Posts Tagged ‘Prateik’

 With the World Cup holding back Bollywood releases, and nothing decent coming out thereafter too (I safely passed the ThankYous and the Faltus!), the storyline of Dum Maro Dum was tempting enough to go back to the cinema house after a long time. And I was glad that it turned out to be decent fare, after all.

Rohan Sippy, the new gen Sippy, has been making reasonably good cinema, although nothing close to iconic status just yet. So I guess, he’d be among the good young directors of today, but not quite in the class of a Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra or a Raju Hirani or Farhan Akhtar.

And Dum Maro Dum again fits into that slot. A good movie. You’d feel like money well spent. But not something that would get into any all-time top 100 lists or anything of that sort 🙂

The story is set in Goa, in the backdrop of the drug mafia, international drug cartels operating there, and about how innocents have been getting trapped into becoming unwilling carriers!

Abhishek playing the Inspector on special duty, with full powers to clean up Goa, off the drug menace, does a credible job. The film have a good pace. There are things happening all the time. Few characters are introduced, and their stories are told well.

Assuming the story comes with good research, it tells a worrying tale of how Goa has been made into drug heaven, along with its sun and the sea, especially by foreigners.

The music is very typically Pritam, and suits the story well.

Bipasha Basu and Prateik have small roles, and they do good justice to those. Aditya Pancholi makes a come back as the bad man! And looks like the part!

Abhishek finally has a good performance, and for his sake, I also hope the film does well. He needs that little bit of luck now!

Rana Daggubati got more pre-release publicity for his Bipasha connection, and not as much for his acting. Just as well. He is okay. In a role where we could have seen him do a lot better, he does an okay job. Not perfectly convincing.

And which brings me to Dum Maro Dum. The song. The item number performed by Deepika Padukone.

Well, the late R D Burman does not need to feel threatened about his legacy (not that THAT could EVER happen!). For that matter, Asha Bhosale or Zeenat Aman also have little to worry.

Dum Maro Dum will always till be about the original Hare Rama Hare Krishna!

The song depicted here, does not measure up.

Let’s consider Deepika first.

When in a dance number of this kind, the camera has to shake a lot to give the desired effect, it is obvious that the actor is not able to do her part, and the camera has to come to the rescue.

When shots are short, and there are more close ups, again, it is again only because she is NOT able to deliver long shots, and the camera finds it easier to show her face and body, rather than her dance moves.

They used to do this for Sunny Deol too.

Deepika Padukone seems to be belong to that same league. I guess, it was only for her glamour value, and in spite of not being such a good dancer, that they got her to do this dance, I suppose. And to that end, she might be just fine. But seriously, otherwise, the dance is nothing great.

Kareena, Mallika, Katrina, Priyanka.. can all do a far better job of shaking their hips and moving their legs, and looking good doing so, than Deepika!

All in all, Rohan Sippy has created a good film, and I would recommend that you see it.

Kiran Rao’s first film does have its moments. And some extremely bright spots.

Consider this dialog that Prateik’s character, Munna speaks, on being asked about his background:

– that he is not from Mumbai,

– that he came from small town Bihar,

– that he came at an age of 8, to his uncle who was here,

– that he has never gone back since,

– that he doesn’t really miss Bihar, and is comfortable about not going back,

– that home was “okay”,

– that he used to be “hungry” at home,

– that the first job he got on coming to Mumbai, was at a hotel, where he got a lot of slaps but also got enough food.

This is the story of Mumbai, and the place it holds for Indians. A place that provides. A place that is better than their home, even if there is struggle here.

And Munna struggles, for sure. He runs the dhobi ghat, washes and irons clothes, and delivers them to his customers. The whole works. And then at night, when the pavement dwellers sleep, he goes out with his stick and big torch, and finds them rodents and kills them. And makes the street a safer place for the migrants to keep sleeping in peace!

Yes, Mumbai’s tough. But it still provides. And leaves room to dream. As Prateik dreams to get into films. Now getting into films may be the most cliched dream, but think of it as an example. Someone could dream of building houses, or becoming another Dhirubhai. Here it is the next Salman Khan, perhaps, for Munna. But that again is part of Mumbai. It enables you to dream..

As you look out into the sea and get wet in the rains. Yes, the sea and the rains. Two extremely powerful and unique symbolisms of Mumbai. Shown repeatedly by Kiran Rao, reminded me that if it was not for the sea and the rains, the magic of Mumbai would have not been there at all! As Mumbaiites, we take these for granted. But both are such powerful connects to Mumbai – almost like the cliched “spirit of Mumbai”.

The character of the young Muslim bride is a classic. Extremely excited to be in Mumbai first, seeping in all of the ‘bhel-puri’ and ‘pav bhaji’ of Mumbai, video taping and commenting on all that fascinates her, about the city, but as time goes by, and the reality of big city life sinks in, you see the spirit waning. And yet, she maintains a matter-of-fact reality front. Is that again how a Mumbaiite takes life? Which is where, he moves on, after the riots, and after being abused and ill treated by the powers that be, in spite of its critical role in the country’s economy? I wonder..

Aamir Khan and Monica Dogra have high visibility in the film, but they are only bridges connecting to Prateik and Kiran, the real “characters” exemplifying the diary of Mumbai!

I love the visuals of Mumbai, the old crowded streets, the cramped flats, the funny, forking streets full of people and vehicles, the Marine Drive especially at night, crowded streets of Mohammed Ali Road in Ramzan nights, etc. Its been done before, but I like it here too.

So why are so many complaining that the film does not work?

Because it is more of a diary and less of a film! That’s why..

Yes, it has been equated to a good documentary, and while that may be a tad unfair tag to give, it goes closer to being a rambling of scenes and visuals and experiences, rather than a real story woven out, and delivered. Even if it had to take only 95 minutes to do so.

So I guess, if you are looking for a good story, and typical entertainment, you may safely skip this one. On the other hand, if you are looking to “see” Mumbai, especially if you are a born-and-brought-up Mumbaikar, and want to see Mumbai from the eyes of an outsider (which is what most of modern Mumbai is about), you may like this view.