Dhoom 2 Review! Dhoom Gets BIGGER

Oh dear. I know this is a favorite Dhoom for many of you, but it is my least favorite. Meaning I have watched it less, and remember it worse, than the other two. So forgive me if I don’t remember to include your favorite part or get something else wrong!

Dhoom 1 was a hit, not the biggest hit of the year but a solid hit. That was important because it was a risky endeavor and something new, and YRF proved it was possible for them to make an action movie, and for an action car chase heist kind of move to do well in the Indian setting. But then with Dhoom 2, they took it all higher and higher and HIGHER. The goal was to bring in the audience who had warm feelings for the original film, plus also new viewers who might be brought in by the hot look and big cast.

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Dhoom 2 has a lot of moving parts, but it is also bigger than the sum of its parts. You can see that in the poster itself, Dhoom 1 put Abhishek front and center, he was the star and everything else went around him. Dhoom 2, it was an ensemble. Aish was positioned as first among equals on the poster, but in the actual film she was no more important than anyone else.

In case you missed it, this movie was a big deal for Aish. She had tried and failed to make it in Hollywood and now was coming back to Indian film, to prove she still had the talent to survive in the Indian world. Dancing ability, beauty, charisma, all the things that are less important overseas. Her character, the local girl who likes underground clubs and hamburgers, was a bit of an answer to all the global work she had been doing. But now, years later, her character just plays as a fun character and a bit of an interesting one for this very beautiful woman to play.

And then there was Hrithik, now this is a super important film for him, at the time it wasn’t. He was coming off of Krrish, released just before, that was a far bigger deal. This was just kind of the “bonus” Hrithik film for the year. But it’s this role and these songs that have lasted and lasted in a way Krrish hasn’t.

Now, try to remember any song at all from Krrish

Bipasha, Abhishek, Uday, they were all right in the middle of their careers, not knowing this movie would end up being the most successful they would ever be a part of. Really, this move is the “multi-star” film that everyone is nostalgic for, the one that has a large cast of folks all trying to do their best and not steal the spotlight from each other. With no one really putting a lot of pressure on themselves to shine bright and be the absolutely best they can be, because it’s all just a good time in pleasant locations.

Maybe that’s why this film is so endearing, because that feeling comes through on screen too, a kind of “let’s just have fun and relax” tone. The other two Dhooms are fun too, but the first one was Abhishek and John’s big chance to make an impression, not to mention selling the audience on this new genre. And Dhoom 3 was Aamir, he is always stressy about everything. But this movie, it’s a bunch of folks just coasting and doing whatever as they get through this role. Aish is maybe trying the most, but even she is just trying to look pretty and dance well, no more than that. Enjoy the sunshine, enjoy the locations, don’t think too much. Because if you think to much, THE WHOLE THING FALLS APART. Seriously, he is drawing an “A” on the world map with jewel thefts?

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Ready for a stupid plot? Uday Chopra and Abhishek are Indian cops brought in on an international jewel robbery case. Abhishek, using his brilliant mind, realizes the thief is drawing a giant “A” on the world map. This helps him predict his next moves and plant a mole, Aishwarya. Aishwarya is a small time thief who Abhishek arrested and let go, she owes him a favor/is afraid of him. She agrees to try to trap Hrithik. With Abhishek’s help, she impress Hrithik when they both try to steal the same sword, and then dances for him at a club later. Hrithik agrees to take her on as an apprentice, but she has to do everything he says without question and let him train her.

Meanwhile, Bipasha Basu is Abhishek’s old friend and fellow police officer who is working with them on this case. Abhishek’s wife Rimi Sen is pregnant, and Uday is worried that Abhishek might cheat with Bipasha. He is relieved when they leave India for Brazil to follow up on the case. In Brazil, they stay with Bipasha’s identical cousin, Bipasha 2, who Uday falls in love with at first sight and they flirt over a language barrier (picking up on the first movie when Uday tried to impress Esha with his English, now he is going after a woman who doesn’t speak Hindi at all).

Hrithik and Aish are getting closer and closer, he is increasingly charmed with her gutsy low class ways, while she puts up with his precise classy global perfection (she has hamburgers, he has salads). Aish is torn because she doesn’t want to turn him in to Abhishek, but she is also afraid of what Abhishek might do to her. Hrithik starts to suspect her and challenges her to a game of Russian roulette to bring out her true feelings. She agrees, he aims the gun at her, at him, at her, and then at himself when he will certainly be shot because it is the last turn, and she grabs it and aims it at herself again. With this proof of her love, the truth comes out. They carry out the heist, Abhishek and Uday chase them to the edge of a cliff, Hrithik jumps rather than be caught and Aish jumps after him.

