Movie review: Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal
The most encouraging thing about this film is its rural Catholic setup without Goa or the associated Bollywood clich ©s.
Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal
Cast: Nana Patekar, Shreyas Talpade, Om Puri, Paresh Rawal, Asrani, Madhurima Bannerjee
Other than that, almost every single cinematic aspect bears the trademark Priyadarshan stamp. In other words, sloppiness runs wild in the guise of entertainment. It starts as a wannabe comedy and concludes as a wannabe drama, with a pinch of suspense embedded somewhere in between.
Presumably set in UP, the story revolves around a slacker (Shreyas Talpade) who is not only directionless but rather proud of it. Just when his folks are getting fed up of him, life funnily changes a bit by the sudden arrival of a stranger (Nana Patekar) who eats like there’s no tomorrow and works harder than yesterday.
This newfound superhero has a past but his future seems fairly set. He passes off as our protagonist’s long-lost brother, much to the delight of the pious family in question.
However, foreseeable melodrama ensues thanks to an ongoing romance that proves love is indeed blind. After all, why would a girl like her go for a coward like him? Anyway that’s merely one of the several loopholes you face while you’re trying to make sense of the characters.
For instance, the mother looks younger than the man she claims to be her son. An unnecessary subplot involving the village priest and an elder woman extends the movie without serving its comical purpose. The editor should have sharpened his scissors!
The film’s cast boasts of veterans, yes, but a stronger storyline would have been great. No stranger to bucolic scripts, Shreyas almost aces the lazybones persona. Nana doesn’t look like Om Puri’s son either off-screen or on-screen. Nonetheless, his He-Man act is credible to a certain extent. Om Puri is inch-perfect as the father while Paresh Rawal is barely there in the film. For a debutant, Madhurima Bannerjee gets noticed.
Overall, none of the songs are catchy. Few instances of fresh humour take place. The countryside feel is there but remains under-capitalised. No wonder experimentation is avoided like cancer. And contrary to the title, there ain’t any kamaal, dhamaal or malamaal happening on the big screen.
The film simply ends up as an effortless no-brainer. On the brighter side, it conveys a valid point: South Indian remakes don’t always work in Hindi.