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  Dhoom Top GearBuy this film here.
Year: 2004
Director: Sanjay Gadhvi
Stars: Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, John Abraham, Esha Deol, Rimi Sen, Manoj Joshi, Sanjay M. Singh, Amir Farid, Mehul Bhojak, Rohit Chopra, Palash Dutta, Sanjay Keni, Ajay Padhe, Ayesha Raza, Mukesh Ahuja, Ashwin Kaushik
Genre: Musical, Action, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: There is a new gang on the streets of Mumbai, all motorcyclists and skilled ones at that, able to pull off a heist with lightning fast timing which is precisely what they have done today, somehow messing with the traffic controls to create a jam and then flipping an armoured bank van so that it crashes. The man assigned to this case is the police investigator Jai Dixit (Abhishek Bachchan), and once he has torn himself away from his wife Sweety (Rimi Sen) he gets to work. He believes the best way to go is to infiltrate the criminal underworld, little knowing that Sweety is already doing so - accidentally, of course.

Dhoom was supposedly Bollywood's answer to The Fast and the Furious, but the team behind this film were canny enough to allow it to stand alone; a Hollywood-style action movie it was, but it retained that distinctive Indian flavour. Abhishek Bachchan was most famous up to that time as being the son of superstar Amitabh Bachchan, but the success of this proved he could be a star in his own right. In the West, of course, he is probably better known as being Mr Aishwarya Rai.

Here things start comedic, and with a song seeing Jai and Sweety enjoying some quality time together until their idyll is rudely interrupted by the telephone call. This is an opportunity to bring in the second male lead (there are three), motorbike racer Ali (Uday Chopra) who has a scam worked out to win races, and not only that but make some extra cash handling stolen motorcycles. He helps Sweety with a puppy she has found and he thinks he's in with a chance, daydreaming of weddings, but then she mentions she is married. Nevertheless, Ali won't say no to hanging around with an attractive woman and she takes him and the puppy home.

Unsurprisingly, Jai wonders what the hell is going on when he returns to his house, but fate has brought he and Ali together and he has persuaded the cheerfully shady character to assist the police with their enquiries. Director Sanjay Gadhvi manages a nice mix of tone without any crunching gear changes, so the humour moves into the action which will develop into a musical number, but it's the macho business that is most successful. There is a mystery element for the first half hour as we do not know the identity of the head crook, but they cannot sustain it and he is quickly revealed as the brooding Kabir (John Abraham).

When Kabir realises that Jai is on his tracks he decides to give up his life of crime - but not before a couple more audacious robberies, just to rub Jai's nose in the fact that he has not a hope of catching him. Or does he? It certainly appears that way after Kabir and company lift a huge haul of charity money right from under the gaze of the cops and Jai is humiliated. As if that were not bad enough, Ali rejects Jai's companionship to go and work for the bad guys, which is a shame because they make a good double act with Ali the comedy foil and the policeman a by the book, no nonsense type, the stuff of buddy movies the world over. Dhoom is at least as good as half the American action movies it emulates, better even, and although some might see Bollywood and this genre as an uneven mix, here the entertainment value was high enough to quash any mutterings of complaint.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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