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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ravi shows great maturity in riveting romantic thriller by late director

After the successful run of Santhosh Subramaniam on the South African cinema circuit, another film starring Jayam Ravi is to be released locally in a fortnight. It’s Dhaam Dhoom, the much publicised last film made by the late Jeeva, in which Ravi plays opposite Kangana Ranaut, in her Tamil debut. Others in the cast are Jayaram, Lakshmi Rai and Russian actress Kojernikova Maria.

Jeeva’s previous films were all pure romances. Dhaam Dhoom was his first attempt at a thriller. His untimely death was a double tragedy, as Dhaam Dhoom proves he was a director of great potential.

It is not only the actors, the acting and the brilliant script that make Dhaam Dhoom a riveting film, but also the brilliant, seamless synthesis of the technical aspects into an impressive tapestry of talent. It is a thriller cumromance with an interesting narrative style that flits between the past and present.

Goutham Subramaniam (Ravi) is a doctor chosen to represent India at a medical conference in Russia. He is reluctant to go, as he is soon due to marry the beautiful Shenba (Ranaut). However, after being reminded of the honour of being chosen, he agrees to go.

In Russia, he meets the enigmatic Anna, an international model. Their paths cross on more than one occasion. One day, Goutham helps a very drunk and drugged Anna home and has no option but to keep her in his hotel room. He is awoken by the police the next morning deeply drugged. To his horror, he finds Anna’s lifeless body on the floor and her blood on his shirt. He is arrested and has a tough time declaring his innocence, as the policemen speak only Russian.

He appeals for help to the Indian embassy in Moscow, and a young lawyer (Lakshmi Rai) is appointed to assist him.

Goutham realises that he faces a bleak future unless he can prove his innocence, which is impossible while he is behind bars. He escapes from custody, and so begins a race against time and against two adversaries, the police, on one hand, and the real killers. Interspersed between these incidents is the romance between him and Shenba.

What makes Dhaam Dhoom an outstanding film is the excellence of the technical aspects. At the top of the list is Harris Jayaraj’s outstanding background score. The scenes filmed in Russia comprise his best work to date. The songs, which are all popular, are even better on screen, with innovative set designs, brilliant choreography, slick editing and superb cinematography.

Ravi shows great maturity as an actor. He executes the action scenes brilliantly and is delightful in the romantic interludes.

Ranaut has the looks but seems ill cast as a village lass. She emotes well and is impressive in the second half.

Dhaam Dhoom has all the makings of a hit and it is little wonder it has done so well overseas. It will appeal to a wide audience of all ages and backgrounds.

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