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DUS. Director: Anubhav Sinha. Players: Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty, Abhishek Bachchan, Zayed Khan. Music: Vishal & Shekhar. 2005. DVD (Spark).

In the refined hi-tech thriller tradition of Kaante (2003), Dus gets many things right. In the post-9/11 world, terrorists don’t always have easy-to-find physical addresses and the bad guys don’t limit their mayhem to any one country. Spinning an international Indian-Canadian conspiracy as well as some nifty edge-of-the-popcorn-bag thrills, Dus proves there is still room for intelligent race-against-time crime capers.

Staged mostly in Canada, the action starts with the arrival in Canada of two Indian commandos (Bachchan, Khan) from a SWAT-type anti-terrorist squad to question a jailed terror suspect. The suspect may, or may not, hold the key to a massive terrorist attack scheduled within the titular 10-day window. The task of solving the riddle before disaster strikes falls to the commandos and their leader (Dutt) in a charged battle of wit and force.

Look for The Usual Suspects-like unexpected turns, Dhoom–style high-speed chases (the quantum speed motorbikes here are replaced by slightly slower Ford Tauruses!), Zayed Khan pulling off arrogant one-lines with the same audacity as John Abraham in muscle Ts would.

What Panchhi Jalonvi’s lyrics lack in depth is more than overcome by some catchy tunes devised by Vishal & Shekhar. The guitar riff on the KK-Shaan fire-breathing title track will surely be to 2005 what the opening note on the Dhoom soundtrack was to 2004—ubiquitous and sharp-clawed.

After being blinded by desert sand in my eyes and nearly traumatized while enduring the colossal implosion of Amol Palekar-Shah Rukh Khan’s Paheli (what the dickens were they thinking?), I was ready to give up Hindi movies for a whole month. Dus proved to be the antidote that brought me back with proof that Paheli happens but life goes on.

—Aniruddh Chawda

Aniruddh C.

Globe trekker, aesthete, photographer, ski bum, film buff, and commentator, Aniruddh Chawda writes from Milwaukee.