A film blank on essential ingredients

Producer: Ramesh Sippy.
Director: Rohan Sippy.
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Pancholi, Rana Daggubati, Prateik Babbar, Govind Namdeo, Bipasha Basu.

MUMBAI  : The best thing to have happened to this Rohan Sippy vehicle, Dum Maaro Dum, is the evergreen hit number of the same name from Dev Anand?s Hare Rama Hare Krishna which it uses in a remixed version.

Not content doing that, Sippy also uses the song line as the title of his film. It does not matter that the film is about tackling a serious issue of busting drug mafias while the title would suggest ?take drugs?have a blast?.

Having done that, the rest is not as easy as lifting a song and title. And it shows as Dum Maaro Dum unfolds on screen reel by reel.

For story, the film resorts to a 1970s/80s kind of drug mafia vs a crusader cop. Everything about it is from that era, including a villain?s plant among cops.

The film starts interestingly enough with Prateik aspiring to go to US for studies. He is enrolled as a courier and then nabbed at the airport. But he is soon forgotten as the reinstated super cop, Abhishek Bachchan, once a champion in corruption, is let loose on Goa mafia territories (which are more lucrative than film territories not because everybody is into drugs but because not everybody who loved films does so any more!).

The third angle is that of Rana Daggubati, a DJ, who has lost his girl, Bipasha Basu, to her ambitions to fly high. Then there is trademark villain, Aditya Pancholi, the bete noire of all three, who controls all drug mafias in Goa under a fictitious boss he has created. Like all traditional villains, this one too has a clean public image, which is fine, but why does he own an electric crematorium as if it was a much needed launderette!

The hero-villain conflict film works best when the villain you created is larger than life and seemingly infallible. Here Aditya Pancholi is made to look scared of Abhishek the cop; the later also smashes his nose once and that is when such films lose steam. There is no one-upmanship as Abhishek goes on Rave-Busting spree. One wonders why Abhishek Bachchan, the hero of the film, is killed like an ordinary side actor! But when this happens you realise why Rana Daggubati, the scion of D Rama Naidu clan, his grand son and son of Suresh Naidu of Suresh Production, agreed to make his Hindi film debut with such a trivial role! Because once Abhishek is out, it is left to Rana Daggubati to play the hero and wrap up things left undone with the villain.

Too much is crammed in the climax but that satisfaction of villain having been given his just deserts does not come through.

With a routine approach at direction and mishmash for script, Dum Maaro Dum keeps losing its viewer time and again; the film draws blank on very essential ingredients - romance and music and the emotions are make-believe. While the remixed Dum maro dum? number is well choreographed, its composition makes you run home and listen to the R D Burman original; remixing such numbers amounts to sacrilege.

There is not much to say about performance of artistes. Abhishek Bachchan is his normal self as he is in all his films. Rana Daggubati has nothing much to do and he duly complies. As for Prateik, no clue what he is doing in this film and the same goes for Bipasha Basu! Aditya Pancholi is okay. Govind Namdeo is the only one with a semblance of natural acting.

Dum Maaro Dum has had an indifferent opening response despite a holiday today and the viewers? reports don?t hold much promise either.

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