Movie Review: Dhamaal

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Author : Indu Mirani Date : 9/8/2007 Films Reviews

Direction: Indra Kumar

Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi, Javed Jaffery, Ashish Chowdhry

Rating: **

It isn’t Christmas but it sure is the season of good cheer. It’s also the season of male bonding and evidently the two together make for a lethal combination. If we’re not careful, girls might actually become redundant. Some weeks ago there was ‘Partner’ with Salman Khan and Govinda bonding over the whys and hows of charming the ladies. Then there was ‘Heyy Babyy’ with three men (Akshay Kumar, Riteish and Fardeen Khan) going through all sorts of trials and tribulations to look after an abandoned baby. Significantly, the good times turned to melodrama as soon as the sole girl in the film, Vidya Balan, made her appearance.

This week there’s ‘Dhamaal’, (culled from ‘It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World’, 1963) with four layabouts Roy, Adi, Manav and Boman (Riteish, Arshad, Javed and Ashish) never quite able to lay their hands on money till fate points them towards the pot of gold, 10 crore buckaroos, no less, but also crosses their path with super cop Kabir Nayak (Sanjay Dutt). As they try to outwit him and eventually each other to claim the prize, they run into characters and situations, all calculated to create maximum ‘Dhamaal’.Not that it’s all good clean fun though most of it is. Indra Kumar being Indra Kumar (remember the tasteless and gross ‘Pyare Mohan’?) ‘Dhamaal’ has its fair share of toilet humour, this time in the form of crotch humour. Thrice, various objects nearly hit one character or the other’s crotch—a knife, a billiard ball and a two-seater aircraft. Figure that.
It also relies heavily on slapstick. Practically, every character, whether the four main boys or the oddballs they encounter during their long journey from Mumbai (where the action begins) to Goa (where the booty lies buried), gets slapped several times over the course of the two and a half hour plus film. This and the fact that scenes go on for too much time, long after their fun quotient has been exhausted makes it sometimes tedious to watch especially in the second half. Some scenes though, like the white clad hoodlum literally kicking the bucket, the foursome trying to con a relative at a chautha with a painting and the inspector tying up the four as he makes his getaway, will bring the house down.

Sanjay Dutt plays the more or less straight man to the crooked shenanigans of the other four and is the brightest spot in the film. Riteish Deshmukh turns in another good comic performance as does Arshad Warsi. Jaaved Jaffrey is simply delightful as the slow but enthusiastic conman though why he does a Hrithik Roshan of ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ is inexplicable. It’s great to see Asrani in a full-length role again though Ashish Chowdhry as his son doesn’t quite pass muster. Adnan Sami’s music rocks.

Indra Kumar seems to have moved on from his past excesses. This is also visible in the fact that he has changed his writers with ‘Dhamaal’, which is entrusted to Balwinder Singh Suri, Paritossh Painter and Bunty Rathod. Pity they didn’t teach him a new catchword—brevity. Bheja fried

Bollywood.com Rating: 2

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