Set in the territory of the gang lords of Goa, director Rohan Sippy’s Dum Maaro Dum is a traditional entertainer from Hindi cinema. When the film works, it does so primarily on the might of high production values. This is the first Hindi film to be mixed in Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound, and the hard work shows. One would expect no less from the maker of Bluffmaster and Kuch Naa Kaho.
But while Dum Maaro Dum suceeds with its production, it fails on the count of shortcomings both in original screenplay and performances. While the rest of the cast plays to script, Abhishek Bachchan’s performace is particularly disappointing. He fails to bring the charismatic quality required to a well defined role that has high dramatic potential.
Yet the bright spot in this film is Prateik Babbar. After Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na and Dhobi Ghaat, this is yet another convincing performance from the young actor. While the music from Pritam Chakraborty pulls through, the highlight of this film has to be the re-mix of the song “Dum Maro Dum” (from the film Hare Rama Hare Krishna) picturised on Deepika Padukone.
Admittedly the lyrics of the new version are terrible and the mood not a patch on the original, but the choreography is outstanding and Deepika sizzles like never before. At least on the dance floor, we now have another worthy successor to the high standards already set by the likes of Madhuri Dixit, Aishwariya Rai and Mallaika Arora.
This apart, it must be mentioned that this film has little in common with Hare Rama Hare Krishna, except perhaps for the theme of drug addiction. The portrayal of Goa in the film uses all the cliches used before by Hindi cinema, and some of the angst that surrounds this depiction is not unwarranted. I would still go with a rating of 2.5 for this film.
Despsite its shortcomings, it does make for an entertaining watch at the movies.
The ratings and what they mean
The ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and try to strike that difficult balance between cinematic critique and giving the regular film buff a peek into what’s playing in town and worth a watch.
1: Watch this film only if the director pays you
2: You could safely give this film a miss
2.5: A one time watch
3: Good cinema. Money well spent
4: Great cinema. A standing ovation
5: Simply speechless. A masterpiece. ⊕