Tag Archives: Uday Chopra

Movie Review: Dhoom 3 (2013)

Dhoom_3_Film_Poster3 Stars (out of 4)

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There’s something liberating about a movie that makes it clear that it’s not supposed to be taken seriously. When concepts like physics and geography are chucked out the window with abandon, the audience has no choice but to accept the world as presented and go with it. Dhoom 3 is just such a movie: ridiculous and thoroughly enjoyable.

Dhoom 3 finds Mumbai police officers Jai (Abhishek Bachchan) and Ali (Uday Chopra) in Chicago to assist the police investigation of a bank robber who leaves messages in Hindi at every crime scene. Apparently, there are no CCTV cameras in the city, because the local police are unable to identify the brazen perpetrator: Sahir (Aamir Khan), a magician with a grudge against the bank.

Jai spearheads the investigation because Ali is too infatuated with their lovely local police contact, Victoria (Tabrett Brethell), to concentrate. Victoria’s only real purpose in the movie is to appear in funny dream sequences in which Ali seduces her while surrounded by their four imaginary future children.

During the course of the investigation, Sahir revives his father’s Great Indian Circus, a stage show featuring dancers, acrobats, and magicians. His star performer is Aaliya (Katrina Kaif), whom we know is supposed to be a free spirit because of her penchant for wearing floppy hats and overalls. Like Victoria, Aaliya has little to do apart from looking sexy during performances.

The movie’s action-packed first half features a couple of great-looking chase scenes through downtown Chicago, including a race along the Chicago River that sees the return of the submersible jet ski from Dhoom 2 (physics, be damned)! The second half becomes a personal drama that reveals how Sahir has been able to pull off his heists, that — as tonally incongruous as it is — still works because Aamir Khan is so darned talented.

Because I live about thirty miles from Chicago, I’ve really been looking forward to Dhoom 3. Evidently, so had everyone else in the theater, because everyone let out a cheer when “Chicago 1990” appeared on screen at the start of the film. As a local, here’s what stood out to me:

  • Dhoom 3‘s sense of geography is hilarious. I pity the poor tourist who comes to flat Chicago expecting to see the mountains Jai stares at out of his lakefront penthouse window. Also, good luck trying to make the motorcycle ride from Chicago to the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland.
  • One place that likely will see an uptick in movie-related tourism is Six Flags Great America. Not only are a number of scenes shot there, but the characters discuss the merits of its various roller coasters by name.
  • The movie is full of product placement — Mountain Dew, BMW, etc. — but there’s one corporation that apparently wouldn’t sign off on appearing in the movie: Dunkin’ Donuts. Their stores are EVERYWHERE in downtown Chicago, but you never see any on screen, a feat that seems impossible to accomplish by accident.
  • The accents of all the Chicago characters are whack. This is a Chicago accent.

Minor quibbles aside, Dhoom 3 did right by Chicago. Near the end of the film is a shot of what I think is the single most beautiful sight in the world: the city of Chicago at night. I hope the movie entices a few extra people to come visit us here in the Windy City. If nothing else, Dhoom 3 is a goofy, fun way to spend three hours in the theater.


Movie Review: Pyaar Impossible (2010)

1 Star (out of 4)

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Pyaar Impossible undermines its titular impossible love story with shallow characters.

Abhay (Uday Chopra) is a geeky software developer who still carries a torch for his college classmate, Alisha (Priyanka Chopra, no relation to Uday). He’s swindled out of a program he developed by a con man named “Sidhu,” played by Dino Morea, an actor unrivaled in his ability to grow a villainous mustache. The conman, whose real name is Varun, sells the program to Pinnacle Corporation.

Abhay sets up a meeting with Pinnacle’s PR officer in an attempt to get his program back and, wouldn’t you know, Alisha is the PR officer. Well, actually you wouldn’t, given Alisha’s wildly inappropriate office attire. Short shorts and a cleavage-baring top at work? Really?

After chickening out of the meeting, Abhay goes to confront Alisha at her home. Alisha mistakes him for the new nanny come to shepherd her demonic 6-year-old daughter, Tania. Abhay hides his true reason for coming over and agrees to serve as nanny.

They reach this unrealistic agreement using one of my least favorite movie conventions: Alisha won’t stop talking, so Abhay just goes along with whatever she says. With a simple, “Stop. That’s not why I’m here,” Abhay could’ve changed the entire trajectory of the film.

Pyaar Impossible proceeds to borrow liberally from any number of movies involving ill-equipped men caring for unruly children, including but not limited to the Hindi movie Thoda Pyaar, Thoda Magic and Hollywood films like The Pacifier, The Game Plan and all the Problem Child movies.

Little Tania lies somewhere between the kid from Problem Child and Damien from The Omen in terms of juvenile wilfulness. She delights in humiliating people, calling Abhay either “Froggy Four-Eyes” or “Stupid” and one of her grade-school classmates “Fatso”. This name-calling goes largely uncorrected by Abhay and Alisha, thereby undermining the movie’s argument that love is about more than looks.

The child’s use as a failed comedic plot device lies at the heart of Pyaar Impossible‘s problem: poorly developed characters. Alisha is hopelessly self-centered, treating Abhay like a eunuch servant without ever considering that he might find her attractive, let alone be a suitable romantic partner for her. Given those huge character flaws, the only reason Abhay could be so in love with Alisha is because she’s beautiful, which, again, undermines the message of the movie.

Abhay professes to want Alisha to fall in love with him because of who he is, and not because of his devotion to her, but there’s nothing to Abhay apart from his devotion to her. A romance between Alisha and Abhay isn’t inspirational, just the next logical step for a self-absorbed woman and the doormat who loves her.

Opening January 8: Dulha Mil Gaya and Pyaar Impossible

Love abounds this Friday as two new, romantic Hindi movies open in the Chicago area. First is Dulha Mil Gaya, listed at some theaters under its English title, I Found a Groom. The film interweaves the stories of four characters, all with different takes on love. Shahrukh Khan features in approximately 50 minutes of Dulha Mil Gaya‘s 1 hr. 48 min. official runtime.

This weekend’s other new release is Pyaar Impossible, an unlikely love story about a beauty and a geek starring Priyanka Chopra and Uday Chopra (who also wrote and produced the film). It has an official runtime of 2 hrs. 20 min.

Both Dulha Mil Gaya and Pyaar Impossible open on Friday, January 8 at the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville.

After earning nearly $5 million during its first two weeks in U.S. theaters, 3 Idiots is sticking around for a third week at the South Barrington 30, Cantera 30, AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago, AMC Randhurst 16 in Mount Prospect, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and Cinemark Tinseltown USA in North Aurora.