Dishoom: High-octane action, lousy plot

Film: Dishoom

Cast: John Abraham, Varun Dhawan, Akshaye Khanna, Jacqueline Fenandez, Akshay kumar, Nargis Fakhri,

Director: Rohit Dhawan

The title itself trivializes this largely unappetizing smorgasbord serving of action and comedy masquerading as an all-out entertainer. And the piddling story doesn’t do much to change that impression to good. Kabir (yes it’s John Abraham) and Junaid (the Humpty Sharma Varun Dhawan) are two ace sleuths from the cop fraternity tasked with solving the kidnapping of Indian cricketer Viraj Sharma (Saqib Saleem). Since the villain here is none other than the prodigal returnee Akshaye Khanna who plays a bookie with a match to fix – the suspense is out of the bag even before you say pronto.

One wonders why the cute-some twosome buddy cops find it so difficult to nail the reasoning, find the kidnapper and save the day for the ace sportsman-especially since we can see it all coming from as far as the eye can see. And adding fuel to that line of questioning is the involvement of Birdman, the cute British Bulldog who is largely instrumental in cracking open the case. The production crew appears to have had a free run of the UAE, so most of the narrative hangs around Abu Dhabi which for story purposes represents an underground Middle Eastern city with fearsome looking hefty men and the stereotypical harem to go with it.

Most of the kinetic energy in this so-called entertainer is derived from its thrilling action sequences. Action choreographer Allan Amin adds power, skill, precision, strength and heft to Rohit Dhawan’s action ideology. Different modes of transport, right from an ATV Bike, speedboat and chopper are ridden out with speedy dare-devilry and incredible manoeuvring. Both Varun and John appear to have aced the action expectation with extreme skill and craft. They may not have much to do in terms of acting but their friendly playful chemistry works up some magic and their stunts are all pulled off with great chutzpah. The daring do is quite breathtaking here.

But frankly, the logic sucks. There’s Ishika (Jacqueline Fernandez), for instance, a recovering drug addict who steals wallets for a living and happens to have all the connections required to get the two hombres right inside the den of evil. We never get to know how she came by it or why she is also made to swing her hips like every other ‘item’ girl. Such miscellaneous appropriations might trim budgets but they only add more confusion to the already ensuing mayhem. The middle-east looks swank and futuristic and Jaqueline has just the right kind of beauty to fit in.

The over optimized brand positioning though is far too obvious to allow the viewer enough leeway to suspend disbelief and take this movie seriously. The smattering of has-been cricketing faces popping in and out of the narrative may shore up the cricketing angle, but the narrative loses quite a bit of spark once the frivolities are done with and the chase begins in earnest. And the Middle East specific clichés and stereotypes thrown in as fillers do the backdrop grave disservice. So post interval there’s not much enlivening or fun to up the entertainment quotient.

John Abraham makes for a stylish turn while Varun makes do with the sidekick cracks. And Ayananka Bose’s cinematography covers up the warts oh-so-well. Rohit Dhawan may give Rohit Shetty a run for his money in the action department, but beyond that there’s very little engagement within his craft.

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