Dum Maaro Dum

Dum Maaro Dum has all the right intentions, but fails on a few key points that are too evident to ignore.

Six years after his sophomore feature, Rohan Sippy brings us Dum Maaro Dum – a movie that has all the right intentions, but fails on a few key points that are too evident to ignore. Its single biggest flaw is the “look”. Sippy has washed the entire movie in a stale yellow palette, giving it the putrefied look of a decades-old film that has not been preserved well. This garish misjudgment becomes a distraction and, worse, deterrent from enjoying the movie for what it should be worth.

Set in a narcotic-infested life within Goa, Dum Maaro Dum canters around a cluster of characters affected by the drug-trade. Incorruptible ACP Vishnu Kamath (Abhishek Bachhan) is assigned the task of cleaning up Goa, thus setting him up for a head-on collision with ruthless local businessman Lorsa Biscuta (Aditya Pancholi). 17-year old Lorry (Prateik) wants to make a quick buck in order to follow his girlfriend and fulfill his dream stateside, but unwittingly gets involved in drugs. DJ Joki (Rana Daggubati) finds himself caught in the cross-fire when first his girlfriend (Bipasha Basu) and now his friend Lorry get entangled in the mess. Their lives collide as ACP Kamath works to bring the drug-trade crashing down, trying to uncover the major player behind it all.

Rohan Sippy seems to have had a clear idea of what he wanted out of the movie, but tends to be juvenile in how he goes about achieving it. He falters in his execution, oscillating between style and substance erratically. Sippy chooses the path of quirky stylization early in the movie which wanes in the latter half to make way for the drama. Meaning this in the best possible sense, the story is mostly an updated version of many 80s movies that featured a hero cop and a rich villain habitually in white suits. This could also account for the stale-yellow look that was probably meant as a tribute but comes across as a gross-error by the projectionist. Dum Maaro Dum does feature some wonderful lines, referencing everything from Google to facebook and twitter, most of them spoken with panache byBachchan.

Dum Maaro Dum’s biggest asset is, curiously, its multitude of stock characters, easily recognizable with years of use. These are rendered interestingly because of the effective performance of some of the cast. Standout of the crowd is Prateik, despite his high-pitch vocals. An effortless actor, Prateikbrings genuineness to his character that, coupled with Abhishek Bachchan’s charming turn as the fearless cop, wins the audience. Rana Daggubati manages to walk through his role, looking the part, but scarcely registering any appeal. Aditya Pancholi is a welcome return as the rich screen baddie, thankfully with a head full of hair.

With a runtime of a little over two hours and a steady pace, Dum Maaro Dum keeps you interested throughout. If only Sippy had done away with the awful remix of the classic track it takes its title from and the piss poor look, he would have a movie that would score at least more than just average with the audience.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

About Shariq Madani

Shariq is a social, talkative, fun-loving guy who enjoys books, food and a long drive. But his real joy is in the comfortable darkness of a cinema, watching a good movie, and later spending hours discussing it.