Eros International and Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.’s Dishoom (UA) is an action thriller.
Ace Indian cricketer Viraj Sharma (Saqib Saleem) is missing and there are only two days left for the final match between India and Pakistan, being played in a country in the Middle East. Viraj has been in exceptional form and it is quite a possibility that he will make India win the final match. But the news of Viraj missing spreads panic all around, and those in positions of power ensure that the missing news is not leaked. The external affairs minister of India (Mona Ambegaonkar) gets into action and sends Kabir Shergill (John Abraham), a no-nonsense Special Task Force police officer from India to trace Viraj. Kabir picks up Junaid (Varun Dhawan), a lowly and seemingly good-for-nothing local police officer in the Middle East, to be his aide. Junaid, an Indian by birth, has done nothing worthwhile in his life and has not succeeded in even finding a lost dog, Bradman.
It soon emerges that Viraj has been kidnapped by Wagah (Akshaye Khanna), who is into big-time cricket betting. Having lost hundreds of crores of rupees in betting, Wagah threatens Viraj to agree to his proposal – to lose the India-Pakistan final match, so that he can bet heavily on the rigged match and wipe out all his losses in one shot. Viraj is reluctant to oblige and so, Wagah threatens to kill him and his family in India.
The only lead Kabir has, when he begins investigations, is a video clip of a person claiming to be a fan (Faisal Rashid). The fan claims to be holding Viraj (seated in the video, with a mask covering his face) captive. Kabir and Junaid get going and soon catch hold of Ishika (Jacqueline Fernandez) who leads them to Altaf (Rahul Dev), the man who had abducted Viraj from a party. But who was Altaf working for? Before Kabir and Junaid can get to know anything else, Altaf is murdered.
Do Kabir and Junaid trace Wagah? Are they able to reach Viraj Sharma? Do they succeed in saving Viraj’s life? Does the ace Indian cricketer play the final match?
Rohit Dhawan and Tushar Hiranandani have written a story that engages the viewers right from the word ‘go’. The story may not boast of novelty but it has so many twists and turns and so many interesting characters (played by well-known actors) that it doesn’t give the audience time to think. The first half is light-hearted and has a lot of humour. The duo’s screenplay is pretty engaging and extremely fast-paced. Yes, several cinematic liberties have been taken, which make everything appear so simple for Kabir and Junaid to achieve! But in an action-driven thriller, one doesn’t mind such liberties provided one doesn’t get time to think – and that’s what this drama does, it simply does not give the audiences any chance to let their minds wander. Overall, there is action, comedy, drama, a hint of romance, chase and music – all ingredients to cater to masses, families and classes. Emotions may be lacking but that’s not a major roadblock. Another good point of the screenplay is the manner in which some interesting stand-alone tracks have been incorporated in the drama like, for instance, the track of Sameer Gazi (Akshay Kumar), the track of Khabri Chacha (Vijay Raaz), the track of Qureshi (Satish Kaushik; only voice), the track of Samaira (Nargis Fakhri) and the track of Muskaan (Parineeti Chopra). These are excellent add-ons.
Hussain Dalal’s dialogues are a major asset; the funny ones evoke laughter while the others, too, have the desired impact.
John Abraham plays Kabir Shergill with conviction. As the serious and no-nonsense police officer, he does a truly fine job. Varun Dhawan is endearing as his flamboyant partner. He is natural as ever and makes a comfortable place for himself in the hearts of the viewers. The chemistry between John and Varun is appealing. Jacqueline Fernandez is rather cute and makes a nice mark as Ishika. She looks pretty, acts well and dances gracefully. Akshaye Khanna leaves a good impression with his fine acting in the role of Wagah. Saqib Saleem lends good support as cricketer Viraj Sharma. Akshay Kumar brings the house down with laughter as Sameer. He is simply fantastic and will be a major discussion point among the audience. It would not be incorrect to say that he is a major highlight. Rahul Dev has his moments as Altaf. Vijay Raaz makes his presence felt as Khabri Chacha. Mona Ambegaonkar is lovely as the external affairs minister of India. As Qureshi, Satish Kaushik’s track as well as voice-acting are first-rate. Nargis Fakhri adds plenty of glamour and oomph in a guest appearance. Parineeti Chopra looks sexy and dances very gracefully in a guest appearance. Tarun Khanna (as Saeed Naqvi) and Mansoor (as Captain) are lovely. Digvijay Purohit (as the head physiotherapist of the Indian cricket team), Mohinder Amarnath (as the team coach), Faisal Rashid (as the fan), Sahil Phul (in the role of Kabir Shergill’s friend, Vishal Sinha), Anupriya Goenka (as Kabir’s girlfriend, Alishka Iyer), Deepna Kumar (as the birthday girl), Kashyap Kapoor (as the sketch artist), Jatin Gaur (as Rashid), Aamir Yaseen (as Hussain), Akash Dhar (as Wagah’s assistant), Ashu Sharma (as Kamleshbhai), Rashmi Nigam (as Wagah’s wife), Valeria (as the lady at the airport counter), master Tirth (as the kid-fan of Viraj Sharma), Pommie Mbangwa, Aakash Chopra, Ramiz Raja and Atul Waswani (all four as cricket commentators), Pawan Chopra (as BCCI president), Mushtak Kak (as the owner of the supermarket) and the others provide very good support.
Rohit Dhawan’s direction is lovely. For one, he has adopted a narrative style that is fast-paced and that suits an action-packed thriller. Secondly, his casting is very nice and he has extracted fine performances from his actors. Pritam’s music is a plus point. ‘Sau tarah ke’ is a very mass-appealing song. The other two songs are also good. Lyrics (by Mayur Puri and Kumaar) befit the drama and the mood of the film. Song picturisations (by Ahmed Khan and Bosco Martis) are eye-filling. Abhijit Vaghani’s background music is first-rate. The ‘Sau tarah ke’ tune playing in the background repeatedly is a fine stroke. Ayananka Bose’s camerawork is splendid and so are the heavenly locations and interiors. Action scenes, choreographed by Allan Amin and Stefan Richter, are stylish and sometimes, even breathtaking. Sukant Panigrahy’s production designing deserves special mention. Ritesh Soni’s editing is razor-sharp.
On the whole, Dishoom will emerge victorious at the box-office. The entertainer will keep its producers, distributors and exhibitors happy. A little less than 50% of the total investment in the film (Rs. 65 crore approximately) by Eros International (worldwide distributors) has already been recovered from sale of satellite rights (the revenue from sale of audio rights has gone to Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.). Recovery of the balance from India and Overseas theatrical revenues and from sale of digital rights is not at all a tall order, given that the film has a lot of masala for all classes of audience and for all age groups.