The combo of director Indra Kumar and producer Ashok Thakeria is best known for their blockbuster hits like Dil(1990), Beta(1992), Raja(1995), Ishq (1997), Mann(1999) and in the later years Kumar shifted to the Dhamaal and Masti franchisé. This is the third installment in Dhamaal Series and thankfully it’s a wonderful ride.
Eight money hungry people have to travel to a zoo to find an hidden treasure, how does that sound ? Adventurous ? It is, and a complete roller coaster ride right from the opening sequence to the “wild” finale.
Indra Kumar has that “leave your brain at home” syndrome so this is more of an kids adventure type comical drama. With numerous over the top brainless comic sequences coupled with marginally humorous dialogues this is a total “mass” appeal movie.
With an humongous starcast it’s difficult for any body in particular to stand out but veteran Javed Jaffrey does make his graceful presence felt. Devgun seems to be having a major Singham hangover, Kapoor at 62 looks more energetic and active than the entire crew put together, Deshmukh, Warsi and others ham and overreact and that kind of helps as it’s a mad, masala paisa wasool fare.
Surprisingly Indra Kumar has relied on “squeaky clean” comedy and kids may enjoy it especially the last 20 minutes filmed in a zoo. One can’t always expect offbeat sensible cinema, sometimes it makes sense to enjoy “nonsense” 😉 , Yes, it did make me laugh when I watched the promo of Total Dhamaal. Armed with expectations, I went into the theater hoping to ROFL with many such LOL moments but OMG…that was pretty much it!
What you saw in the promo are quite frankly the best scenes in the film - smartly packaged and put together in this adventure comedy, which soon crash lands into a misadventure. And it takes some of industry’s finest acting talents along with it. Undoubtedly, it’s refreshing to watch Anil and Madhuri together again. They are not romancing, but give us some genuinely funny moments as they bicker their way throughout. They were my favorite pair among the other twos that includes Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Mishra. Ritiesh Deshmukh and his sidekick and of course Arshad Warsi and Javed Jaffery. While most of them deliver as expected in this admittedly nonsensical comedy, many jokes come off as too childish.
Some punches do land especially when you have the king of comedy Johnny Lever playing an outlandish Bengali pilot, who flies rickety helicopters that are doomed for disaster. The most annoying among them however, was the otherwise excellent Sanjay Mishra. If I had a nickel for every time he calls Ajay Devgn ‘Bro’, I would have recovered the ticket price of the almost full theatre. There are more actors like Boman Irani and Mahesh Manjrekar desperately trying to infuse more comedy in any way they can. There is also a cringe-worthy subplot of forced love angle between Ajay Devgn and Esha Gupta. So typical!
However, Total Dhamaal doesn’t take the cheap and easy route of offensive and vulgar humor like some of Indra Kumar’s ‘adult’ comedies. But that doesn’t mean it manages to entertain you throughout either. The first half breezes through with nonsense, but the film’s weak plot comes undone in the second half. The poor CGI doesn’t help the matters either and there is no memorable music either except the grand title track that opens the film.
Dialogues are funny but not enough, many a times punches seem predictable, much like the film’s story. So if you can leave sense, logic and expectations at home along with your brains then, by all means, go for it.
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