Subhash K. Jha on Double Dhamaal

By IANS

Film: "Double Dhamaal" ; Starring Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi ,Riteish Deshmukh, Javed Jaffrey, Mallika Sherawat, Kangna Ranaut; Directed by Indra Kumar; Rating: **

Some things never change. Like Indra Kumar's style of storytelling. From "Dil" in 1990 to "Double Dhamaal" now, the fun never stops…that is , if fun is what you derive out of overgrown boys played by actors ranging from 20 to 50 who repeatedly get hit in their testicles.

Ouch!Balls are walls that the script scales to achieve a lowbrow calibre of hectic humour.

This slapstick comedy never escapes the ouch pouch. Cocooned in a juvenile comic mood that takes the characters through a maze of hazily-written humour, the narration leaves no pause for any emotion, not even exasperation that bubbles up in you as you watch the antics of the four semi-retarded protagonists, played at various octaves of lunacy by the talented trio of Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi and Javed Jaffrey, plus there's Ashish Chowdhary, looking a little lost in the maze of amazing comic timing. Chowdhary shows up in the second-half in drag masquerading in siliconed splendour as 'Barbara Gori' offering 'her' soul and, ahem, body to Sanjay Dutt.

Oh, didn't we tell you? Dutt's the way we like it. He plays a kind of senior jester in the durbar of drollery. In almost every frame he is flanked by the two beauties Mallika Sherawat and Kangna Ranaut playing his sweetheart and sister, respectively. Feminine comfort swathed in designer ludicrousness.

Significantly the two ladies don't dress in character. They don't need to. Attired in the best designer gowns carrying the best bags that money can buy they resemble two models who show up at a beauty pageant in a moneyed little hamlet in Gujarat .

The film spares no expenses to look sleek. The characters are either silhouetted by skyscrapers or their equivalent created indoors by set-designers whose concept of lavishness won't match with what you've probably seen in the pages of Home & Interiors magazine.

There is no attempt to cohere to any acceptable standards of aesthetics here. As a director Indra Kumar has not made the mistake of evolving over the years.Crude food brings forth a belch of satisfaction from the audience.The sleekness that we see in the songs and dances should not take away from the general rumbustiousness that pervades the plot.

Everyone hams it to the hilt. There is no room for subtlety and nuances. And by the time Arshad Warsi, one of the finest comic talents in our cinema, gets down to promising Dutt he won't 'blow' his 'job' we know the writers of this flamboyant farce are happily scraping the bottom of the barrel.

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