Sunday, May 06, 2007

[DVD] Dhoom (2004)

Dhoom Machale

Said to be loosely based on Taxi and Point Break, I thought Dhoom (Blast) seemed to be a whole lot more like the original Fast and the Furious, with a gang of robbers pulling of heists and escaping in their high octane machines charged with nitrous oxide gases, only this time, the sports cars are replaced with sports bikes. But unlike FnF which had its cop infiltrate the gang, we have a supercop hot on the heels of the gang with the help of the fastest rider in Mumbai, with shades from Taxi in a way.

Abhishek Bachchan plays ACP Jai Dixit the supercop, a proud man dead sure of his abilities to apprehend the crooks, though himself has no qualms about meting out violence to deal with violence. John Abraham's Kabir looks like Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt in M:I2 with his wavy hair flowing while riding a bike at top speed, and with his merry men from the Pizza Place, throws down the gauntlet at Jai. Rounding up the testosterone picture is Uday Chopra as the top biker and mechanic Ali Akbar Fateh Khan, who reluctantly joins forces with Jai Dixit, and gets embroiled against his wishes in this cops-and-robbers chase. He prefers to chase skirts, given his lack of appeal in the ladies department, and provides the complimentary comedic moments.

The female characters here, with Rimi Sen as Mrs Dixit and Esha Deol the singer, somehow become bit players, with not much room for their characters, given that it's understandably an action movie after all. And the action doesn't disappoint even if it's not exactly A-list jaw-dropping material. There's always that tinge of familiarity, but the stars pull them off with aplomb. If you were to think they're copying their counterparts in Hollywood with vehicle stunts, and that fight atop a moving trailer which looks suspiciously like Matrix Reloaded's, well, if imitation is a form of flattery, at least Dhoom managed to come off rather convincingly.

For a Bollywood movie, it clocks in at a surprisingly reasonable 129 minutes, and given its fast pace, there's rarely a moment where you'll get bored. I totally enjoyed Dhoom's soundtrack, and the song and dance numbers are fast ones which is an additional plus. I never cease to be amazed by the dance choreography, and my favourite one was where Dhoom Machale song being performed on stage, complete with pyrotechnics.

Dhoom lives up to its name, and it's easy to have a blast of a time on a lazy Sunday afternoon with his, even though the story's pretty straightforward and rehashed from elements seen frequently from Hollywood. For someone who enjoys song and dance routines, I think I'll be looking towards covering more Bollywood movies real soon.


The multi-region DVD Yash Raj Films comes with adequate features to make this a well presented package. Visuals come in a 16:9 presentation and 5.1 Dolby Digital Sound, which allows for the bikes and action sequences to ring sense-surround. The menus and navigation are lavishly designed, though some icons used can be confusing at first (like the switching on and off of the subtitles). Scene selection comes in 28 chapters of which the songs are marked to stand out, and English subtitles are available.

There is a separate section on Songs, where you'll get to zoom into the moments where the musical numbers begin. There are 5 in total, with subtitles so you'll understand what the lyrics mean - Shikdum, Dilbara, Dhoom Machale, Salaame, and Dhoom Dhoom (End Credits) which is performed by Thai singer Tata Young in English, and can also be found in the separate Special Features Section.

The Special Features contain an alternate ending, which actually serves as an epilogue, with the focus on the Ali character, lasting about a minute. Unfortunately this comes without English subtitles. Then there's the Tata Young Dhoom Dhoom OST Video in English (3 mins 27s), which you'll probably can't get enough of, with her sizzling the screen with her sultry moves with each of the male cast members Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra and John Abraham.

The largest feature is Dhoom: The Making, lasting 23mins 10s. It's in English, with cast and crew interviews, clips of the production process peeking into how they did those action scenes, the consideration taken into the styling of the characters, the songs featured and the dance steps that the cast have to learn, and of course the beautiful bikes, stunts, and the recounting of the dangerous moments when performing those stunts.

The Theatrical Trailor (sic) (1min 20s) doesn't seem to have gotten enough of the Dhoom Machale song, and included are also 4 TV promos presented in 4:3 aspect ratio containing the songs and clips for the movie, running a total of 2mins 50s.

Perhaps the weirdest feature included would be a trailer for a Forthcoming Attraction called Veer Zaara (2min 30s) starring Shah Rukh Khan, which seems to play automatically when the DVD is inserted into the player.

All in all, a quality DVD package which I'm surprised with, and I should be actively seeking out other blockbuster titles from the shelves of the Esplanade library soon.

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