Dhoom 3 (Blast 3) is the latest installment in the popular Dhoom franchise starring Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra. Bachchan, the son of Bollywood acting legend Amitabh Bachchan, is often called Baby B. Uday is the son of the late Yash Chopra, the famed Bollywood director. This installment also features Aamir Khan as the villain called the Joker and Katrina Kaif as his love interest.
You don’t watch a movie called Blast 3 with high expectations of Filmfare award-winning performances. I expected hard-core action, and the film delivered from the opening sequence as the Joker (Aamir Khan) catapults down a Chicago skyscraper. When we meet our intrepid heroes Jai and Ali, they turn a humble Mumbai rickshaw into an almost indestructible crime-fighting machine.
The film delivers a strong story until intermission. After intermission, the plot weakens, and so did my patience. It’s as if we are watching two separate movies smashed together into a single 3-hour spectacle. Indian audiences expect long movies. Two-and-a-half to three hours is an average length. The length derives in part from a tendency for the audience to demand that the movie be longer than the trip to the cinema itself. With average travel times in Mumbai around 1.5 hours, a 3-hour movie seems short by comparison. I’ve watched my fair share of movies of that length, but only with this movie did I feel just how long three hours really was.
The songs in the second half of the movie were also weak, which makes the film drag even more. The love triangle involving Kaif and the two brothers seemed particularly forced.
Americans have difficulty with Bollywood films because they seem so unrealistic to us. What we must understand is that realism is not a prerequisite for an Indian audience. Escapism is what matters. Rickshaws crashing through brick walls unscathed and evil twins plotting to take down a bank are typical examples of the escapist tendencies of these movies. Unfortunately, this film does not live up to the best escapist expectations of the audience. Instead, Dhoom 3 falls flat.
If you want a great Bollywood action film, rent Ek Tha Tiger with Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif instead.