight with the underground chase to Aamir being cornered in the parking lot and coming out ala The Dark Knight Rises (the introduction of “The Bat”) and the dumbfounded cops of Chicago mouthing the same lines as those from Gotham’s finest “you are not going to believe this”.

We can’t sustain this Hollywood inspired nonsense for too long we need to go Rohit Shetty on the audiences so cut to Amma Nagar where Uday Chopra is being held captive by a gunda in a shiny suit (see a trend?). Abhishek Bachchan enters riding a Rickshaw through a wall and drives it all over the roofs of the slum just like Bond does through Turkey in Skyfall.  And the chase through the narrow lanes of the slums is also very Mombasa inspired from Inception.

What happens then in Chicago where Jai is called in as the most famous Indian cop to solve the second robbery of the Western Chicago bank and the only clue being a “Joker Calling Card” and a scribbling in Hindi.  What follows is a series of unimportant moments with the introduction of Katrina Kaif who serves no purpose in the entirety of the movie. And I am person with a very pro-Katrina bias and all through the movie she was nothing but awkward. The dance steps she was given were more suited to a person of a shorter frame and she was made to stand awkwardly to compensate for the height difference between her and Aamir. Entirely forgettable is what she was.  The much touted 5-cr song Malang is nothing but a mish-mash of different Cirque Du Soleil routines from their various shows.

how very RENT like!

The big reveal is again Nolan inspired and is almost predictable if you have been following the various Nolan references that are so on the nose that you almost see a Prestige coming.  There is a war-of-the-khan as it was that rages on between two rabid fan-bases the Aamir fan boys and the SRK fan boys. Those in the Aamir camp would be happy to note that this khan does a more convincing job of playing an Autistic/Asperger symptom showing prodigal genius than SRK.

Aamir shuttles between looking constipated when the director’s orders must’ve been to look serious and mean and between a cheerful childlike persona which he does capture very well.  Another positive is the child artist who plays Aamir as the young Sahir – now there is one child artist who does not make me cringe and that is saying quite a lot! I hope the young start gets more roles as he is really good.

The music is forgettable, the sets are recycled, the camera work while slick serves is quite indistinguishable. Aamir’s Tap dancing is so shoddy it shouldn’t be allowed to be screened to public. At one point I felt like patting Aamir’s head as one would to a precocious child ( because hitting a child is not allowed) when he goes “ look I can act serious and stuff” , “look I can tap dance”, “look at my big muscles” alright child go away enough is enough is enough.

I went in expecting to hate the movie and on that front it didn’t disappoint. It is a generic recycled unintelligent mess with more plot holes than I cared to count.  Katrina is wasted and not even given enough screen time to sit and look pretty. Uday Chopra is Uday Chopra, and Abhishek Bachchan is one note. Aamir is part impressive (a very small part where he plays the autistic persona) and part annoying and grating where he plays Sahir. Watch at your own peril!

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Cirque Du Soleil : Worlds Away -A Review

Cirque Du Soleil is a high voltage circus act featuring world class gymnasts from all around the world. Cirque has many shows running the length and breadth of the Las Vegas strip and is featured on many a bucket lists. James Cameron Produced Cirque Du Soleil Worlds Away is a feature presentation which aims to bring together all the different Cirque productions by tying them together in a story of love and longing and adventure to find that one true love.

The story kicks off with an Alice-in-wonderland looking Mia who walks into the travelling Circus Marvelous and chances upon the Aerialist and it is love at first sight. Then through curious circumstances The Aerialist falls off while performing and when Mia goes to help him up the ground slips from under them and they are thrust into a dreamlike world featuring many different worlds that both must traverse through to find each other.

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In the style of Jules Verne’s Around the world in 80 days and 20000 leagues under the sea Mia and the Aerialist must go on one adventure after another to finally be together.

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 I’ve seen other Cirque movies, the ones with the audience reactions and while they were the second best thing to seeing Cirque live I was dismayed when the scenes would cut to audience gasping or clapping. Not with this movie – this is filmed like an adventure story with no allusions to it being performed for a live audience. The different worlds of Cirque merge together seamlessly. There is very little special effect but it might feel like the entire movie is one giant CGI. That is the beauty of Cirque. These men and women who represent the epitome of human physical perfection perform such breathtaking feats that it is astonishing to believe that there are no second takes or green screens involved, just gymnasts pushing the limits of what is believable.

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 Cirque features not only top notch gymnasts and acrobats but also world-class costumes, costumes which bring alive creatures that are only limited by your imagination. It features stunning music which elevates the aerial choreography to a whole new level.

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 Some of the different Cirque shows featured in this movie are O, Mystère, Kà, Beatles Love, Zumanity, Viva Elvis and Criss Angel Believe. There are many moments that I loved but a couple of my absolute favorites were the jumping Superheros from Viva Elvis and the underwater world from O. Andrew Adamson who directed Shrek and The Chronicles ofNarnia does well to bring together the different worlds of Cirque together.
  


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 Cirque Du Soleil is available on DVD/Blue Ray but I wonder how amazing it would have been to see this on the biggest screen possible. Pop this in over mindless CGI nonsense that passes for summer blockbusters and be taken away on a ride to some of the most beautiful visuals that are not computer generated and marvel at what the human body is capable of achieving.