'Total Dhamaal' Movie Review: This Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit starrer is totally skip-worthy!
Have you watched 'Dhamaal'? In that case, you can skip this one. I’m going with 2 stars out of 5.
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At the onset, let me just clarify that there is a market for films like Total Dhamaal — crass comedy, a ton of overacting, replete with sexist jokes and stereotyping.
But that does not make it okay for the makers to basically rehash their old script, cast new actors and present what they’re calling a 'sequel'.
Dhamaal was fun. Yes, it was OTT in parts — but it was still a laugh riot one wouldn’t regret watching, perhaps because it came 12 years ago in 2007, to an Indian cinema audience who had not yet experienced the world of Netflix and Amazon Prime.
And precisely because of that, Total Dhamaal looks jaded and 12 years too late.
At this point, I don’t even have to warn you of the spoilers ahead, because I am presuming you’ve watched Dhamaal.
That’s it. That’s the story.
Three of the original cast members have been retained — Arshad Warsi and Javed Jaffrey as Adi and Manav reprise their roles, while Riteish Deshmukh is seen in a new character — a Bhojpuri fire-fighter who asks for bribes in exchange for saving lives.
Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit are fresh additions and that is where the novelty lay — to be watching Anil and Madhuri together after Pukaar. But that is also where the novelty ended. Here, they are a bickering couple seeking a divorce before a magistrate — a scene lifted right out of Tanu Weds Manu 2, where Kangana Ranaut and R Madhavan were seated before a panel of psychiatrists in a mental asylum. Of course, the setting was changed, the context remained the same.
Like Dhamaal, Total Dhamaal is an obstacle race designed by Murphy — which means, anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
The tropes that worked in Dhamaal are shamelessly reused, either for nostalgia value or just plain sloppy writing. So, expect to see cars blasting, token ‘south Indian’ man referred to as 'nariyal pani', helicopter flying going horribly wrong, just general chaos.
If Dhamaal had the ‘bada sa W’ Total Dhamaal has the ‘beautiful OK.’ If Dhamaal had Rs 10 crore, Total Dhamaal has Rs 50 crore — at least they took into account price rise.
But with two suitcases full of cash — crisp, pink 2000-rupee notes — you can see that demonetisation aimed at curbing black money was a failure. Not that we needed proof, though.
The only saving grace in the film is that the cast is extremely comfortable with this variety of physical comedy — with years of Rohit Shetty behind him, Ajay certainly leads the pack, a close second is Arshad, and Javed, Anil, Riteish and Sanjay Mishra right behind. Madhuri is okay too — I did sit there and wonder why she chose this script and then realised even Tabu has had to do a Golmaal Again!
At 2 hours and 20 minutes, Total Dhamaal seems longer than 2 hours, 33 minutes of Gully Boy. And because I need a cleansing of my mind after this, I am going to watch Gully Boy again tonight.
Who’s with me?
PS. Why Sonakshi Sinha is dancing to a posh-ified version of Mungra Mungra in a nightclub is beyond me. I’m going with 2 stars out of 5.