Months later, Abhishek brings Uday to a little eatery in a vacation town. Surprise! Aish and Hrithik are running it! They faked their own death in order to start a new life as honest people. Abhishek decides to let them go, redeemed by love and all that.

This is just a big ol’ shaggy dog mess of a movie. It’s at the irritating middle point between two halves of the trilogy. The first movie was primarily about Abhishek and Uday, their lives and their friendship and so on. The third movie treats Abhishek and Uday as no more than guest stars, it is Aamir (the new character) who is the real lead. But this movie just can’t make up its mind. It starts out with Abhishek and Uday having a real plot, there is Rimi’s pregnancy and Uday’s concern about Abhishek cheating, plus Abhishek being the brilliant detective who figures out the pattern and places Aishwarya as a mole, a real threat to Hrithik.

And then it veers in a totally other direction once the Hrithik-Aish chemistry takes over and it is less about “Hrithik versus Abhishek” and more “Hrithik versus Aish”. And Abhishek’s whole thing with the old friend and the pregnant wife gets completely forgotten and never resolved. It’s half an “Abhishek the super cop” movie and half a “Hrithik the super thief who falls in love” movie just kind of smashed together.

But that isn’t to say it’s not fun! In a perfect “dumb but smart” kind of way. For instance there is the “twist” that Hrithik and Aish survived. We had a scene earlier where they practiced jumping from the same spot where they jump and survive at the end. So you could think of it as “aha! The clue was there all along! It all fits together like a beautiful puzzle!” But, not really? I mean, we don’t see ropes or anything in the end scene like in the first scene. It’s still a total suspension of disbelief. And why is it everyone is dancing together during Carnivale? Also unclear. And why does Brazilian Bipasha look exactly like Bombay Bipasha? Unclear too. And somehow all of that just makes the movie more fun. It’s not like Kahaani or Don or Ittefaq or Talaash where you have to work hard and pay attention every moment so you can appreciate the brilliance, it’s just a big dumb fun stupid movie.

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18 thoughts on “Dhoom 2 Review! Dhoom Gets BIGGER

  1. I think this was my third ever Hindi film…if I recall it was Jodhaa Akbar, Mujhse Dosti Karoge, and then Dhoom 2. Clear connection, right? All three were perfect introductions to Hindi film in their own special way. This one blew my mind with it’s cartoonish, nonsensical plot and was kind of my first introduction to a masala type film (though mixed with a Fast and Furious Hollywood vibe). I loved it and it’s probably why I later loved Tashan and Bang Bang so much., too. They’re all very similar. A better artificial trilogy than the actual Dhoom trilogy. The first Dhoom was kind of boring to me…I wasn’t into Abhishek at the time. I think I’d seen John Abraham already in Dostana (and technically Water years before as well) and he was the highlight but his acting certainly wasn’t the appeal of that one. Plus Esha Deol…the Shraddha Kapoor of her generation. And Dhoom 3 was Aamir at his tic acting worse and he has very little chemistry with Katrina. Only thing worth watching again in that one is her item song.

    Dhoom 2 does boil down to just how perfect Hrithik looks in it, the truly amazing chemistry he has with Aishwarya on screen, and how great the dance sequences are. When I want to introduce friends to the joy that is Hrithik and I need to pick a song, I always go for the title sequence of this one.

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    • I love your trilogy idea! All bright and fun and great songs and happy ending movies. Now that I think of it, D2 is the only Dhoom movie with a fully happy ending.

      I didn’t realize until I looked it up that Hrithik and Aish did D2 and J-A back to back! Must have been as big of a ricochet between the two as Alia-Shahid with Shaandar and Udta Punjab.

      On Thu, Mar 7, 2019 at 5:30 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. This is one of my favorite dumb movies. I watched it in theaters(not out of choice) three times which is like a big deal for someone who thinks a lot for watching even once in theater. Everyone was so great looking in this,especially Bipasha and Hritik. And this was way before the fitness,size zero fad took over and everyone started showing off toned bodies.The scene I remember the most is Hritik training Ash on a mountain top and jumping down together. Very romantic!
    Also had a new found respect for the secure man than Abhishek Bachan is where his gorgeous then-fiance was romancing & kissing Greek God and he himself was reduced to a boring role, saddled with a nagging wife.And Hritik was just sigh!

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    • It’s such a fun dumb movie! Everyone looks ridiculous hot, to a degree that it doesn’t even make you feel bad about yourself, you know? Like, even if I worked out every day and never ate food and used moisterizer and stuff, I would still never look like Aish and Bips in this. You just sit back and worship their Godlike perfection.

