John Abrahams Dishoom: Too sterile a bullet to matter

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A rehashed formula thriller Dishoom is a bullet that charges out of the gun but fizzles out before it strikes target, writes Deepa Gauri.

By Deepa Gauri

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Published: Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:47 PM

Last updated: Wed 14 Dec 2022, 9:55 AM

There is little novel about Dishoom, the directorial debut of Rohit Dhawan, other than its setting in Abu Dhabi, described in the film as 'Somewhere in the Middle East.'

The glistening skyscrapers and a few occasional shots of Dubai juxtaposed give it all the flavour of a modern metropolis.


But beyond the spellbinding facade, Dishoom is just another of those rehashed 'formula thrillers.'

There is everything - blazing guns, costly chases, irrational characters, illogical scenes and a far-fetched story line - that is staple in films produced under the banner of Nadidadwala Grandson Entertainment.


As a debutant, Rohit Dhawan mixes all these ingredients in the right proportion. However, there is only so much he had to start with, and it shows in the script. Dishoom thus ends up as a bullet that goes charging out of a gun only to fizzle out meekly.

Why does the story of two cops Kabir (John Abraham) and Junaid (Varun Dhawan) out on a mission to rescue India's star cricketer Viraj Sharma (Saqib Saleem) hours before a crucial cricket match with ace rival Pakistan not an overly engaging watch?

First, it is utterly predictable. It is so wannabe Hollywood that it makes you cringe. Which is why Kabir's anger at not being allowed to smoke in the plane or police car, and his utter irreverence for the local force not only looks unconvincing, it even jeer-worthy.

As with all buddy cop dramas, one of the pair has to be a silly comedian who will prove his worth when the time comes. Alas, Varun Dhawan in his now oft-repeated act to be 'so cute' brings little freshness with lame one-liners. To be fair though, you cannot hate him and his antics provide an occasional sense of relief.

Two, the film lacks perspective. After setting out to introduce the characters, it suddenly changes gears to tell us all - of what happens to Viraj and who is behind it.

And finally it lacks thrills. You could predict almost every scene while the so-called expensive helicopter chase is just another case of too much hype.

Such films are saved by actor charisma: John Abraham and Varun Dhawan deliver what is expected, but you cannot expect them to be show-stopper entertainers. As the bookie who wants to ruin the show and make some gains Akshay Khanna is effective but not mean enough.

With too many distractions including guest appearances by Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra, and Jacqueline Fernandez playing the female lead of a pick-pocket with zilch energy, it is no surprise that Dishoom is a gun that misfires.

Luckily, it hits no one. It doesn't hurt. It doesn't shock. It is just too sterile a bullet to matter.

Starring: John Abraham, Varun Dhawan and Jacqueline Fernandez

Directed by Rahul Dhawan

Now showing at theatres in the UAE

Rating: 2/5


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