The first question that crosses your mind after having watched BOOM is, for whom has Kaizad Gustad made this film?
Is it for the Indian audience -- the upper strata, the commoners, the hoi polloi? Or is it targetted at the international audience?
Frankly, the kind of film BOOM is, it has precious little to offer to the desis or videshis. It has body, but no soul. It's very high on hype, but very low on substance!
BOOM revolves around three sexy supermodels, Anu [Madhu Sapre], Sheila [Padma Lakshmi] and Rina [Katrina Kaif], who belong to the international world of fashion. They are the best in their field.
A prestigious fashion show, set against the spectacular backdrop of the Gateway of India, goes horribly wrong. Anu trips on the ramp, much to her public embarrassment and along with her two model friends, Sheila and Rina, she even picks up a fight with another model on the ramp itself.
In the ensuing scuffle, this model's hair opens up and hundreds of glittering stolen diamonds, which were due to be smuggled out of the country, fall on the ramp, only to be snatched by the paparazzi and celebrities alike.
The diamonds were stolen by Abdul's [Jackie Shroff] men and were due to be smuggled to Dubai the night of the fashion show. In Dubai, they were to be handed over to his elder brothers in the syndicate.
Saleem [Gulshan Grover] is the go-between, the middle brother; he handles the business side of their underworld operations, answering to Bade Mia [Amitabh Bachchan], the kingpin, the father-figure and the most notorious gangster on India's 'Most Wanted' list.
And Bade Mia wants the diamonds back, come what may!
The drama builds upï¿½ The stolen diamonds are priceless antiques and have to be recovered by the gangsters from Anu, Sheila and Rina, as the gangsters hold them responsible for their disappearance.
Will the three gangsters outwit the three models or will the models use their myriad charms to get away?
An interesting plot could've been narrated in a distinct style, like Kaizad Gustad had done in his previous film BOMBAY BOYS. But, strangely, Gustad's style is abstract this time around, which fails to catch the viewer's fancy.
The film starts off pretty well -- the scuffle on the ramp, with diamonds falling all over -- but the introduction of the characters [Jaaved Jaaferi, Jackie Shroff] subsequently throw a spanner in the narrative.
You expect the film to gather momentum once the focus shifts to Bachchan, Gulshan Grover and Zeenat Aman in Dubai. But things don't perk up.
The director, who has been credited with its scripting, projects the underworld in a different light this time. He doesn't follow the realistic route adopted by Ram Gopal Varma [SATYA, COMPANY], Mahesh Manjrekar [VAASTAV, HATHYAAR], Vidhu Vinod Chopra [PARINDA] and Hansal Mehta [CHHAL]. Instead, the bhais in this film are complete weirdos, who behave like buffoons. Nothing wrong with that, but the screenplay is devoid of moments that would keep the audience thirsting for more.
Qualitatively, the film has the works -- an ensemble star cast, stunning locales, sparkling cinematographyï¿½ but Gustad ought to remember that a moviegoer wants a riveting story to keep you glued for the next two hours, more than anything else.
Although Gustad had exhibited flashes of brilliance in his previous flick BOMBAY BOYS, he seems to have gone completely haywire this time around. There was just no need for so much crudity, vulgarity and skin show in the film. In fact, that would put off the Indian hoi polloi, for it wouldn't gel with Indian sensibilities.
On the flip side, Gustad has focussed more on making a glossy product. The lighting, at times, gives an international feel. Also, the film is visually striking, plus the sound quality is top notch and the background score effective.
Strangely, the performances are not what you expect from an enterprise like this. One wonders what Bachchan -- with his stature and calibre -- found for in a script like this for giving his consent to an insipid role. The veteran has a substantial role [unlike the feeling that he's hardly there!], but the length of any character has nothing to do with the scope to exhibit histrionics. The director has wasted the veteran in a role that could've been essayed by just about anyone.
Zeenat Aman makes a comeback on the silver screen after a hiatus, but in her case too, the script offers nothing but to deliver a few lines monotonously or break into a bizarre jig on the don's table [!!!].
Jackie Shroff has his moments; his sequences with the models are alright. Gulshan Grover is passable. Jaaved Jaaferi plays to the gallery, but there was no need for the director to make him behave so cheaply, so very pedestrian. Some of his mannerisms are in absolute bad taste and makes the film unwatchable with families.
Amongst the models, Madhu Sapre is better of the lot. Katrina Kaif is pure teakwood. Padma Lakshmi also carries one expression throughout. Seema Biswas is fair. Bo Derek is wasted.
Ace designers Tarun Tahiliani, Wendell Rodricks and Rohit Bal should stick to what they are best at -- dress designing. They make lousy actors!
On the whole, BOOM is all hype, no gas. At the box-office, the film has tremendous curiosity value, but that's about it! The film has taken a flying start at the ticket window, but it just doesn't have the sustaining power to hold on the interest after the initial craze subsides. Below average.