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Dishoom  : Packs A Funny Punch
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Friday, July 29, 2016
Rohit Dhawan
John Abraham, Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Parineeti Chopra, Saqib Saleem, Akshaye Khanna

With memories of a weak Desi Boyz still lingering at the back of my mind, I ventured to watch Rohit Dhawan's second directorial venture with expected misgivings. But hey, Rohit's got it right most of the way this time.


Like Jackie Chan's Rush Hour, the two-cop partnership usually works well and when you have one tough silent hunk paired with an exuberant youngster, there's lots of room to manoeuvre comedy into the crime scene. Rohit Dhawan, along with screenplay writer Tushar Hiranandani makes neat use of the premise to make a happy, goofy film about two cops on the trail of a bookie who has kidnapped India's match-winning batsman Viraj.


Comedy alongside crime with a smattering of romance from a desi girl who picks pockets just for kicks, is kept bubbling with cheesy dialogues by Hussain Dalal.


Meet Kabir Shergill the no-nonsense Special Task Force officer a Sushma Swaraj type of External Affairs minister dispatches to UAE from India. He'll find Viraj who has gone missing after winning a match and just before an Indo-Pak final. Kabir finds an unlikely partner in chatty but inept Dubai cop Junaid Ansari, born in India.


Shot entirely in Dubai and thereabouts, the first half is packed with gags with Akshay Kumar hitting the right notes in a guest appearance as the very rich and very gay Sam. Sandwiched between scenes finding Viraj are comic moments like a phone call that Junaid keeps getting from some Qureshi who doesn't like his face on a matrimonial site.


Villain Akshaye Khanna also has a likeable cheekiness as Wagah, thus named because he belongs to neither India nor Pakistan. Jacqueline Fernandes as Meera or Ishika is the pickpocket who brings fun to the table and romance into Khadoos Kabir's life. Even Rahul Dev as a baddie gets a good entry. Pritam's music has the required tempo even if the tunes sound recycled.


John the hunk and Varun brimming with fun are perfectly cast. Saqib Saleem as star cricketer Viraj and Akshaye Khanna bring freshness to the cast.


Rohit Dhawan scores in making a fun comedy without any vulgarity. Even the famous scene of John and Varun in briefs is not crude sex comedy. In fact it's amusing with Akshay Kumar passing suitably gay asides like, "Their father must be a baker, they have such cute buns."


But after all this, the plot somewhat weakens as there's little action especially in the climax. Stronger writing was required to keep it gripping all the way. But Parineeti Chopra rejuvenates it when she joins in at the end.


For a fresh, young film that tickles the funny bone, Dishoom gets 3* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author


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