'Total Dhamaal' review: It has some genuinely funny moments
'Total Dhamaal' doesn't rely on vulgar one-liners or double meaning jokes.
After faltering in their second sequel, 'Double Dhamaal' in 2011, the makers of the series have gone back to the established formula of the original 'Dhamaal' film from 2007.
The template is the same. A dying man reveals a secret about Rs50 crore that he has left hidden in a zoo in Janakpur, India. Surrounding him is the greedy cast of the film - the husband-wife duo (Madhuri Dixit Nene and Anil Kapoor), the dim-witted Javed Jaffrey and his brother, Arshad Warsi, the cunning Ajay Devgn and his accomplice Sanjay Mishra, Police Commissioner Boman Irani, North-Indian accented Ritesh Deshmukh and many others.
After hearing the secret of the dying man, everybody gets into a race to reach the zoo to unearth the treasure.
Total Dhamaal is a comedy of errors. The gags are continuous and don't let you question or pause for a moment to think about what's being said in the scene. Of special mention is the appearance by the original comedy king, Johnny Lever, who lifts the entertainment with his Bengali scientist-pilot act.
Him trying to fly a makeshift chopper fitted with a 'rickshaw kick' and a ceiling fan is gold. Johnny Lever is impressive in his short cameo. After all, who can match his comic timing and the spark he has on his face while delivering the punchlines!
It is refreshing to see the duo of Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit come together on screen after 18 years. Their constant bickering as a couple is entertaining.
Scenes like she explaining why she called for a vet instead of a doctor to examine him or when they are stuck with a Tamilian in a car are hilarious.
Javed Jaffrey will make you laugh with his child-like honesty and Sanjay Mishra with his English, although we couldn't handle him use 'bro' beyond a point.
The easiest route for comedy in recent years has been to follow the route of sex. What works for Total Dhamaal, just like the original, is it does not fall into this trap and refrains from sexual innuendos. It doesn't rely on vulgar one-liners or double entendres and yet is packed with some funny moments.
Repeated gags that we have seen in the earlier tend to drag the film. The director Indra Kumar tries too hard to make you laugh with some scenes but overall delivers a clean film.
Don't go to watch the film expecting character depth. It is a mindless comedy - a film that you would want to watch to unwind. The cast and makers aren't even selling it as sensible cinema, to begin with.
Just like most Indian comedy films, all the characters gather in a central place (zoo) in the climax. What follows is 15 minutes of bad VFX (the animals), a love track and an ending that will have the audience (especially the children) in splits.
What the film guarantees for two hours is clean entertainment - a film with dialogues that can be seen with your full family sitting next to you. It is paisa-vasool and won't fail to entertain you.
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi, Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor, Jaaved Jaaferi, Esha Gupta, Boman Irani, Sanjay Mishra
Directed by: Indra Kumar