Comedy movies with multiple actors have been hitting the silver screen with an uncanny regularity but most of them use sexist jokes and cheap tactics to make the common man laugh. Dhamaal then comes as a breath of fresh air taking us back to the time of family movies! Then again, this is a movie by a director who has had great success with formula movies; the ones with the right mix of hero, heroine, villain, vamp and the comedian. And the comedy in those movies has to blend in with the rest of the movie – perhaps that is where he gets his skills in situational comedy.
Indra Kumar has made films like Dil, Beta, Raja, Ishq, Masti - all formula films with drama, action, emotion and the all important comedy. If you remember a few funny scenes from his movies, not the least of which was the Ram-aramara-Mara Aamir Khan scene in Ishq where he makes you laugh until you cry with the situation of walking on a narrow pipe to rescue his friend Ajay Devgan while that pipe is being cut by a deaf guy, you would know that this director has the knack for comedy and can tickle your funny bones for sure.
And that was more of a hope than an assertion when I set out to watch Dhamaal. There is a comfort feeling that crept in when watching the movie. The movie starts off with a good thing – a bunch of good actors who have proved their mettle in comedy. Another good thing that the movie has is a tight storyline; something which not a lot of movies today can boast of.
I liked the way he starts telling the story; the traditional way of giving a short introduction about each character just enough to cast an impression in the viewer’s mind so that it makes complete sense when you see a character reacting to a situation. So you have a Parsi dikro always bullied by his father, a Karamchand and two brothers called Adi and Manav; all smart asses, of course. They need to get some money in their lives and are lead into a situation where they find out a way to get 10 crore rupees. On their way to get the money, they run, they fight not only amongst themselves, but with an inspector (Sanjay Dutt), a dacoit, kanjoos father (Asrani) of one of them, lots of kids, a Bengali babu moshai with his junk car, a flight instructor and a pilot with his own set of tragedies in life.
Each scene has been thought laboriously and worked beautifully by all. Thus we get a product which, for a refreshing change, does not need an actor to drop his pants to make us laugh. Just when you think you are seeing a lull in the laughter, the story and the characters spring another laughter surprise on you.
Javed Jaffrey was earlier seen in Tara Rum Pum where the director overused him a bit but he comes across in this film with characteristic ease and showcases what effortless comedy used to be in the good ol’ days. He gets into his characterization as an adult with an underdeveloped brain and gives a gem of a performance, not just with his expressions but also his cute dialogue delivery. Ritesh Deshmukh has also cut a niche for himself when it comes to those smart-ass roles. He lends himself perfectly to his shaana character as does Arshad Warsi, playing the “tso tsmart” brother of Javed Jaffrey. Ashish Chaudhary is a fine actor but his comic scenes were always funny because of Asrani, or Vijay Raaz or other actors in the scenes. But the fact that he supports all these established comic stars effectively in the scenes speaks of his acting potential. He should be a guy to watch out for in the future.
It was only when I had come out of the cinema hall that a friend of mine reminded that there was no leading actress in the movie; nor were there any songs to take your attention away from the frantic build-up to get the money. Wow!
The songs are few and two of them are taken care of right in the beginning and one in the end along with the casting credits. The title song is pretty much an item number for the promos – I only wish that Javed Jaffrey had been given more of a chance to show his dancing skills instead of pushing him into the corner in the dance scenes. Also, Arhsad Warsi could have done away with that huge white jacket that was hiding more than two-thirds of his body and, more importantly, all his moves.
I won’t say this is THE best comic movie you will see, but this one is a pretty funny story told the right way with the right actors. Watch out for Javed Jaffrey, the flight instruction scene with Vijay Raaz and the tiffs between Ritesh D and Sanjay Dutt.
Here is a second word on the movie: Virender's review of Dhamaal