4 Very Good

Dum Maaro Dum

Under its tranquil sands, warm waters, vivacious party scene and the susegaad attitude, Goa hides its atrocious face that is smeared with rave parties, drugs, sex and scandals. In desperate times, some ambitious Goans fall victim to the malicious schemes that bring easy money but at life's irreplaceable cost. While the innocent fall prey to the Goan mafia, one man seeks to overturn this nexus and clean up the state of its misplaced virtues. Aided by some 'Untouchable' men from the Police force, ACP Vishnu Kamath heads the relentless hunt for the narcotics kingpins of Goa.

Lorry (Prateik Babbar) aspires to join his girlfriend in pursuit of further studies abroad but the denial of his financial aid, leads him to a local narcotics dealer who promises a career as long as he can be their carrier (of drugs). Greed, desperation and the lure of easy money are enough to convince Lorry and soon, he falls prey to the inescapable circle of crime.
He is soon sent to juvenile prison, courtesy of Kamath's astute raid at the airport where DJ Joki (Rana Daggubati) assures Kamath of Lorry's innocence but to no avail.
Joki's girlfriend from yesteryears, Zoe (Bipasha Basu) had a similar fate when her ambition to become an air-hostess turned fowl and her ticket to freedom from a lengthy jail term was to switch loyalties to Lorsa Biscuta (Aditya Pancholi), the evil kingpin in this entire game.

Kamath performs raid after raid in the background of a random rap song and gets ever closer to Biscuta's operations. But beyond this Kingpin is a secretive Lord to whom the mafia turns to in critical times. Who is this Michael Barbossa and what key does he hold to Goa's narcotics crime? Can Joki prove Lorry's innocence to Kamath? Will Zoe break her bonds from Biscuta? Will Vishnu Kamath rid Goa off its poison?
On the faces of the multi-dimensional characters who have a marked presence of drugs in their lives, there is a glimmer of hope that life will change for the better. Vishnu Kamath and the drug lords will decide what its price will be.....

The engaging narrative is the effect of Sridhar Raghavan's ('Family', 'Bluffmaster', 'Apharan' & 'Khakee') scrupulous writing and Rohan Sippy's slick and crafty film making. A simple Cop v/s Drug peddler story is treated with stylish cinematography, seamless editing techniques, brutal action, convoluted screenplay and adroit direction. Rohan Sippy does not shy away from portraying sex, drug abuse, violence and awkward relationships with liberal profanity. Bandarkar meets RGV meets Sanjay Gupta. The combined effect of it all makes Goa look real and sizzling.

Bipasha Basu looks sensational in almost every scene. Somehow, even in a prison cell. We shouldn't mind getting used to seeing her play serious characters after 'Lamhaa' and DMD. Prateik Babbar looks and sounds innocent throughout and instantly commands sympathy while Aditya Pancholi's presence would inspire indifferent reactions. Perhaps such a shrewd character would better suit the likes of Mahesh Manjrekar, Boman Irani, Irfan Khan or even a negative Sanjay Dutt?
Rana Daggubati is the film's highlight reel of performances with his susegaad lifestyle causing the bane of his loved ones. Yet, he portrays a reserved determination to make things right by aiding Vishnu Kamath's operation. Abhishek Bachchan has his best film since 'Sarkar Raaj' and clearly, playing the no nonsense cop is better suited to him than being at the other end sometimes as Beera. Playing Vishnu, whose past screams of the horrors of drug use, his unsettled state can only find solace in the eradication of the poison that is absorbed in Goa. The junior Bachchan does not let go of such meaty roles that come his way where his prowess being an angry young man comes naturally on screen.

Pritam's music has melodious shades with Te Amo and Kyun Jiye which are brought to life by Rana's on screen romance with the gorgeous Bipasha. The super-hit Mit Jaaye Gum rocks with a scantily clad Deepika and is well suited to the situation.

For its witty dialogues, fluid camera work, slick editing, intriguing mystery and stylized direction, Dum Maaro Dum does have Dum in it to provide some different kind of entertainment. Its flaws however, include mildly resonating characters, a Cop-Crime story that is almost overdone and some overly experimental touches such as the rap song in a shoot-out. Yet, it is definitely a worthy watch in the theater for its stylized narration of an 80's theme if not for any moralistic value. The thrill in its succinct length will, at the very least, take you out of your Susegaad of recent films.

7.999 on a scale of 1-10.