      On Thu, Mar 7, 2019 at 10:23 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Pingback: Dhoom 2 Review! Dhoom Gets BIGGER — – Ountrending tv…

  4. How could you not mention that whole plot point of Hrithik literally impersonating a Greek god?! That was the scene that made me and my friends burst out in a laugh when we saw it in the theater.

    Between this movie and Jodha Akbar, I am convinced that Hrithik and Aishwarya can only have chemistry with each other and no one else. Maybe they are both so good looking that it overpowers any chemistry they might have with someone else? It kind of reminds me of Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman in Cat on A Hot Tin Roof – two people who are so good looking that sparks fly when they so much as look at each other.

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    • Salman and Madhuri in HAHK had a little bit of that going for them too.

      And now I am trying to think of a movie where Hrithik had chemistry not with Aish. I guess with PC in Agneepath? But he was less beautiful and more rough and sexy in that, so your point still stands.

      On Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 5:10 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Hrithik picks his movies so poorly that he doesn’t even have a lot of truly romantic roles in his filmography that can capitalize on on-screen chemistry. Guzaarish is an interesting example that I really need to rewatch someday. I just don’t think his acting in that will hold up (too many Hrithik overacting expressions), but Aishwarya’s performance was soft and luminous and strong all at the same time. And Udi is one of the most beautiful songs ever and their unique connection comes through in it in the framing shots.

        In all of Hrithik’s PC collabs, only the deleted song O Saiyaan has any chemistry, but I will concede that they have more of a connection in the overall film than he usually does with his heroines. His chemistry with Katrina in both of their films is more Ken and Barbie fall in love in their plastic fake worlds than anything else.

        I remember thinking he looked hot with Barbara Mori in Kites but I found all of the rumors and gossip around them more distracting, plus the movie is ridiculous.

        Strangely, I’ve never thought he had any kind of chemistry with Kangana.

        I do like his chemistry with Rani in MDK, but the chemistry is more plot-driven than actually performance based if that makes sense.

        His lack of chemistry with Pooja Hegde was a major part of why Mohenjo Daro failed, I think.

        It’s my completely uninformed sense that many actresses really don’t want to work with him and in recent years he is working with second tier actresses. It almost seems like Deepika has actively avoided him, though I’ve always been curious to see how they would be on screen.

        I think Vaani, if actually paired with him in the new film, could be a good match.

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        • Ugh, Mohenjo Daro! You are right about the chemistry in so many ways. A large part of the film is supposed to be driven by their True Love. But they don’t have much chemistry, plus the love story as written doesn’t work because Hrithik is SO OLD. If they had been playing more mature characters, they could have built an honest chemistry between them. Say, Hrithik as an older farmer who has never come to the city before because he stayed home to look after the house while his younger cousins traveled, something like that.

          On Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 8:52 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I love the comparison with Taylor and Newman! As much as I am so over Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (and never really liked them that much individually), their chemistry in Mr and Mrs Smith is also comparable to Hirthik/Aish, too. I think this jodi is the core reason why I watch Hindi films and am always looking for the magic of that pairing in any romantic film. I wonder if they’ll ever

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  5. This movie is so fantastic in such a campy way! My only probmem with it is Aishwarya’s dialogue. Her saying “like” multiple times in every sentence is ridiculously distracting and annoying.

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    • I do not get what Aish’s character is supposed to be. Lowclass and all that, but reads more like a Valley Girl than a Bombay grifter. The “like” and the hamburgers and all that, where did that come from?

      On Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 9:17 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • The burger I understand. I remember going to India around the time this movie was released and all my cousins just wanted McDonalds burgers all the time. Also, the burger looked like a chicken and not beef. But agree that Aish’s character seemed WAY more valley girl than a grifter mainly because of the “like.”

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        • Maybe that’s another one of those smart-dumb things in the movie? If she had tried to play a real grifter, it would have come off as super fake, because Aish just can’t play gritty Bombay girl. This way, we got a new avatar for her, and a new kind of heroine, that may have been completely illogical in many ways but at least fit her performance.

          On Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 10:46 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Kind of like how it was ridiculous for Hrithik’s “master of disguise” thief to go around being so shockingly handsome anyone would notice and recognize him. But on the other hand, would we want to watch the movie if he WASN’T shockingly handsome all the time?

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          • Agree on both accounts. The smartest thing they did with this movie is get two people who are just so ridiculously good looking (channeling Zoolander here) and have great chemistry. No matter how bad the movie is, it was guaranteed to be a hit!

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      • And it works! Why would a brilliant international art thief POSSIBLY be interested in this stupid stupid woman?

        On Fri, Mar 8, 2019 at 2:18 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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