DUPE (verb): to deceive someone; (synonyms): cheat, trick, con, hoodwink, swindle.
First thing first. It is difficult to remember being this overwhelmingly cheated by any cinematic enterprise in the twenty-something years of my affair with the movies. BOOM is as shameless an exhibition of the sheer paucity of filmmaking ideas as it is of the brazen laundering of talent and filmmaking resources. Mr. Gustad, if you did have 18 crore rupees as pocket money from the Hindujas and their ilk, this is what you should have done (in no particular order, so you have some flexibility):
Positioned as a â€˜dark comedyâ€™ that links Mumbaiâ€™s glitzy fashion world with Dubaiâ€™s menacing underworld, BOOM generated soaring expectations among the audience and perhaps even filmmakers in Mumbaiâ€™s clichÃ©-ridden film industry. What I am most curious about, however, is Mr. Gustadâ€™s expectations from this appalling venture. He surely must have had some grandiose illusions. Did he think he was Indiaâ€™s answer to Quentin Tarantino? Or that he was single-handedly creating a sexual revolution in Indian cinema? Or perhaps that he was showcasing Indian cinema in the international arena? Whatever it was that he was expecting, BOOM only propels his illusions towards an inevitable crash-landing.
Hereâ€™s the plot for those who are still interested in knowing the gory details. A powerful underworld operation smuggles diamonds across countries, abetted by fashion models. In a catwalk-turned-catfight between two models, 30 antique diamonds are spilled from a modelâ€™s hair during a fashion show, to be lapped up by all and sundry. While the model who spills them goes underground, the model whose fight unwittingly foiled the plan, Anu Gaikwad (a tired looking, over-her-prime Madhu Sapre), and her two fashion model roomates Sheila Bardez (saucy-looking but non-talented Padma Lakshmi) and Rina Kaif (debutante dumb-belle Katrina Kaif) get caught in the web of the dons who were supposed to get the diamonds. The dons have a well-established hierarchy: Chote Mia (coke snorting Jackie Shroff with a hideously obvious hair-weave and highly affected dialogue delivery) aka Abdul 50-50 manages the Mumbai operations, Medium Mia (Gulshan Grover in the most underdeveloped character in the film, not that it would have mattered anyway) is the operations manager and younger brother to the big boss in Dubai, and Bade Mia (silver haired, sexily-evil- looking but utterly wasted clad-in-white Amitabh Bachchan), the big boss, also in Dubai, is the most wanted criminal on his side of the planet. Somewhere in this dizzy concoction are Boom Shanker (crude-mannered, loud, and sometimes humorous Javed Jaffri) who is Chote Miaâ€™s right-hand man in Mumbai, and Alice (the still stylish, still sexy forty-something Zeenat Aman who couldnâ€™t have chosen a worse comeback vehicle) who is Bade Miaâ€™s all-knowing secretary. After two foiled attempts to pay the dons for the lost diamonds (the details of which are supremely stupid), the three models and their maid (Seema Biswas who does have her moments) land in Dubai to outwit the dons at their own game. What ensues is what you certainly donâ€™t want to know. The viewer comes out of the theater, numbed and amazed at being hoodwinked and so outrightly deceived by the filmmakers.
Technically, the music contributes little, the cinematography fluctuates from creative to downright bad, and Anna Singhâ€™s costumes are either garish or missing (save for the carefully planned wardrobe of Mr. Bachchan). So, is there nothing redeeming in this endeavor? Sure, it does start with some promise. The zappy introductions to each character raise expectations of a cat-and-mouse thriller, but we are disappointed soon after. Bachchanâ€™s moments with his family, his fascination with comic books, and some of Javed Jaffriâ€™s and Seema Biswasâ€™ scenes do hold interest, if only fleetingly. What these stolen moments battle with are huge doses of profanity, cheap humor, a senseless screenplay, and extremely bad editing. There are numerous unnecessary and vulgar scenes in BOOM. If Mr. Gustad was trying to go bold or attempting a spoof, he fails miserably. All that he succeeds in is displaying the gall to make a motion picture as dreadful as this. Enough said.