Dhoom 3 is a unique magic trick. Till the intermission, I was having a hard time finding something of interest in the film. It was ridiculous and quite simply, a sham. After the interval, someone called Aamir Khan pulls a unique feat of sorcery where he turns something this insipid into not just something watchable but enjoyable and entertaining.
I was not a fan of the first Dhoom film but the second one was pretty entertaining despite being preposterous. It also offered some good songs. Dhoom 3 is basically a bit of The Prestige (2006) with a few touches from The Dark Knight (2008) presented as an Indian tamasha. No good songs (apart from Tu Hi Junoon) but it somehow makes you care for the villain. A romantic sub-plot of friendship and love also seem to work.
In the opening sequence, we see a circus. The magic act looks like everything we have seen before. One hour into the film and there is still nothing that could remotely be called a story. Aamir Khan looked bored and unconvincing. He spoke his lines like an actor he is not. Honestly, I was finding this more disappointing than the film being a bore. Then comes the twist and the second half takes a complete 180 degree turn. The twist isn’t so much of twist in the story (as you can see it a mile away) but a twist in an actor shifting a film’s gears singlehandedly. I was reminded of my experience of watching Ghajini (2008). I was not liking the film until Aamir Khan took over and said "Okay look you may be a crappy film but you can’t do that when I’m around. Let me see what I can do." What can he not do, I ask. We saw him open the 100 crore club with Ghajini and the 200 crore club with 3 Idiots (2009). Now watch him open the third one.
You may turn to better Aamir films to see why he is a star but for me he is a star because of films like these. His acting prowess sticks out more, especially because he stands above the film. This may be a bad thing when you look at the movie as a whole but when it comes to blockbusters like these, it really isn’t a barometer. You may also call his performance hammy and overdone, but gosh how much I love those.
Dhoom could have been a better franchise. Better plots and better films. Guess what? It could have also been worse. I’d rather take this over something extremely banal. Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra are overshadowed by the Khan. They do the trick as much as they can and can probably do better if a star of Aamir’s stature was not dangling on a rope above them. Katrina is used well as a prop, she isn’t more than that anyway. She has also apparently decided to get cozy with the other two Khans only at tube stations.
The action sequences are sometimes well done and sometimes lazy. There is a climactic action stunt, which is basically a Rohit Shetty style car mayhem in Chi town. As far as blockbusters go, I’d take this over Krrish 3. One copies the west and fails to achieve any level of storytelling even when it’s set in India. The other is set in the west but machaos Dhoom Indian style. If you think of it, the film also says something about the economic situation. The banks have caused the economic recession and our villain here wants to nip the evil in the bud. Okay fine, I will not go there. Let’s just let this film be what it is, an illogical entertaining blockbuster.
Go watch Aamir Khan! I mean Dhoom 3.