Dishoom – Varun shines in this enjoyable buddy cop action flick

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Dishoom was exactly what it was advertised to be — a silly fun somewhat comedic action flick.  Varun Dhawan and John Abraham are odd couple buddy cops directed by Varun’s brother Rohit Dhawan.  It wasn’t the greatest flick, but it was an enjoyable time pass.

John Abraham’s tough guy custom agent is introduced to us kicking a guy out of an elevator because the poor guy dared to ask him to not smoke.  Funny enough.  But the next scene was problematic, as Kathy of AccessBollywood.net points out.  John discovers his girlfriend is cheating on him, and holds a gun to her head to get the lover to come out of hiding.  Completely unnecessary.  There are plenty of other scenes to establish how John Abraham’s character doesn’t play by the rules, and this threatened violence against women is jarring and the one off moment of the movie.

The star player of the Indian cricket team has been captured in an unnamed Mid-Eastern country.  John is sent to solve the case and avoid an international incident.  Varun is a rookie cop not trusted with more than picking up the captains kids and groceries.  He’s an interesting character, a Muslim NRI who jumps at the chance to serve India even though he was born abroad.  (And in a running gag, he’s searching for a bride from India.)

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Basically, I think Varun Dhawan is the Zac Efron of Bollywood.  He’s fantastic with the music numbers, was introduced in a high school musical, and is trying to transition to more mature adult roles.  (And he has a nice six pack like Zac.)  But he’s still the young kid in this movie, an eager hyper puppy jumping around the stoic John Abraham.  He’s one of the best things about the movie, and I love his chemistry with John.

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The plot doesn’t make a lot of sense.   Villain Akshaye Khanna is angry at the cricket player for losing him money or not throwing a game.  Or something.  It doesn’t really matter.  It’s just fun to see Akshaye embracing character roles, and I welcome his return to Hindi films.  He’s sort of the Mark Strong of Bollywood (looks a bit like him, too.)

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Jacqueline Fernandez has a fun time as a thief who gets caught up in the plot.  She has a great number, sometimes dancing with Varun, and dancing mostly around John.

The cameos were some of my favorite moments.  Akshay is gay, super wealthy and sports a man bun.  He’s hysterical and obviously relishes playing against type.  This selfie with the cricket player is a highlight:

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Buddy cop films have a long tradition in Hollywood, with one suffering stoic partner and the hyper funny one.  There need to be more in Bollywood like this.  There’s so many super cop solo hero films, but having two leads play off each other is great.  Dishoom was a light fun summer flick.  But it could have been a bit better.  My attention lagged a bit in the second half.

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But the very end and the final credit song has the last fun cameo — Parineeti Chopra.  Loved their number together!

Three stars out of five.

 

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