Dhoom — A Promising Franchise That Gradually Died Due To Wrong Expectations
Dhoom was never about fast bikes or cool villains
Last weekend when I was on bed rest due to high fever and throat infection, I watched all three Dhoom movies. I repeat-watched the first two and watched the third part for the first time. I noticed certain patterns as the movie series progressed, that reduced the appeal of a potentially promising series.
What The Creators Should Have Avoided
- First is that the subsequent movies spent more time on the villain’s life or their backstory, so much so that the run-time of the movies kept on increasing, from the first part being about 2 hours long and the third one touching 3 hours run-time. On paper, this may have seemed like a smart move to make the stories more interesting and engaging but on screen, it translated to boredom. Hrithik’s powerful screen presence and charm could keep the audience hooked to the most useless scenes in the second movie, but Aamir’s performance failed to do that in the third movie. Hence, this over-investment of time and effort in the villain’s story only made the movies less bearable.
- Second is the rehash of the Jai-Ali scenes in every movie. Second and third movie introduces the duo in some fight scene at the beginning of the film, which was similar to a scene in the first movie in which the duo escapes a gang of goons in Mumbai’s chor bazaar. Watching it the first time wasn’t so bad, but every subsequent movie made that similar scene less tolerable.
- Third is shooting in foreign locations. The first movie was completely shot in Mumbai, the initial part of the second movie was shot in Mumbai, then in a few foreign countries but the third one was almost completely shot in London. This is usually not an issue but choosing a foreign location in your story tends to imply you’re trying too hard to make it look bigger and better, which need not be the case.
- Fourth is the unnecessary bike chase sequence towards the end of the second and third movies. The first movie introduced the craze for fast bikes among Indian audiences, yet this movie didn’t end with a bike chase because that didn’t make sense. But because the creators thought that Dhoom is about fast bikes, they forcefully added bike chase sequences. Removing those scenes wouldn’t have changed the quality of the movie, maybe it would have improved the experience.
This ensured that the audience's enthusiasm kept dwindling with every subsequent movie. It didn’t help that the third movie was released seven years after the second one, whereas the second one was released within two years of the first one. Due to such a long gap between the second and third movies, it seemed the production house forgot what the movies should have been about — the duo Jai-Ali, and how they trap the thief and catch him or her while they’re thieving.
What The Creators Should Have Focused On
- The creators established the chemistry between Jai and Ali very well in the first movie by showing how each has a different personality and how they rub off each other to create some entertaining moments. This was somewhat repeated in the second movie but became repetitive and cringy at times in the third movie. Had they kept their chemistry interesting, the series could have continued.
- ACP Jai Dixit has a set pattern, of either sending a mole into the thief’s life or creating a mole out of one of the thief’s most trusted allies. This is how he is able to catch the thief red-handed. While all the movies show this aspect properly, the excitement gets lost by the time this happens because the rest of the movie is stretched and not engaging enough to keep the interest level high. Had they stuck to their two-hour run-time and written a tighter screenplay, the second and especially the third movie could have been much more thrilling to watch.
Overall, the first two Dhoom movies are a decent watch, despite their glaring flaws. The third can and should be avoided, despite the creators trying to make it bigger and better. You can watch the first two movies on Amazon Prime.