Here’s Why ‘Dus’ Is Genuinely The Most Entertaining Bollywood Action Movie Ever Made
Uski aankho mein baatein. Baato mein jaadoo.
Bollywood mein do hi twist kamaal ke hai. Firstly, Kajol is the killer in Gupt. And secondly, Pankaj Kapoor was Jamwaal in Dus.
I was looking for movie-to-watch-while-eating, and Netflix reminded me that it has Dus now. While I do love watching a movie like a Citizen Kane or a Pyaasa occasionally, my childhood has always revolved around below-par Bollywood masala movies that focus on one thing only – entertainment.
Dus is a clear winner in this category of movies that are made to entertain the audiences.
The investigation of a plot to assassinate the Indian Prime Minister sends two Indian anti-terrorist experts (Abhishek Bachchan, Zayed Khan) to Calgary, Canada (God knows why they chose Calgary of all places; perhaps to cut production costs?) Along with a veteran agent on the case (Esha Deol) and a disturbed police officer (Suneil Shetty), they set out to track down one of the world´s most dangerous terrorists (Gulshan Grover). Eventually, they also enlist the help of one of the terrorists´ defected associates (Pankaj Kapur).
Meanwhile, other agents operating in India (Sanjay Dutt, Shilpa Shetty) work to uncover a conspiracy within the Indian government to conceal the identity of the terrorists. In the process, the agents discover that members of their own elite team may be working for the terrorists.
Nearly every sequence in Sinha’s film can be classified as inane, illogical, or typical; either the plot devices are entirely unnecessary, they don’t make sense, or they have been done to death before.
Would government agents really shack up in the private home of a seemingly psychotic police officer with an important witness in an international terrorist case?
Will professional agents take time out to flirt and develop a romantic engagement, as Abhishek and Esha’s characters do, during a major terrorist crisis?
Would these trained officers just let go the key witness in a criminal case (Pankaj Kapur) without taking an official statement?
But here’s the million dollar question – Do you really care about logic?
The film begins with the ultra-stylised Hey Now, Hey Now track, a catchy, music video introduction to the cast of the film. Abhishek preens self-indulgently, playing the camera with unbelievable gusto. Even as the others show up, making their calculatedly cool screen appearances, the stalls whistle the loudest for the small B. This man has arrived, and, as his assuredly wicked grin proves, he knows it.
Then come a fleet of Bentleys, and we see the men Sanjay, Suniel Shetty, Zayed Khan and Abhishek walk out, all in immaculate black suits, shades wrapped tightly around eyes. Reservoir Dus? But wasn’t that Kaante? Fear not, this isn’t. These dudes aren’t bank-robbers, they’re cops, albeit in designer gear.
The film looks good.
But Dus is different from any typical Bollywood action movie. It’s more John Woo than Ramu’s Factory, made with an eye to be nothing but cool. The script is secondary, the logic is redundant, and realism is anything but that. Dus is about nothing but attitude, and, to be fair, the film has quite a bit of that.
This song alone makes up for the absence of any sort of creative fidelity in Dus.
The brilliance of Dus can be gauged by the fact that they even managed to make Zayed Khan seem cool.
And now look at Suneil Shetty being his glorious self because he’s done sambhalo-ing his MMG.
The two major plot points of the movie revolve around the revelation that Esha Deol and Pankaj Kapoor’s characters weren’t who they had initially seemed to be. They were on the other side of the law.
I remember how these twists messed with my childhood. I think most of my trust issues that plague my adult life has stemmed from this movie. What a brilliant bit of writing!
And then this song is still a hit among the 90s kids.
Oh, and I guess it is also interesting to think about in terms of how adaptations work. There is a large smattering of 24 (the TV show) in here. And also a little bit of the Usual Suspects. Maybe there’s a lot of inspiration involved in this absolutely brilliant cinematic experience, but never forget that Abhishek Bachchan gave up his life to protect thousands of innocent civilians.
This movie shall always have a special place in our hearts. Bina bahane karke hi yeh movie hamara dil le gayi!
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