Movie Review: DUS (2005) – Action Masala At It Finest

Published by Shah Shahid on

With the latest Shah Rukh Khan starrer, RA. ONE coming soon, I think it’d be cool to check out a film from the same director, 6 years ago. So I present yet again, another action movie from days gone by… DUS.

Now, granted this movie looks slick, well put together and action packed, but the greatest thing about DUS is that it’s an original story, with performances that are surprising for an action movie. The story goes forward at break neck speed, but that doesn’t take away from the over-all atmosphere, because it is a movie that is totally fast paced with nail biting suspense.

Rating: 3 Out Of 5 Stars

What makes this action movie different from other actions movies (ELAAN, ASAMBHAV) is that it’s not just based on the action, special effects, explosions, car chases, etc. DUS is a lot more story driven, with great performances, esp. from Sanju Baba and Abhi with a good performance by Pankaj Kapur as well. (father of Shahid Kapur)

The director of DUS is Anubhav Sinha. Now, I have to admit that I was impressed as hell, when I found out that this is the same guy that directed TUM BIN and AAPKO PEHLE BHI KAHIN DEKHA HAI. Because, as good as TUM BIN was, it wasn’t my kind of movie. It was, truth be told, a chick flick. Now, don’t think that I am ragging on emotionally driven performances with an emphasis on female oriented storylines, because I’m not. All I’m saying is that compared to TUM BIN, the story and presentation of DUS is so different that it’s hard to believe it’s done by the same man. Also I hated AAPKO PEHLE BHI KAHIN DEKHA HAI. The direction of DUS was incredible, and not just the action or tense scenes, but everything from the opening sequences to the slow scenes where the characters are just sitting and talking. Everything is done with such finesse and panache that it’s hard to walk away from DUS without being impressed.

Another attribute of DUS is that none of the characters in the movie were clichéd or exaggerated. Zayed Khan as the lovable, one-liner spouting bomb specialist was great because he wasn’t just a dumb-ass character who said stupid things at the wrong times. His character was that similar to a character conceived to provide comic relief through-out a movie, but it wasn’t done to death like in other movies where the same type of character became annoying after a point (John Abraham in ELAAN, Paresh Rawal in AAN & MOHRA)

Abhishek keeps growing with each movie he does, as is shown in DUS. His is a character that’s restraint and very reserved. This is a perfect match for Zayed’s loud and brash portrayal of Aditya. At times their interaction reminded me of the legendary friendship between Jai-Dev and Veeru of SHOLAY fame. With Abhishek’s Shashank being the sombre and at times grumpy character reminiscent to that of Amitabh Bachchan’s Jai-Dev, while Zayed’s Aditya is the loud-mouth jack-ass such as that of Dharmender’s Veeru. As a side note, Ahishek’s similarity to his dad’s role in SHOLAY is much more obvious in the end sequences of the movie. Coincidently, another child of the original SHOLAY cast is in DUS in a fleeting role. Esha Deol plays the ever so insignificant love interest of Abhishek.

Besides Abhishek, Sanju Baba steals the show with such a mature character of the director of the Anti Terrorist Cell. Bollywood has seen a lot of shades of Sanju Baba, mostly in the criminal element. But it would seem that after MUNNABHAI MBBS Sanju Baba has taken it upon himself to change his image maybe? SHABD saw him in the role of a frustrated author, PARINEETA shows him as a mature Bengali character and now DUS has him in the role of an authority figure who is burdened by the weight of putting an end to terrorist activity by risking the lives of people who he considers, and some that are, his family. The transformation of Sanju Baba from the khalnayak of Bollywood to doing character driven roles is establishing him as the brick house that he truly is.

Other ways that DUS stands out is the use of special effects which aren’t done to death, or exaggerated to the point where we roll our eyes. Even though there are love stories in the movie, they are treated with the utmost humility and respect. The sequences with interaction between Sanju Baba and Abhi, Sanju Baba and Shilpa and Zayed and Abhi are a treat to watch. And ultimately believe it or not, it’s quite an emotional story that develops near the end. That shows that even people sworn to uphold and protect the law are still human with feelings that at times cause them to think or do things that aren’t all that noble. And the direction is just superb. (believe me when I tell you so!)

In Summary, DUS is one of those movies where quite literally everything is perfect, (well not everything but it comes close!) So it’s definitely worth a watch!

Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad


RA.ONE – Preview « Blank Page Beatdown · April 16, 2011 at 1:26 PM

[…] I’m super excited about RA.ONE! But… to be fair, the director is Anubhav Sinha who did DUS, which is one of my favourites Bollywood action films,  even though his track record is pretty hit […]

RA.ONE - Preview : Blank Page Beatdown · July 8, 2013 at 1:18 AM

[…] I’m super excited about RA.ONE! But… to be fair, the director is Anubhav Sinha who did DUS, which is one of my favourites Bollywood action films,  even though his track record is pretty hit […]

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