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TOTAL DHAMAAL - You will surely enjoy it more watching at online portals at home with no money spent on the tickets and that should say it all. (Review By Bobby Sing)
22 Feb, 2019 | Movie Reviews / 2019 Releases / ALL ABOUT INSPIRED MOVIES / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / T

Whether one likes or not, the fact is that people do prefer to watch this genre of ‘mostly condemned’ cinema in theaters and therefore the occupancy is much more in comparison to a thriller or routine drama. The reason behind the fact is that people love to get entertained and knowingly want to forget the logic and laugh for a while skipping their daily tortures.
 
Honestly the same goes true for reviewers too, though many think that such cinema is intentionally or purposefully criticized by the critics.
 
So being a part of the general audience, I was also thrilled to watch TOTAL DHAMAAL as a mindless, enjoyable comedy, looking for a change from the mostly dark stuff online and really wished to laugh out loud in the theater as we never felt shy or uncomfortable doing so right from the initial days of watching movies in the 80s. The additional excitement was also for Anil-Madhuri to be honest, making a comeback together on screen, since we really loved watching them as a couple in their hit as well as flop films of the late 80s and 90s. Plus the inclusion of animals too was a major attraction for sure as we rarely get to see them nowadays due to the numerous restrictions on the use of animal in films by various organisations.
 
Unfortunately the film largely fails to live up to the expectations and delivers quite less with only a few entertaining moments in the first half and the second getting all messed up with a completely predictable progression and more avoidable characters thrown in. 
 
To be fair, it’s fine if we don’t have a definite plot in an entertaining slapstick comedy, but only when the writing is so brilliant that you don’t even get the time to think about its basic plot and complain.
 
Sadly here in TOTAL DHAMAAL both the writing and its execution is plain lazy and unimpressive (along with the shoddy graphics) even when it keeps borrowing from various foreign sources as usual. But more importantly both the writers and the director simply fail to exploit the extra ordinary talent in the cast and come up with a pretty ordinary film as a comedy also featuring animals in a zoo that could have been the main attraction for the family audience. Still, it does have the merit of being a clean comedy (without any vulgar sequences, double meaning dialogues or erotic songs) and thus scores in that specific department giving its deserving due.
 
Mentioning the performers, Anil and Madhuri look great together with a crackling chemistry, but also remain loudest of them all offering a few entertaining moments (using Marathi in between). Ajay Devgn is fine in his same familiar form but both Arshad Warsi and Javed Jaffery are given too less to do and deserved much more attention, especially when they were the main attraction always in the previous films. On the other hand Riteish Deshmukh turns out to be a clear winner among all, delivering a thoroughly enjoyable act with the Bihari touch, but veterans such as Boman Irani, Mahesh Manjrekar, Sanjay Mishra, Manoj Pahwa and Johny Lever remain wasted (though Johny’s scene with Riteish is best of the lot). Esha Gupta is also just there doing almost nothing coming towards the climax, which is again tiringly long and should have been trimmed by at least 10-12 minutes.
 
Following the current ‘pathetic’ trend, here too we have two out of three songs as remake of the hit tracks of the past as “Mungda” and “Paisa Yeh Paisa”. Though the songs have been shot well with Sonakshi looking stunning in 'Mungda’, but they add nothing into the film as one is used in the opening titles, one in the end-credits and one in between the narration in the first half.
 
Coming to director Indra Kumar, there can be no better example of tricking the audience by a director by making two films in the same franchise on exactly same premise after a decade and that too unofficially inspired from the west from more than one sources.
 
In 2007 Indra Kumar came with a successful and enjoyable comedy DHAMAAL which was loosely based on ITS A MAD MAD MAD WORLD (1963) where many groups are heading towards a hidden treasure with a mark of ‘W’. The film further lifted several sequences from Rowan Atkinsons's JOHNY ENGLISH (2003), his T.V. series MR. BEAN (1990), ROAD TRIP (2000) and the climax from RAT RACE (2001).
 
After 12 years Indra Kumar again makes TOTAL DHAMAAL, exactly on the same plot wherein many people are racing to reach the treasure spot first with again a few scenes inspired from various foreign sources (and also two borrowed songs).
 
But this second version stands no-where close to the inspired but thoroughly enjoyable DHAMAAL featuring the irreplaceable Javed Jaffery and this also might be the fastest remake of his film by the same director with a partially similar cast in the history of Hindi cinema.
 
In the end addressing to the young music makers and listeners, you might be feeling good listening to the well filtered beats and loud arrangements of the newly remade songs taking it all from the past. But if you study deeper you will find all new ones quite pale in energy, treatment and mixing too, and most importantly completely flat in creation of preludes and interludes in particular as that is a completely different art known only to the masters.
 
Coming back to TOTAL DHAMAAL, this is a kind of comedy you will surely enjoy more watching on an online portal at home with no money spent on the tickets….. and that should say it all.
 
Rating : 1.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for making it as a clean comedy reaching out to the family audience)
 
For the interested friends

CLICK HERE for the article mentioning exact references of lifted scenes in DHAMAAL (2007)

Tags : TOTAL DHAMAAL Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Inspired Movies, Inspired Hindi Movies from West.
22 Feb 2019 / Comment ( 0 )
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