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Movie Review: Total Dhamaal

Banners: Fox Star Studios, Ajay Devgn Ffilms, Maruti International

Producers: Fox Star Studios, Ajay Devgn Ffilms, Ashok Thakeria, Indra Kumar, Sri Adhikari Brothers, Anand Pandit

Director: Indra Kumar

Cast: Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi, Jaaved Jaaferi, Sanjay Mishra, Boman Irani, Johnny Lever, Mahesh Manjrekar, Vijay

Patkar, Manoj Pahwa, Esha Gupta

Writers: Ved Prakash, Paritosh Painter, Bunty Rathore

Music: Gourov-Roshin

Guddu and Johny are conmen who steal `50 crore from the Commissioner of Police, who in turn was taking the money as a bribe! But as luck would have it, the two are cheated by Pintu, their third partner. The two then decide to pursue him to get the money back.

At the same time, we are introduced to three more pairs of characters – former firemen Lallan and his friend; the to-be-divorced couple Avinash and Bindu; and brothers Adi and Manav. While they are on their own personal journeys, they meet Pintu, who has met with an accident. Before he dies, he lets them in on the secret of the `50-crore bounty.  This sets the four pairs on a roller coaster adventure to get to the money, for which they first have to reach Omkar Zoo in Janakpur.

They travel by road, in the sky and even through water! Each pair goes through their share of ‘aasman se gire khajoor pe atke’ moments. They all end up at the zoo at the same time. Before they can lay their hands on the bounty, they are forced to perform an act of kindness for Prachi, the owner of the zoo and her animals from the clutches of Chinnappa Swamy. After all these misadventures, do they finally get the money? That’s what the film is all about.

There are different types of comedy films – dark humour, sex-comedy, action-comedy, the latest trend of horror-comedy, intelligent-comedy, which relies on well-written dialogue, and good-old slapstick comedy. Total Dhamaal belongs to the last category. There is not much stress on creating the characters or their back stories, exploiting their relationships and motives. The film is an amalgamation of funny sequences pieced together with funny dialogue and crazy antics. Indra Kumar and his writers go above and beyond to evoke laughter and succeed to a large extent.

What goes in favour of the film is its length. At just a little over 2 hours, it is a breezy watch. The first half is a breeze, but the second half struggles a little. The songs are restricted to just three, two of which play during the opening and closing credits.

All said and done, the film is a fun ride and entertains throughout. Every character has been written keeping the audience’s tastes in mind and the dialogue works as sone pe suhaga.

With the film resting on a very simple premise, the performances shoulder the film. The amazing chemistry between Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit towers above everyone else. As Avinash and Bindu, they are a treat to watch. Their Gujarati-Marathi conversations make theirs the funniest track in the story.

Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Mishra as Guddu and Johny are hilarious in parts. But the use of Jackie Shroff’s voice as the GPS in Devgn and Mishra’s car is absolutely mad! Riteish Deshmukh as Lallan plays his part well. The helicopter scene featuring him and Johnny Lever brings the house down.

Arshad Warsi and Jaaved Jaaferi return as Adi and Manav in this third Dhamaal movie. They do justice to their roles, but we wish we could have seen more of them. Boman Irani as the commissioner, Vijay Patkar as his sidekick, Mahesh Manjrekar as Chinnappa Swamy, Manoj Pahwa as Pintu and Esha Gupta as Prachi do a decent job.

Verdict: Hit!

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