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A Little Bit Of Fun

Saturday, February 23, 2019
By Deepa Gahlot

Total Dhamaal
Director:
Indra Kumar
Cast: Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Ajay Devgn, Riteish Deshmukh and others
Rating: * *

Third in the Dhamaal series, this one too has a bunch of people chasing money, in It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World mode, which is one major thing that’s wrong with Indra Kumar’s Total Dhamaal, the persistent feeling that you have seen this sort of thing so many times.

Having said that, there is some humour in the film—silly though it may be—and amidst the crowd of actors a few look like they are enjoying themselves.

Suitcases of stolen booty are hidden in a zoo. And five sets of people have to reach there to grab it. The thieves played by Ajay Devgan (called Bro all the time, so if he had a name, one didn’t catch it) and Sanjay Mishra stole from the police commissioner (Boman Irani) and got gypped by their getaway driver Pintu (Manoj Pahwa). A squabbling couple Avinash (Anil Kapoor) and Bindu (Madhuri Dixit), Aadi (Arshad Warsi) and his dim-witted brother Manav (Jaaved Jaaferi) reappearing from the earlier films, a fireman Lallan (Riteish Deshmukh) and his sidekick (Pitobash Tripathy) --all race to the zoo, with the cop and his sidekick (Vijay Patkar) in hot pursuit.

For a bulk of the running time, it is about the obstacles they face in getting to their destination—like Lallan hiring a helicopter from an eccentric Bengali (Johny Lever—how can there be a comedy movie without him!), which is an auto rickshaw turned into a chopper with a domestic fan as propeller. Or Avinash and Bindu getting a Malayalam-speaking man as their guide and landing in the wrong place.

Then everybody lands in the zoo with shoddy-looking CGI animals, and find the zookeeper (Esha Gupta) trying to prevent a hostile takeover by a greedy gangster (Mahesh Manjrekar).

The funniest scenes belong to Aadi and Manav, because both Warsi and Jafferi have perfect comic timing; Deshmukh’s Bihari inspired by Shatrughan Sinha, has his moments too—particularly his communication with God. The others do their parts earnestly, and hope for the best—which is, that the film, even though dragged for too long, is not boring, and not vulgar. Never mind the unnecessary item song by Sonakshi Sinha, the annoying ‘Paisa’ rehash with stone-faced white dancers… okay, so the dhamaal may not be total, but there is a very small slice.

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