Director Rohit Dhawan’s ‘Desi Boyz’ was a smart and funny take on two men who had to work as escorts after recession leaves them with no other job opportunity to turn to. The film had a unique plot with all the commercial ingredients thrown in. More than four years after the film released, Rohit is back with ‘Dishoom’, a film which seems to be starkly different from his debut venture, if one takes the genres into account. While ‘Desi Boyz’ was a comedy-drama, ‘Dishoom’ seems to be an out and out actioner. Legendary Japanese director the late Akira Kurosawa started the trend of making thrillers with two sharply different policemen out on saving the world or abetting a crime. ‘Dishoom’, which revolves around two cops trying to rescue a cricketer who gets kidnapped, follows a similar template.
Two days before the much awaited India – Pakistan match is scheduled to take place, top cricketer Viraj Sharma (Saqib Saleem) goes missing. The Ministry Of External Affairs receives a video clip which suggests that he has been kidnapped by a fanatic who wants Viraj to stay away from the match so that Pakistan may win the match. The Indian government gets in touch with the Saudi Arabian government and they join hands to get Viraj back. The government sends Special Task officer Viraj Shergill (John Abraham) to the Middle East where Viraj is supposed to be held captive. Viraj gets a rookie cop Junaid Ansari (Varun Dhawan) to help him navigate through the place. Their search leads them to Ishika/Meera (Jacqueline Fernandez), a petty thief, who helps them out in finding clues that help them get a clearer picture. On further investigation, they figure out that there is a bigger conspiracy behind Viraj’s kidnapping.
‘Dishoom’ has a runtime of two hours and the pace is slick for the most part. That helps in keeping the film, which otherwise would have fallen apart because of a script ridden with several loopholes, afloat. Rohit Dhawan does a very good job as a director but as a co-writer (with Tushar Hiranandani), he fails to conjure up a script that would hold your attention for long. Here, the script has been designed to accommodate the numerous action sequences that play out. Nothing wrong with that but the screenplay is not half as exciting as the basic idea that drives the film.
While the first half offers several fun moments, including a crackling cameo by Akshay Kumar, logic is thrown off the window in the second hour where one comes across implausible events leading to some well-designed action pieces. The good thing is that the film offers some sort of information in every scene which keeps you engaged in it and leaves you with no or little time, to ponder over the frailties in the script. The eye-filling camerawork by Ayananka Bose wonderfully highlights the scale and the glitz of the film. One action sequence leads to another, interspersed by some genuinely funny moments. Another factor that bogs the film down is the main antagonist, played by Akshaye Khanna. Though Akshaye is a super competent actor, he is saddled with a role that shows some promise at the beginning but fizzles out soon after.
John Abraham seems a good choice for the tough and indifferent cop but as an actor, he brings nothing to the table. With an expressionless face and one-note dialogue delivery, he does not impart any characteristic to Kabir which would make you remember him for some time. Varun Dhawan, on the other hand, offers a terrific turn as the inexperienced and spirited cop. His energy adds tremendously to the film. Jacqueline Fernandez does not have much to do but brings about a certain charm to her character. As much as one is happy to see a hugely talented actor like Akshaye Khanna back on the screen, it pains to see him play a role that does not really build up into something exciting. Rahul Dev is wasted in a role that could have been played by a lesser actor. Akshay Kumar brings the house down with a cameo that is bound to surprise a lot of people.
‘Dishoom’ is high on style, less on substance. Even as the film is a technically superior product aided by crisp editing and great camerawork, the script does not carry much of a weight. The brisk pace and a highly enjoyable performance by one of the leading actors (Varun Dhawan) makes it a fairly decent entertainer.