Films | Kamaal, Dhamaal, Malaamal – Movie Review

Kamaal, Dhamaal, Malaamal – Movie Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on September 28, 2012 | No Comments

PRODUCER – Percept Picture Company
DIRECTOR – Priyadarshan
WRITER – Neeraj Vora (Screenplay, Dialogue), Benny P. Nayarambalam (Story)
CAST – Nana Patekar, Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Shreyas Talpade, Rajpal Yadav, Shakti Kapoor, Asrani, Anjana Sukhani
MUSIC – Sajid Wajid

Like clockwork, or Madhur Bhandarkar, Priyadarshan comes out with a template comedy film every now and then. They have a few (many?) things that never change. They are remakes of a South-Indian film, the comedy is deafening, senseless and largely slapstick, it always centred in the ‘comedy of errors’ mode and it has Priyadarshan’s usual suspects doing almost the same things despite the marked talent of each. These mostly include Om Puri, Paresh Rawal, Asrani and so on. Akshay Kumar, the regular star attraction of his packages is missing, not that it really makes a difference.

The film is a remake of a Malayalam film called Marykkundoru Kunjaadu. The story revolves around a few characters with compulsive quirks that are supposed to define their characters and the film. It is set in a village that is reeling from the mystery of a stolen church cross and amuses itself by endlessly ragging Johnny (Shreyas Talpade). Johnny is in love with Maria (Madhurima), the daughter of David aka Ghanta Singh (Om Puri) who along with his hench-men like sons is constantly bashing up Johnny. There is Peter (Paresh Rawal), David’s old-time rival in the mix with several other characters to make this mash-up as mashed-up as possible. To add to the general mayhem of the Priyadarshan world this time there is also Nana Patekar, a consummate talent who is little explored for his delightful comic talent. He plays Sam aka Kallu, a toughie in love with food and comes to protect the coward Johnny from his attackers but who has his own a dark past and motivations.

As far as comedies go Priyadarshan’s actors perform with a general abandon, not shy of taking their performances several pitches above what appeals. Loudness and general confusion abounds in this one too but it isn’t the tone of comedy that plays spoilsport as much as the nature of the narrative. Unnervingly meandering and long, it is an exercise in excess that begins to seem pointless right after the first half an hour.
There is some visual respite in prettily shot song sequences between Shreyas and Madhurima and also the mandatory item number featuring Anjana Sukhani but it’s not spice or flavouring for this bland comedy.

It is always refreshing to watch the lesser seen Nana Patekar in any role because of the magnetic eccentricity and authenticity he brings to the frailest of his roles. Yet, saddled with school level comedy stunts and blaise one-liners that are more cringe-worthy than enjoyable. Paresh Rawal stands out in his act of the scheming Peter but has little to influence the general direction of the film. Shreyas Talpade, an otherwise dependable actor seems to be lost in chaos, over-doing his cowardice. Madhurima dances and prances with joy and is left to do only that much. And for Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav and Asrani, if you are familiar with their Priyadarshan repertoire than it is easy to imagine their contribution to this dismal project.

The film is a roller-coaster and that’s not a good thing. When you watch a roller-coaster from the ground it appears confusing, overwhelming and unnecessarily meandering and Kamaal, Dhamaal, Malaamal resembles it faithfully. Just that it forgets to put the ‘ride’ in the proceedings somewhere.

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