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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kamaal Dhamaal Malaamal 

Missing: Director

After Priyadarshan has finished “filming” his Malayalam movie remakes, does he watch them?  Because if he really did, he would be embarrassed by Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal.

Supposed to be a sequel to the surprise hit Malamaal Weekly, this one is also set in a village, and has some vague reference to lottery tickets, but compared to this the earlier film looks like a masterpiece.

He collects all his favourite actors, takes them to a picturesque village, gives them Catholic names  (Johnny Belinda? Really!), but has them wear dhotis and speak “vighn mat dalo” kind of Hindi and sings songs with words like “Ishq ki azmat.”  He couldn’t care less about details or minimal authenticity of setting. Even if this was meant to be a mid-budget potboiler, doesn’t he director have to at least stir the pot?  Here, he seems to have told all the actors to ham (Nana Patekar being the self-styled rebel, clammed) and gone on vacation.



After an introduction to the characters, which has no connection to the story that follows, you find David (Om Puri) and his family living in a hut, while his enemy Peter (Paresh Rawal) has grown rich.  David’s son Johnny (Shreyas Talpade—overacting till it hurts to watch) is in love with Peter’s daughter Maria (Madhurima), but her three snarling brothers keep dropping by to thrash the cowardly suitor.  Johnny is so lazy and hopeless that the village has nicknamed him Bakri.

Then, strong and silent man (Nana Patekar) appears out of nowhere, and parks himself in David’s house.  Johnny passes him off a his missing brother Sam, and he proves to be the good son, helping the family out of poverty.  But he is mysterious, there’s something about a missing church cross, and the film just goes helter-skelter till all the ends are neatly tied up.  Every now and then, Maria’s brothers come growing into the village bazaar and beat up Johnny.

Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal, is neither comedy, nor drama, not romance, not suspense, not even a human ant and grasshopper moral tale—just tiresome, loud and so boring that only the high decibel level prevents the audience from falling asleep.


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