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Review: Dhamaal

In sum, Dhamaal isn’t exactly what the title promises. But it does have its laugh-out-loud moments... it’s not bad at all, writes Khalid Mohamed.

movie reviews Updated: Sep 10, 2007 19:03 IST

Dhamaal
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Riteish Deshmukh, Javed Jaffrey, Arshad Warsi
Direction: Indra Kumar
Rating: **1/2

Four men and a bedding? Well, sort of. These Loony Latifs are booted out by their landlady (Suhasini Mulay adopting Lalita Pawar frowns), don’t know where their next pillow or pilauf is coming from. So?

Well, then Indra Kumar who’s been suffering a dry season of late, pops Prem Chopra out of a hat. Dear P C is about to breathe his last (how many times will he do this?) and he tells the quartet about a hidden khazana. Result: an okay-dokay Dhamaal, remarkable essentially for the sparkling dialogue and screenplay by Parritosh Painter and Co. It’s the kind of ticklish farce that’s common in mid-brow Mumbai theatre.

You can chuckle along with the losers (Deshmukh, Warsi, Chaudhary, Jaffrey), especially in the first-half with a slapstick sequence involving a jalopy and Asrani (hilarious), the art scam madness and even a pretty amusing take-off on Sanjeev Kumar. But for a few stray toilet jokes, the humour’s clever.

But the second half sags. The long-winded dacoit chase, the cliffhanger stuff with kids and all that It’s a Mad Mad Mad World business turn your ha-ha’s into harrumphs. Sanjay Dutt, as a fearsome cop, seems to have been included only for star value. Jaffrey is the born-laugh-raiser in a John Beanish role, Deshmukh is terrific in his comic timing; at long last, Chaudhary is actually likeable Surprisingly, Warsi looks as pained as someone who swallowed a caterpillar.

In sum, Dhamaal isn’t exactly what the title promises. But it does have its laugh-out-loud moments.. it’s not bad at all. Go ahead and try.