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Rajeev Masand’s Review Of Dhamaal


Check out film critic Rajeev Masand’s review of Indra Kumar’s comedy Dhamaal.

We’ve become so accustomed to vulgarity in the name of humour that we’ve forgotten to appreciate clean comedies. Which is why I want to roll out the carpet for this week’s new Bollywood release, Dhamaal, a genuinely funny, plot-driven family comedy directed by – surprise, surprise – the king of melodrama himself, Indra Kumar.

The film stars Ritesh Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi, Javed Jaffrey and Ashish Chaudhary as a bunch of unemployed, down-on-their-luck no-gooders who go in search of a ten-crore rupee treasure they learn about from a dying mob-boss.

As luck would have it, the secret of this hidden treasure also reaches the ears of a crooked cop, played by Sanjay Dutt. So now you’ve got five guys heading in the direction of this stacked-away money, each encountering oddballs along the way, each trying to reach the location before the others so he can claim the full amount himself.


What’s refreshing about Dhamaal is the fact that it doesn’t fall into any of the traps that recent hits in the comic genre – Partner and Heyy Babyy succumbed to – it’s not vulgar, it isn’t full of sexist jokes, the dialogues aren’t stupid, and you don’t feel like the gags are being stretched out endlessly.

Having said that, let’s not get too carried away and put either the director or the writers on a pedestal just yet, because Dhamaal is after all a rather blatant rip-off of the evergreen Hollywood hit, It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World.

Dhamaal works primarily because it’s a cleverly written film that moves briskly from one gag to another, leaving you with hardly any time in between to stop and ponder.

And although you can trace back several of the jokes to popular American films like Starsky & Hutch, Road Trip and even the Mr Bean TV series, it’s the manner in which these jokes come together in the screenplay that deserves credit.


Dhamaal Movie Review

Pic : Dhamaal Movie

Take Ritesh Deshmukh’s spot-on imitation of Sanjeev Kumar, or Vijay Raaz’s priceless flying instructions to Ashish Chaudhary and Asrani, or even that scene in which Arshad Warsi and Javed Jaffrey hitch a ride with an over-zealous Tamilian who insists on sharing with them the full length of his name – it’s moments like these, and many other, that make Dhamaal such an easy pleasure.

Of the cast, it’s without doubt Javed Jaffrey who towers above the others with his performance as the dim-witted child-man. His is easily the best-written role in the film, and Javed doesn’t miss the opportunity to milk it for all its possible comic potential.

Sanjay Dutt, meanwhile, is not so much a part of the comedy as he is the catalyst for much of it, and he’s clearly the best man for that job. Take those scenes in which he’s trapped with a bus full of screaming kids, and watch how he generates such poker-faced humour.

A little over two hours long, barely any time wasted on unnecessary songs, and surprisingly, the complete absence of any romantic track – there’s so much to like about Dhamaal.

Then that’s three out of five and a thumbs up for director Indra Kumar’s squeaky-clean comedy Dhamaal. Sometimes, a good laugh is all you need to make your day. Don’t miss this one, a good laugh is guaranteed.

Rating: 3 / 5 (Good)

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