Monday, June 6, 2011
Movie Review: Dhamaal
Director: Indra Kumar
Original Release Date: September 7, 2007
* No Spoilers*
In anticipation of the upcoming release Double Dhamaal, I finally got around to watching its 2007 predecessor Dhamaal. Clearly inspired by a number of Hollywood films, Dhamaal isn't necessarily an "original" story. But because it's all about execution, I don't think that matters in this case.
You really have to be in the mood for a faltu slapstick comedy like Dhamaal. If you're looking for classy cinema with award worthy performances, then keep on looking because Dhamaal is mean to be a purely fun flick. And, for the most part, it succeeds in achieving that goal. The film essentially about a competitive quest for treasure--and all the crazy things that happen during that journey. The story seems simple and uninnovative. Yet, somehow, I found myself laughing the entire way through!
The first half of the movie is definitely better than the second, as the film seems to drag on a bit after a while. It was still pretty funny, but a lot of the plot twists seemed to exist only for the sake of making the movie longer, which can get a bit tiring to watch. At the same time, the fact that the "race for the gold" is dragging on because of the stupidest obstacles, becomes funny in and of itself. The second half of the film was also focused on the individual races of each of the characters. It seemed that unequal distribution of screen time to each of the characters made it a bit difficult to keep track of everyone, adding to the tediousness of this part of the movie.
Like I said, this movie isn't one full of amazing performances. No one particularly stood out to me as the "funniest" or most memorable, but everyone did a fair job. Jaaved Jaffrey's character, Maanav, was probably the most annoying, despite the fact that he did manage to get a few laughs out of me. At almost 50 years old, I think Jaaved is too old and mature to play these childish characters (Maanav is the dumb one that talks with a lisp and wears overalls that look like they're from Osh Kosh B'Gosh), and his tendency to overact doesn't help that. Sanjay Dutt's comedic skills are wasted in the film and he's easily forgettable.
The interesting thing about Dhamaal was the lack of a heroine as well as the lack of songs--two things that are usually typical of slapstick Indian comedies. It was kind of refreshing that a side love story wasn't at all present in the movie, or that we're not seeing the main actors constantly going gaga over some bombshell babe. The movie just stays focused on the absurdity at hand. The movie has a couple of songs at the beginning, but nothing interrupts the flow of the film afterwards. The songs are not memorable. Or so I thought until I realized "Dekho Dekho Dil Yeh Bole" has been stuck in my head for the past few days.
Overall, Dhamaal is a fun movie that is strictly time pass, but better than most Indian comedies of this type. Interestingly, the movie ended up even having a moral at the end, which was surprising. I went in with low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised at how funny it actually was. Would I watch it again? Probably not anytime soon. But I do recommend you watch it at least once when you're in the mood for a good laugh (catch it for free on YouTube!). All of the loose ends were tied up by the end of the movie, so there's no clear indication for what the sequel will be about. But I'm interested to see what Double Dhamaal will have in store.
Final Verdict: 7/10