'Double Dhamaal'

This much-anticipated, bigger-budgeted sequel to 2007's surprise hit laffer "Dhamaal" inflates the original's modest improvisational bits of business to frenetic, ponderously overproduced effect.

Surprise 2007 hit laffer “Dhamaal” was a freewheeling money-chasing caper in the mode of “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.” Double Dhamaal,” the much-anticipated, bigger-budgeted sequel, inflates the original’s modest improvisational bits of business to frenetic, ponderously overproduced effect. Helmer Indra Kumar picks up where he left off, reprising his core quartet of none-too-bright losers and their corrupt-cop nemesis, but their rivalries and double-crosses begin to feel repetitive and over-the-top. Opening worldwide June 24, pic may briefly coast on its predecessor’s success but will ultimately appeal mainly to die-hard buffs.

The four stooges who found a fortune in “Dhamaal,” only to be forced to donate it to charity, are back again, aimlessly dreaming of a life of luxury. Cue song sequence of the foursome rolling around in opulence and women, one of the pic’s many ham-handed examples of glitz for glitz’s sake. Each of the four dull bulbs ostensibly reps a different brand of stupidity, though only Adi (Arshad Warsi), vaunting his know-it-all style of ignorance, and Manav (Jaaved Jaafery), comfortable in his self-proclaimed idiocy, seem like defined types, while handsomer Roy (Riteish Deshmukh) and Boman (Ashish Chowdhry) display more general dim-wittedness.

Their former adversary, ex-Inspector Kabir (Sanjay Dutt, in a commanding perf) makes a flamboyant reappearance in a stretch limo, flanked by two sexy femme cohorts (Mallika Sherawat, Kangana Ranaut), and the four goons immediately start scamming and scheming to horn in on his action. Of course, Kabir has a game plan of his own, which will leave our heroes holding the bag and on the run from murderous gangsters. The scene then gratuitously shifts to Macao for more of the same.

The new spin cycle of cons and cons-within-cons involves elaborate disguises, occasioning broad ethnic humor and broader slapstick turns; cleverness and inventiveness take a backseat to exaggeration, repetition and sheer volume. A casino heist sparks the one musical number (Sherawat’s pelvis-gyrating rendition of “Jalebi Bai”) that is meaningfully interwoven into the action, but pic generally fails to congeal. Though film references and self-reflective in-jokes abound, the movie is never sufficiently grounded for all the constant plot reversals to register as either humorous or surprising.

Double Dhamaal



A Reliance Big Pictures release of a Prakash Ja presentation of a Maruti Pictures, Reliance Entertainment production. Produced by Ashok Thakeria, Indra Kumar. Directed by Indra Kumar. Screenplay, Tushar Hiranandani; dialogue, Farhad-Sajid.


Camera (color, widescreen), Aseem Bajaj; editor, Sanjay Sankla; music, Anand Raj Anand; lyrics, Anand, Mayur Puri; art directors, Tanushree Sarkar, Dipankar Dasgupta; sound designer (Dolby Digital/DTS), Chiranjeevi Nanda; choreographers, Ganesh Zachary, Remo D'Souza; action director, Allan Amin; casting, Shahid Hasan. Reviewed at Big Cinemas Manhattan, New York, June 22, 2011. Running time: 138 MIN.


Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Riteish Deshmukh, Jaaved Jaafery, Ashish Chowdhry, Mallika Sherawat, Kangana Ranaut. (Hindi dialogue)
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