Review: TOTAL DHAMAAL


Senior Citizen Edition


2 stars


Mini Review:


A dying man gives a clue to this money mad bunch of people, mostly senior citizens. That begins the mindless comic race to Janakpur zoo where the stolen money has been kept. Each duo is worse than the other and even though the slapstick comedy does make you laugh in bits, but mostly you can see the joke coming at your from a mile away. Because the cast are stars from yesteryears, it just takes them so long to understand the joke. Kids might find the scenes with CGI zoo animals good fun, I just wanted to kill myself.


Main Review:

I'm Not An Ageist, But...


If you’d rather stay at home and binge watch National Geographic specials where animal win and foolish men die, that would be eminently more satisfying than watching this film. All the stars are just of the wrong age to play the fool. If the cast was seven, maybe even stupid and seventeen years old, the capers would be fun to watch. But when you see fifty five year olds in dungarees licking lollipops, you don’t know whether to look away or to throw up in your popcorn. Javed Jaffrey plays the simple Manav well, but it’s awful to see him do stupid things as though he were in a kiddie cartoon. But if you expect a kiddie cartoon instead of a film, then you might find a way to smile when Aadi tells his brother Manav (together they are Aadi Manav or Primitive Man, groan!) to not save him, and then gets into quicksand, and Manav of course finds a snake to throw at Aadi when there’s a clothesline (in the middle of nowhere) he could have used.


‘But there are clothes hanging on it!’ is simple logic, and you do laugh, but you have to put up with Arshad Warsi who plays Aadi, and you do kick yourself several times.

You can insert ads for joint aches and pains and stomach troubles because the oldies try really hard to be fun. Hollywood tried old men in hot tubs and the result was ghastly to watch...


God Help Us! Johnny Lever Cannot

Ritesh Deshmukh is paired with Pitobash and the only funny thing happens is when God intervenes and saves them. Don’t ask. Even Johnny Lever cannot save the film with a sketch with the helicopter made from an auto-rickshaw.


Boman Irani is the cop chasing these low lifes with a partner Vijay Patkar who has just that one physical comedy thing called the funny eye. The sequence with the train coming at them all in the tunnel could have been funnier had it been not so stretched. Now that’s an idea! They should have edited out each sketch a little more to make the physical comedy bearable.

This film is nothing but a bunch of really poor comedy skits kids do in school. But people were laughing in the theater, imagining their uncles and aunties slipping on banana peals...


Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit save the silly film with their husband and wife getting divorced act but even their struggle to reach the highway with the help of the stereotype ‘Madrasi’ (played by Ali) is annoying. Some husband vs wife dialog is funny, but so politically incorrect you cringe.


And you cringe when Sanjay Mishra who is paired with Ajay Devgn behave like teens. Neither of the two can do physical comedy well and you want to tell Ajay Devgn that he needs to go back doing the angry policeman roles again. Even the freshness of Jackie Shroff being the voice of GPS loses its shine because it goes on and on and on.


Since the action takes place in a zoo, there are scenes with animals who are so badly created you wish you didn’t have to watch. Crystal the monkey gets credit. But I guess, everyone else is so bad, why not, eh?


Mahesh Manjrekar shows up too, sometimes sounding like a South Indian baddie, and other times like how the British extras in Bollywood movies speak Hindi. Was happy to see the fake gorilla beat the man with the fake accent up.

Sonakshi Sinha's Item Number Earns A Star For the Film!

The movie ends with everyone getting a bit of the money. And advice to zookeeper Esha Gupta from Sanjay Mishra with all the puns earns a star on its own: Itne saare jaanvaro ki dekhbhaal kartee ho, is jaanvar ko bhi apna lo. Yeh jaanvar hai, tumhari jaan ban-na chaahta hai, tum ise apna var maan lo!

And yes, I actually loved watching Sonakshi Sinha showing up only to dance (what a svelte figure she cuts now!) to a song that has been remixed like a thousand times...   



(A non-ageist version of the review appears on nowrunning dot com)

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