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Dhum

YOU JUST have to get the formula and the proportion right to keep the cash box tingling. And Rockline Productions has done exactly that with "Dhum".

Without doubt, "Dhum", is too powerful and action packed for the young hero Simbhu. But he shoulders it with élan. On the lines of Vikram hits "Dhil" and "Dhool", "Dhum" is non-stop action all the way. Incidentally, the Telugu and Kannada versions, were super hits.

For a hero, identifying himself with the masses, and with the underdog is a sure way to success. From MGR to Rajinikanth and Vikram now to a certain extent, this target audience has never let them down. Simbhu, very cleverly, has begun to toe the line with "Dhum". But he should refrain from imitating Rajinikanth, which becomes too obvious at times. The sooner he realises that being a mere clone would not always work, the better for him. In a story where action is king and plausibility finds little place, one cannot expect logic. And the scenes move with such speed that one hardly has the time to think. Pace is "Dhum's" strength.

Sathya (Simbhu) is notorious in college. He makes his own rules and passes judgment. He falls in love with Suchitra (Rakshita), the daughter of Police Commissioner Tilak (Ashish Vidyarthi). The hero is reckless and the Commissioner ruthless. They cross swords once too often, but eventually as is the unwritten rule, the hero wins.

Rakshita, the new heroine, may be a lucky mascot, but her plumpness bordering on obesity is surely a dampener. Its too easy a role for Ashish Vidyarthi — in film after film you see him essaying the same kind of villainy. At least here, like in "Dhil" he is clad in police uniform. Thankfully the garish wigs and make up he sometimes sports are not to be seen in "Dhum". But one actor who makes an impact with his underplayed portrayal and telling emotions is `Delhi' Ganesh — he is Chokkalingam, the father of the hero. Livingston with his monkey-cap obsession provides a hilarious comedy track. Radharavi's dignified appearance is another plus.

Making a marked deviation from the norm, the hero of "Dhum" remains unaffected by sentiment. So Simbhu's character is devoid of melodrama. A welcome change in the mindset of our heroes.

Deva's "Chanakya" song haunts one while the others hardly make an impression.

A. Venkatesh's screenplay and direction leave no room for lull or lacuna at any point.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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