How do I say this without offending Aamir worshippers? You know what, there is no way to say it politically correctly, so I will just let it all out.
Aamir Khan single-handedly casts a shadow of deadly doom on the third installment of the Dhoom franchise. Hrithik Roshan and even John Abraham were much better and believable as dare-devil thieves in the previous installments. They embodied the physicality and they projected the “I don’t give a fuck about anything/anyone, coz I am so fucking cool” attitude with subtlety. What Aamir does is, he widens his eyes and wears a scowl which is quite embarrassingly funny (see picture above) – the kind of funny, where you don’t so much as laugh at him, but pity him. He hits all the wrong notes in this performance. And yes, I know this is not the type of cinema where you go looking for the textbook “performance”. But that does not discount the fact that you still need to bring a credibility to your performance, so that the outlandishness of the proceedings become palatable – and this is no mean task. After seeing Aamir’s performance, I have new found respect for Hrithik and John. They prove that “cool” cannot be acted, it needs to be embodied. Aamir does what Aishwarya’s “Sunehri” did in Dhoom 2 – try too hard to “act” all kinds of cool, and fuck it up.
We just do not buy Aamir as a thief/robber, and while a large part of it is because of his ham-handed approach to his role, another responsible factor is the script. The biggest flaw being: there is not one scene where we see how he pulls off the heists. All we are given is, him fleeing the scene after the heist. We are just supposed to believe it and run with the idea that he just did it. It’s like the writers were too busy writing some of the most retarded dialogues (see below), that they had no time to think and write a heist in a “heist” movie:
“Banker: Do we know who did this?
Abhishek: No, all we know is, it’s a thief!”
I got the chills, I tell you!
Instead, a lot of time is spent on the chase sequences which get painfully mundane after a while with the overdoses of extreme sl0-mos and more scowling. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind these elaborately staged sequences, had there been any sense of danger or urgency in any of these scenes OR if I could care that “I want X to escape or I want to Y to catch X”. None of that, you just don’t give a fuck what happens at the end of these chases. All these chase scenes accomplish is that they show you fast shiny modes of transports doing some loopy shit, and then demand that you forget about everything else, as if to underscore the statement from the makers – “look we spent millions on this junk, how dare you question anything?”. So let us cut to another scowl in another extreme slo-mo.
I am not even going to talk about the other absurdities that are presented to us – and I am quite aware that this genre is laid on a foundation of absurdity. But there is a fun kind of “absurdity” (see Johnny Gaddar, Ocean’s Eleven, Dhoom 1) and then there is a mentally retarded kind of “absurdity” – and Dhoom 3 is the latter.
So is there anything that’s good about Dhoom 3? Yes – Katrina Kaif. Katrina’s character seems to be the only one having some fun here. She has, maybe, all of 18 minutes of screen time from the 172 agonizing minutes, but when she is on the screen – she owns every pixel of it. Watch her in the Kamli song sequence, she is infernal. Another character who is not taking this whole circus seriously is Uday Chopra’s Ali, who I surprisingly did not mind much, but that’s probably because both Aamir and Abhishek were in a “who can shit on this thing the most?” competition. (In case you want to know – Aamir wins by piles and piles).
Now can someone make a real action movie with Hrithik and Katrina please? Just to show them how it’s done.