June 24, 2011
Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Riteish Deshmukh, Jaaved Jaafery, Ashish Chowdhry, Mallika Sherawat, Kangna Ranaut, Satish Kaushik
Apes are gaining popularity among Bollywood’s creators of comedy these days. In Anees Bazmee’s No Problem in late 2010, one such hairy creature let out a bellowing fart. In Indra Kumar’s Double Dhamaal this week, Boman (played by Ashish Chowdhry) gets gigantic, swollen lips from being over-kissed by an amorous furry fellow. Yeah yeah, I can visualise some of you rolling your eyes at that one. But I confess I giggled helplessly when Boman’s red mouth was revealed to us following that man-animal encounter. After all, it makes sense to go for a film like Double Dhamaal with the expectation of nothing more than a mega-dose of low-IQ humour. Sadly, DD does not offer enough of such entertainingly witless wit and frankly, its predecessor Dhamaal was much more fun.
The biggest problem with Double Dhamaal is that if you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen every single one of the film’s funniest moments. Yes, every single one! Damn! I was so looking forward to guffawing uncontrollably at more jokes like the one where our four leading men cover themselves in overcoats and hang themselves from coat hooks to hide from their pursuers! And why wouldn’t I? The film’s promo was a killer! The cast includes an array of actors with a brilliant track record in this genre. And it’s directed by Indra Kumar who gave us Raja – with the electrifyingly funny Ms Madhuri Dixit – among other well-made films. What I got instead was a film that’s amusing only in parts which, I’m afraid, is just not good enough coming from this team.
Double Dhamaal returns to the loveable idiots of Dhamaal – Adi (Arshad Warsi), Manav (Jaaved Jaafery), Roy (Riteish Deshmukh) and Boman. The four spend the first half of the film trying to deceive and cajole Kabir (Sanjay Dutt) into making them his business partners. When he dupes them, they try to get their revenge by double crossing him in the post-interval period. How do they go about this? Who succeeds in making a fool of whom? Sorry folks, I won’t throw spoilers into this review.
|So guess who's who?|
The film is intermittently funny. The cast is engaging and likeable. Ashish Chowdhry in drag is both ultra-glamorous and comical, though perhaps not as pretty as the cross-dressing Riteish Deshmukh from Apna Sapna Money Money. In a film involving several disguises, the make-up is commendable. One particular deception regarding an oil field is a hoot. It’s also enjoyable to watch the leading men imitating legendary actors such as Sanjeev Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan at the start of Double Dhamaal (Manav’s take on SRK is particularly rib-tickling and unique!). But mimicry as a device is over-done by the end of the film. And the intervals between the genuinely comic scenes are way too long.
Anand Raj Anand’s music too is quite forgettable. Not one of the tunes is worth taking home to your parents, certainly not Jalebi Bai featuring Mallika Sherawat who takes crudeness to a different level altogether as she points her fingers towards her near-bare breasts in the song, just in case they’d escaped our attention.
With so much that’s wrong with Double Dhamaal, I don’t suppose there’s any point in pointing out the film’s lack of attention to detail. In one scene, Roy swims across a creek in Macau. In another scene, he fights with Adi for pushing him into a water body. Why? Because he can’t swim! Huh? Did the screenplay writer and director just forget the earlier scene? Or was the team just too lazy to plug this loophole once they detected it?
I don’t suppose there’s any point either in pointing out that the wisecracks involving black people get offensive beyond a point, and the scenes with Roy’s supposedly mentally challenged brothers are distasteful from start to finish. For those who may accuse me of being painfully politically correct, I have a request: please rewind to Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kaminey which featured Shahid Kapoor in a double role as brothers Guddu and Charlie who both suffer from speech disabilities; other characters in the film laughed at the siblings, but at no point was the film itself mocking them. See the difference?
So is Double Dhamaal a total wash-out? Well, no. As I said, it’s sporadically funny. In the last scene of the film, we’re given a clear indicator that there will be another sequel which will be called Total Dhamaal. I do hope before they shoot that one they take a good hard look at their script, and realise that a comedy of this variety needs to deliver non-stop nonsense instead of episodes of stormy laughter punctuated by long long lulls.
Rating (out of five): **
CBFC Rating: U / A
Running time: 137 Minutes
Photograph courtesy: http://www.doubledhamaalmovie.com/