Dhoom 3 is the film that has surprised me the most this year. Nothing that I had read or heard had prepared me for this. I knew this would be different from the earlier Dhoom films, but this different? It has nothing in common with the non-thinking speed-driven bikes, gals and hunks film s that the earlier two were. This is good storytelling at its best, and quite an ambitious story it is.. an epic one fact, closest in spirit to the better superhero movies that Hollywood makes, closer to something like Endhiran/Robot in term s of having heart at the core of its superficial action trapping.
The story-telling is surprisingly lean and muscular. They have cut out all the flab. Inspector’s Jay ‘s wife has been totally erased out of the scene. The temptation to use Aaliya in the action or the heist sequences have been scrupulously resisted. Ali’s comic antique’s are minimal, crisp and are never extended . Even the three songs used in the film have solid narrative context and are picturized with imagination and restraint. Right from the first frame the plot unfolds with single-minded focus. This kind of narrative integrity is rare these days.
The story itself , like the best of epic stories has allegorical and metaphorical dimensions, symmetry and epiphany. The choice of villain itself is a stroke of genius…it is a BANK. It is the BANK that Shahir wants to destroy, not a banker. It is the institution and system that’s the culprit not the in individual. Now how far can you get away from the formula plots of Bollywood or even most of Hollywood?
The villainous nature of the bank is well articulated. Iqbal the owner of the Great Indian circus wants to raise circus to a higher level, while the bankers expect a pretty girl in short skirt to shove her head into the mouth of a hippopotamus – cheap thrills in other words.
Then there is the question of dual identities and one’s domination of the other. The beautiful thing about the film is that none of these is made obvious or overplayed. At the same time, these concerns are concretized in a very real way. When Samar gets out of his box on A Sunday we share his sense of elation as he feels the wind on his face. We can feel his awkward love for Aaliya, we share his thrill in his discovery of his ability to make friends. (more…)