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1 May

DMD: Smoking up a storm!

Dum Maaro Dum looks into drug-hit Goa

 Exactly thirty years after Zeenat Aman created a cult with the original song, the newly released Dum Maaro Dum movie opens in rave-ridden tourist destination Goa that has been severely hit by the drug trade. Pockets of peddlers (Nigerian, Israeli, Russian and French) are powered by Lorsa Biscuita (Aditya Pancholi) who has a finger in every corporate pie in the book. The identity of powerful drug baron – Michael Barbossa – remains a mystery till the very end though the thrilling tone of the film leads you into suspecting the most unsuspicious bystanders.

The Chief Minister of Goa appoints ACP Vishnu Kamath (Abhishek Bachcan) to combat the growing plague that has taken Kamath’s family as well as young Goans Lori (Prateik Babbar), Zoe (Bipasha Basu), Ricky (Gulshan Devaiah) and even Joki (Rana Dagubatti) in its stride. He begins the manhunt for Barbossa, and through twists and turns we are led to wonder whether Barbossa is a man, a woman or a metaphorical figment of the imagination.

Barbossa may or may not exist, but the drugs, sex and violence in this film make it well worthy of the Adult rating it is qualified for. Where intimacy of any kind was once modestly taken behind a pair of umbrellas or flowers in full bloom, the new Indian film has taken an obsession with sex, which also liberally punctuates DMD. Similarly the gut wrenching, throat slitting and blood dripping violence that was always limited to a noisy innuendo gets new status in films like DMD. Director Rohan Sippy goes all out to ensure nothing is left to the imagination.

To most of the children in the cinema hall (note that children were allowed despite the Adult rating on the film), the climax of the film was a scene in the prison interrogation cell where a red chilly dipped gun is pushed into a drug peddler’s privates as ‘confessional’ torture.

Fortunately, the characters in this film make up for it’s graphic violence; they are a splendid shade of grey instead of being divided by the usual boredom of black and white equating to villain and hero respectively. ACP Kamath is a devoted policeman and a loving husband but he has no qualms taking millions in bribe to keep his family a little more than comfortable. Zoe is madly in love with the serenading musician Joki but she’s a little more in love with her career. And Lori, the weepy wimpy adolescent appears too frail to say boo to a mouse but agrees to be ‘carrier’ for a day in order to get to university and his girlfriend in the States.

Director Rohan Sippy’s friendship with Abhishek Bachchan calls the casting shots and hence the role that could have been tailor made for him. Sippy’s previous two films (Kuch Naa Kaho and Bluffmaster) also featured the Junior Bachchan and one feels he walked out of them into DMD. There is nothing extraordinarily brilliant about Abhishek’s performance, especially since the role is so carefully crafted to suit him and not the other way round.

This is Prateik Babbar’s year and though the actor son of Smita Patel and Raj Babbar made his acclaimed debut in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, his roles in Dhobi Ghat and now DMD is putting him out as hot property. He runs the risk of being stereotyped as a dark, brooding soul but it’s too soon to label. Bipasha plays a glamorous, sexy role that comes easy to her and in case you haven’t already figured it out, Deepika Padukone makes just an appearance for the Dum Maaro Dum item song.

All in all, DMD is racy and thrilling as long as children are kept out of the picture house. The ending serves you the unexpected, which is rare for a Bollywood flick, and you walk out quite well entertained.

Ten things your children will learn at Dum Maaro Dum

1. People go to Goa to smoke up.

2. What ‘smoking up’ really means.

3. The difference between heroin, cocaine, LSD, Ecstasy, Weed and how you have to pop one, snort the other and inject the third. Such essential education.

4. How to slit a suitcase and smuggle cocaine through airport security.

5. The coolest guy always gets the girl.

6. The hottest girl always gets the job.

7. The illegal jobs will get you the most money.

8. How easy it is to forge a degree.

9. How difficult it is to find an honest policeman.

10. And finally, how easy it is for an eight year old to walk into a cinema for a movie that is rated A or 18!

The Haute Team