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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Double Dhamaal

Double Dhamaal lacks the comic intensity of the first part,though it is also plot-driven,with more 'mainstream Hindi' humour.

Written by Rajiv Vijayakar | Mumbai |
July 1, 2011 1:59:17 pm

Cast: Sanjay Dutt,Arshad Warsi,Mallika Sherawat, Riteish Deshmukh,Aashish Chowdhry,Jaaved Jafferi,Kangna Ranaut,Satish Kaushik,J.Brandon Hill,Zakir Hussain

Director: Indra Kumar

Sequels have become safe bets in Hindi cinema — of course,they have to be well-made too,as standalone films especially. Dhamaal (2007) had been India’s answer to the crazy but witty What’s Up Doc? — The Great Race kind of zany Hollywood comedies that abounded in the ’50s and tapered off into more calculated and therefore inferior laugh-riots from the late ’70s. Dhamaal had worked minus a single female character solely on the strength of its whacky plot and witty script.

Double Dhamaal lacks the comic intensity of the first part,though it is also plot-driven. The humour this time is more ‘mainstream Hindi’,with generous (though often witty) good-natured digs and spoofs at and on Hindi cinema and its stars. There are the occasional indulgences in tasteless and toilet humour,which are pardonable only because they are too few to affect the fun quotient. Unlike Indra Kumar’s last production Daddy Cool,there is almost nothing offensive or distasteful here.

On the plus side,DD works simply because director Indra Kumar (showing great form again after Masti and Dhamaal) and writers Tushar Hiranandani and Farhad-Sajid (of Golmaal series fame) stick tenaciously to a story rather than relying on isolated gags strung up together to assemble a ‘comedy’. With the earlier success,the budgets have spiralled — and the film moves from Goa to Macau,of course with actual shoots also in Hong Kong and South Africa. The production values have clearly shot up,but unlike last week’s Bheja Fry 2,the plot and proceedings are given more attention.

DD is also spiced up by the female presence,and Mallika Sherawat as Dutt’s girlfriend Kamini is excellent. Kangna Ranaut has begun to improve by the film,and she is good at comedy yet again,though there are still prominent weak areas in her diction. Another area where DD scores is in the music — the songs (Anand Raaj Anand,with lyrics by Anand himself and Mayur Puri) are instantly catchy,fit well and are lighthearted but not meaningless in the verse. Finally,DD has a natural edge that Dhamaal could not have possibly had — the five protagonists share a far superior chemistry and seem to have absorbed their characters deeper into their psyches.

The plot is simple: the four good-for-nothing friends,Adi (Arshad Warsi),Roy (Riteish Deshmukh),Boman (Aashish Chowdhry) and Adi’s half-witted brother Manav (Jaaved Jafferi) who have had to (reluctantly) donate the treasure they finally found to a charity for kids in the climax of Dhamaal,are now again short of money,and even shorter of a desire to work hard to earn it.

They spot Kabir (Sanjay Dutt),the corrupt cop who was a part of the whole game and had to donate his share of the spoils too,who seems to be wallowing in riches and luxury. When they follow him,they realise that Kabir has quit as a policeman and is now a full-time con-man who has inveigled rich siren Kamini (Mallika Sherawat) into marrying him and is carrying on with his secretary Kiya (Kangna Ranaut) while running Kamini’s business.

The four friends decide to blackmail Kabir into making them business partners. But midway they realise they have been conned themselves by Kabir — into falling foul of don-turned-godman-turned-don-again Batabhai (Satish Kaushik) so that they have to run for their lives.

They accidentally save the life of another criminal (Zakir Hussain) and convince him to let them come along when he leaves the country clandestinely for Macau. But they spot Kabir there as well,enjoying the fruits of the money he had made them con out of Batabhai. And the four friends decide to take revenge,for they also realise that the two girls are his accomplices in a much bigger game.

As Kabir,Sanjay Dutt reprises his role in not only the earlier part of the franchise that is similar to his turn in All The Best and to the kind of character Ajay Devgn portrayed in Indra Kumar’s Masti. From the four friends,Aashish Chowdhry is a revelation,both as his normal self as well as when he is posing as a buxom siren. He is outstanding in particular as the retarded ‘brother’ and his comic timing throughout is superb. Arshad Warsi sparkles more when he is in disguise as the Sikh security chief. Riteish Deshmukh is funny as well,especially as the Negro,while Jaaved Jafferi comes off fourth,though he also has his moments,because his character is not well-sketched here,unlike in the original. Satish Kaushik as Batabhai sticks to his patent comic style but is hilarious all the same.

To sum up,this is completely paisa-vasool entertainment that is likely to win some new fans for the franchise among those who have not watched the first part of the series. And the very comic book-like open end ensures that the next Dhamaal is on the way. Let us hope that it lives up to these two films if it is ever made.

Rating: ***

The film gets one star for the script,dialogues and direction,a second for the boys,and a third for the spice girls and the tangy soundtrack.

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