'Comedy is much more difficult than tragedy, and a much better training, I think. It's much easier to make people cry than to make them laugh,' as rightly said by 'Gone With The Wind' actress Vivien Leigh. While Rohit Shetty ticked our funny bone with his 'Golmaal' franchise, Indra Kumar brought back slapstick comedies in vogue when he introduced us to the mad, zany world of 'Dhamaal' in 2007.
After the not-so-impressive Double Dhamaal in 2011, the filmmaker is back with his crazy, over-the-top third film in the franchise- Total Dhamaal which has an impressive stellar cast. Does it make for a fun-ride? Let's find out.
Indra Kumar's Total Dhamaal begins with a grand title track where all the characters make one thing crystal clear- 'it's all about the money here.'
Con-artists Guddu (Ajay Devgn) and Johnny (Sanjai Mishra), a bickering couple Avinash and Bindu (Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit) who are on a verge of divorce, a fireman Lallan (Riteish Deshmukh) and his side-kick played by Pitobash Tripathy, greedy siblings Adi and Manav (Arshad Warsi) and a cunning police commissioner (Boman Irani) set out on a mad chase for a hidden booty of Rs 50 crores in a zoo in Janakpur. In a run-time of over two hours, we are treated to crash-landing helicopters, falling bridges, flooding rivers and some bonding with animals.
To begin with, Indra Kumar gets his cast bang on by roping in actors who have a flair for comedy. His film rides heavily on star power. Unfortunately, the screenplay and the writing takes a backseat here. The gags are hardly funny and turn repetitive after a while.
Speaking about the performances, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit still make your hearts go 'dhak-dhak' with their charm and breath in some life in the insipid narrative. Ajay Devgn delivers a wobbly performance; blame it on his poor characterization. The otherwise impressive Sanjai Mishra too suffers from a badly-written role.
Riteish Deshmukh shines in parts and pieces. The lovable duo Adi-Manav (Arshad Warsi and Jaffery) should have been given some more screen-time. Boman Irani and Johnny Lever are funny in their scenes.
The recreated versions of 'Paisa Yeh Paisa' and 'Mungda' lack a spark. Even 'Speaker Phat Jaaye' which plays during the end-credits struggles to create an impact.
Despite a promising ensemble cast, Indra Kumar's Total Dhamaal ends up as a feeble attempt at comedy. Instead of a mad-rush for the booty, the characters should set out for a search for the script in the film. I am going with 2.5 stars.