Film: “Dum Maaro Dum”
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Pratik Babbar, Anaitha Nair, Bipasha Basu, Rana Daggubati, Govind Namdeo
Directer: Rohan Sippy
By the end of it all, only one love story comes to a happy ending in “Dum Maro Dum”. Maybe one is not allowed to say which. What one can safely say without the risk of sounding like a spoilsport is that love is not a popular emotion in the world that Rohan Sippy’s edgy thriller encompasses. If one loves in this hell-hole of pleasure then there’s only a dead end to look forward to.
This film is certainly not a ride for the squeamish. Violence dominates the proceedings.
Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the Other Goa. The one that we don’t see in Hindi cinema. Unless we look really hard and come up with Pankaj Parasher’s “Jalwa” 24 years ago. There too Goa became the scene of a watchable drug-busting drama.
In DMD the characters in Goa are constantly up to something self-destructive. You really can’t afford to take your eyes off the screen as the lives of three unlikely ‘heroes’ — one a redemptive cop, the other a student who sells his soul for a scholarship and the third a musician trapped in discordant notes — converge in most unexpected ways. But then the ‘unexpected’ is only expected in a film that addresses the uneasy nexus between crime and conscience in hedonistic Goa, without taking sides.
DMD avoids getting judgemental. The writing, by Sridhar Raghavan, doesn’t assume a position of moral superiority over Goa’s inglorious crime syndicate. Probing into the anatomy of the global drug racket in Goa, the film sweeps us with a violent jolt into a world of doom and damnation where the innocent must perish and the incorrupt must suffer.
Abhishek Bachchan’s cop’s role as ACP Kamath acquires an interesting moral ambivalence. Yup, the celluloid cop has evolved from the seething simmering Bachchan persona in “Zanjeer” to the laconic almost-cynical and acutely suffering law enforcer in DMD who must make hard decisions not in the last reel but Reel Now.
The vehement violence and illicit wealth of the crime syndicate and the immediacy of its annihilation are brought into one jagged but unified line of vision. Often Rohan Sippy’s direction seems to favour the craggy uneven route. But hey, that could just be Amit Roy’s moody cinematography capturing the crowd sweat and greed of the Goan drug cartel.