Like heavenly hash-flavored bubblegum, Dhoom 2 is the closest thing to a perfect box-office storm—it stuck to every marquee it touched. Banking on a megastar cast, this sequel to Yash Raj’s 2004 hit Dhoom turned into the biggest Hindi box-office hit of 2006. Slick, skimpy on the thread count, and oh-so-exotically executed, the always-revving Dhoom 2 is a pure adrenaline-powered joyride. Gadhvi and company extrapolate a paper-thin plot to gargantuan proportions. Mr. A (Roshan, as in A-for-washboard-Abs), is a mysterious, gadget-, trigger-, and parachute- happy international crook everyone wants to nab. Hot on Mr. A’s trail is the suave Inspector Dixit (Bachchan, carefree in loud tropical shirts), along with his newly deputized bumbling sidekick Ali (Chopra, buffed and funny). On yet another against-all-odds jewelry heist, Mr. A finds competition in the form of feline-footed female thief Sunehri (Rai, luscious, and screen-time challenged) who ignites a tug between Mr. A and Dixit. Even though the film opened to mixed reviews, the popular response was overwhelming. Roshan’s latest two releases have even outdone similar-themed big-budget Hollywood movies in India. Krrish out-muscled Superman Returns while Dhoom 2 out-smarted Casino Royale. Headlined by Sunidhi Chauvhan’s “crazy kiya re” dance number, the film’s better-than-average soundtrack became as ubiquitous as ATM’s during the Divali season. Breaking several box-office records (biggest opening week, highest unadjusted gross in Hindi cinema history, highest number of prints released (1200)) and attaining many firsts (first Hindi film staged in Brazil, first Hindi score to come out on pristine-quality DVD audio, first Yash Raj score available for download at iTunes), Yash Raj Films got everything right about marketing what is, after the highly profitable Munnabhai series, only the second successful big-banner Hindi franchise. Dhoom on!
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Globe trekker, aesthete, photographer, ski bum, film buff, and commentator Aniruddh Chawda writes from Milwaukee.