Indra Kumar’s promise of giving you a fun filled adventure comedy has very little to savour
Dhamaal franchise is popular, the characters are famous, and the second installment didn’t score as well as the first one. Considering all this in all seriousness, the third one should have been many steps ahead, at least to ensure that the franchise lives. But despite the stellar cast, there’s no magic. Yes, Total Dhamaal offers moments that make you laugh out loud, but the annoying ones are so many, that the impact of the good ones doesn’t stay.
Guddu (Ajay Devgn), a small time crook gets double crossed by his own partner Pintu (Manoj Pahwa) after they have managed to lay their hands illegally on a treasure owned by the police commissioner (Boman Irani). Guddu and his accomplice Johnny (Sanjay Mishra) trace Pintu but find out that the information to the treasure is already given to three groups- Avinash (Anil Kapoor) and Bindu (Madhuri Dixit), a couple who’s about to be divorced; Lallan (Riteish Deshmukh) and Jhingur (Pitobash Tripathy), firemen gone astray; and Aditya (Arshad Warsi) and Manav (Javed Jaffrey), two weird brothers with a world of their own. Its a race of who reaches the treasure first.
The story by Indra Kumar and screenplay by Ved Prakash, Paritosh Painter, and Bunty Rathore isn’t close to being new or fresh. Saint Sebastian garden’s W is replaced by Janakpur Zoo’s OK. The plot resembles the earlier two ventures seemingly a remake of sorts. With only visual newness and additive cast to offer, the makers probably thought they were out there making some genuine sense. But alas !
Only because the plot is by and large known, its highly predictable right from the first sequence. You do sit though taking into account the pleasant uncertainties of cinema expecting a sweet surprise later in the film. But anything major hardly happens. Yes, there are few plot turns and elements that attempt to keep you hooked, for example the interval scene, none of them actually grow on you.
Everything (mind you, everything) is presented using VFX and you wonder why actors were taken on board when VFX enabled animation. The actors (all of whom are tremendously talented) don’t add anything to the plot except for being middle-aged caricatures amid the animal kingdom, which again is fake and plastic.
Its a broken piece of writing. The characters are put into situations and haphazard actions are being performed, in a hope of evoking laughter. The sets are childish laden with loud slapstick humor, hardly making you wear a smile, forget a good laugh. The only hope is familiar faces, enabling you to tolerate the film.
All the actors have given an average performance, considering the wafer thin line of scope given to them in this quarter-baked plot (yes, its not even half-baked). There are only a couple of scenes where you like the film because of Anil Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, and Sanjay Mishra.
Music by Gourov-Roshin and background score by Sandip Shirodkar is decently well placed giving the narrative the needed pump. Nothing to be impressed about, but it does a fair task.
Cinematography by Keiko Nakahara and production design relying majorly on VFX never connects really apart from treating you with vibrant colours. The sets are all fake, you know it, but the laziness of makers to put that disbelief to advantage turns you off completely.
Editing by Dharmendra Sharma is just okay. What better could it have been in this monotonous highly predictable structure?
Indra Kumar in one of his interviews claimed that Total Dhamaal is a film to be enjoyed after you’ve left your brains at homes. Nothing wrong in it. But even after that, the film is a pain, so much so that you just want it to end in 20mins of its runtime. Had it made you laugh, everything would have been fine. Why would someone invest so much in a film like this, you would ask. Why would actors of such magnificent calibre sign this one up, you would ask. Why should you spend money to watch this one in theatres, you would ask. Do you ask? There’s no answer. Save your money. Save yourself.