Dus (2005)

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Dus (2005)
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Abhishek, Sunil & Shilpa Shetty, Esha Deol, Zayed Khan
Director: Anubhav Sinha
Music Director: Vishal-Shekhar
Nutshell: The Kick ass bombastic summer action movie genre arrives in Bollywood
Reviewed by: Faiz Khan

 

Dus bursts onto the screen with the Dus Bahane song, showing two of our heroes Abhishek and Zayed doing a Bond routine followed by a slew of black cars introducing us to the main characters making up the Anti terrorist cell being Siddhant Dheer (Dutt), Shasahank Dheer (Abhishek), Aditi (Shilpa Shetty) and Zayed Khan. The film then proceeds at breakneck speed with the Anti-terrorist team in action. Slowly but surely, you understand the dynamics of the team and uptil now, the film is a complete blast (pun not intended).

The plot centres around the anti-terrorist cell, trying to track down a terrorist that no one really knows although their intelligence sources has lead them to conclude that some catastrophic terrorist activity is going to take place on the 10th of May. We have a name…Jaamwal…and certainly no points for coming away with the feeling that we have a Kaiser Soyze clone on our hands. So two of the team, Bachchan and Zayed are dispatched to Canada to track down the dreaded Jaamwal where they encounter a desi Canadian cop Dan (Suneil Shetty) who joins hands with them and another “agent” Neha (Esha Deol). Kidnapping Himmat Mehndi (Pankaj Kapur), the foursome try to discover the identify and whereabouts of Jamwaal, whilst Siddhant Dheer deals with the kidnapping of his sister, which in turn leads to the discovery that there is a nigger in the woodpile as far as the Anti-terrorist cell is concerned.

Sadly, at this stage, we become laden with sub-plots, one potentially of Shashank and Neha and the other of Dan’s hapless wife. We don’t need these, neither the explanations for Dan’s angst, the death of his unborn child for which he feels responsible. All this merely slows the film down and deviates from a plot, which requires simplicity of narrative and not the convoluted mess that it actually ends up as.

Dus has a slick appeal and aspires to be like your Hollywood flicks but Bollywood still cannot carry off the kind of action, which is commonplace in Hollywood. The car chase with the two heroes in a car with a bomb generates no suspense and the comic antics of Zayed Khan hardly make you believe that this is anything but a comic interlude. Sure enough, the car explodes on a bridge in picturesque Canadian countryside. The thrill is simply not there. The convoluted climax is another which generates no thrills. Having said that, Dus does have enough juice in the first half to keep the engine running.

But the second half tends to drag and within the subplots and certainly one completely unnecessary song, the film threatens to run out of gas and stall way before it should have. It also means that the plot, which could have been interestingly put together, gets lost in a host of characters and you simply cannot keep up. Who is Asif? Who was Ashraf? The sequence of events gets fudged up with screen time being devoted to all the stars, thereby deviating from the plot itself. Style takes over content and the film makes no bones about the fact that it is intended to be a mindless blockbuster, where realism is shoved aside and slo mo, machine gunfire and Lara Croft style kicks and stunts rule the day.

Anubhav Sinha has shown himself to be an accomplished director by executing a slick and involving film. But the build up is more satisfying than the climax which is a complete let down. Twists keep coming and cleverly done but not properly capitalized on. The plot has serious craters for holes in the script but one is not looking for reasoning, or justification. You simply take the action for what it is. Chopping the film by 30 minutes would have infinitely improved it’s quality. One also feels that something more interesting than that appears on screen could have been achieved. The whiff of “the Usual Suspects” was always there…

Sanjay Dutt plays Siddhant Dheer, the patriarchal figure who lends strong support to his team. He strides high and mighty and is the mainstay of the film. Abhishek Bachchan has none of his previous gormlessness. Here stands an actor who is firmly stepping into the big league and who demands your attention. Sadly, his role is lost in the inept script but he still makes an impression. Sunil Shetty could really have been edited out of the film and it would have greatly benefited the film in its entirety. Shilpa is back to being plastered with make-up but gives a decent account of herself. Zayed Khan is simply irritating with his geeky smile and overindulgence on style. Esha Deol seems to have undone all the credit that she managed in Dhoom. She is simply frightening. Pankaj Kapoor carries off his role with customary ease.

The background music score is great and the songs by Vishal Shekhar already chartbusters. This all adds to the slickness of the product which could have been tremendous but ends up as being “fun” if nothing much else. As a film, it falls into the same genre as Kaante, but Kante was much more interesting.