So maybe "Aaj mere liye chair kheench raha hai, kal meri skirt kheenchega" signals the official massacre of some awesome RDBurmanness and graceful Zeenat Amanness. And maybe Dum Maro Dum being promoted through a skimpily-dressed Deepika Padukone gyrating at a rave party (and through sundry tabloid-worthy "news items", including celebrity link-ups and "legal tangles") is like promoting toothpaste using salt.
Indeed, it is probably now tough for viewers to see Dum Maro Dum as an entity by itself, without having to place it against the backdrop of what is largely irrelevant marketing. DMD doesn't do the sensational things that the promos have led you to believe it will. Except for the fact that it centres around the drug trade (and that its cops indulge in nasty ways to get their suspects to confess), it is a plain vanilla thriller - one that probably doesn't keep you at the edge of your seat, but that, without doubt, keeps you interested.
Shot through Amit Roy's expert lens, Dum Maro Dum is a glossy, stylish and colourful ride into Goa's crime scene. Goa itself isn't the cinematographer's muse, as much as the faces and moods of the characters, and their immediate settings, are.
ACP Vishnu Kamath (Abhishek Bachchan) is trying to bust Goa's narcotics trade. The drug mafia is lorded over by the sleazy Lorsa Biscuta (Aditya Pancholi), who is beyond law of any kind. When a quivering middle-class college lad Lorry (Prateik Babbar) with "an excellent academic record" gives in to the money involved in the transport of the evil white powder, the crap threatens to hit the ceiling.
Certain filmi short-cuts through the mystery mar an otherwise crisp and engaging narrative. The pre-interval action, specially, is pretty engrossing, and it is also fun to weave through Kamath's thread of the Great Goan Scavenger Hunt, meager though it is.
This is the kind of flick that revels in performances and celebrates the filmi-ness of its high-drama moments (like the wicked "ha ha ha" that the villain usually breaks into in a face-off with the hero). And this is why the writers should have infused a lot more depth into their characters. Instead, what we mostly have is a quick-n-slick slide show of pretty faces and shady Goan hobbies, with each character's individual story flashed in your face just once and not being elaborated much.
Abhishek Bachchan is good, but is given some laughable lines that turn his ACP into somewhat of a joke. And hence, a little bit more of Rana Daggubati would have helped matters greatly. The man's definitely eye-candy, but could have meant so much more to the film, if only he were given some more meat.
Meanwhile, Prateik Babbar is a little contrived. But then, Bipasha is as stunning as ever, and Aditya Pancholi turns out to be an absolute delight.
Pritam's score is good (save for the officially unpopular title remix); it is the snappy background music sets half the tone for the thrills and chases.
This one's for those who don't make a career out of being overly-discerning. And also, for those for whom Rana entering Bollywood is the equivalent of Aishwarya Rai entering Hollywood.