India 2003
Directed by Kaizad Gustad.

Three models get caught up with the underworld and are forced to steal diamonds for them. But they've got plans of their own, which mostly involve showing lots of cleavage. They also drink, smoke opium, and rob a bank. Demonstrating how clever models can be, they rob a bank wearing masks that look exactly like their own faces. The bad guys are led by a white-bearded, white suit wearing Bede (Amitabh Bachchan), who demonstrates his power by doing his own version of the classic DeNiro boardroom scene from THE UNTOUCHABLES. And then, there is Bo Derek.

She appears in BOOM, first on television, with Bachchan watching her in "10", then the real Bo Derek shows up in a short fantasy sequence, emerging from the water in a sari and looking as beautiful as ever, with Amitabh running on the beach toward her looking like a completly pathetic goon. This scene alone makes BOOM worth watching.

Although Bachchan is completely over the top, playing a childlike crime kingpin who reads comic books and drives along in a play car in a toy store, his underlings Medium (Gulshan Grover) and Fifty-Fifty (Jackie Shroff) attempt to out overact him in every way. Fifty-Fifty keeps a girl under his desk at all times, snorts cocaine, and swears constantly (perhaps the moody lighting of his underground lair sets him off). I won't even mention the utterly obnoxious and silly man of violence, Boom Shankar (Javed Jaffri), a man we are expected to believe is a professional killer.

The plot is complete nonsense, the acting all over done, the ending abrupt and a let down. But none of this really matters, as the purpose of the film is to showcase the three girls: Madhu Sapre, Padma Lakshmi, and Katrina Kaif, as they strut from scene to scene in as little clothing as possible. In this way, the movie keeps one's attention from beginning to end. Hey, there are worse reasons to keep watching a bad movie!

The music is unfortunately unmemorable but agreeably kept to a minimum. Special note should be made of the bank robbery musical number, in which a man who has been shot, and is near death, jumps up to sing about it.

BOOM is crude, showcasing sexy women, flaunting them in front of the camera. But BOOM is also somehow a shrine to beauty, honoring the older generation. Bo Derek makes an appearance, as does another beauty from the past, Zeenat Aman, the sex goddess of Bollywood cinema of the 70s, absent from movie screens for the past fifteen years. Here, she is Bede's assistant, though she basically runs the business. But even surrounded by the new sex symbols of Bollywood Cinema, she still takes a moment to do a seductive dance on the boardroom table, for old time's sake, to the tune that made her a household name in the first place, from her old picture HARE RAMA HARE KRISHNA. She shares the spotlight, but has not been swept aside.

Rating: Marginally Recommended (Marginally Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on April 28, 2005.

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