Remake of the popular Malayalam film ‘Marykkundoru Kunjaadu’, ‘Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal’ follows the typical Priyadarshan brand of humour. A comedy of errors; involving a wimpy 25-year-old, an absconding thief and a stolen golden church cross, the film does not follow a distinct genre. In essence, it’s a mix of drama, humour and bucket loads of emotion!
Although the performances by the cast, comprising Shreyas Talpade, Nana Patekar, Om Puri and Paresh Rawal, are brilliant, the story fails to enliven the interest of the viewer. There’s slapstick humour galore in the first half, but the latter part gets embroiled in needless mystery.
Johnny Belinda (Shreyas Talpade), according to every man, woman and child in the village, is a wimp. He gets scared of everything and everyone. Not just that, he is a good-for-nothing soul who does not help out his ailing father David (Om Puri) and buys lottery tickets day-in-and-day-out hoping for a miracle which will make him a millionaire. Johnny is in love with Maria (Madhhurima), who happens to be the daughter of David’s sworn enemy Peter (Paresh Rawal). Johnny gets bashed up by every Tom, Dick and Harry in the village and it is due to this continuous humiliation that he is subjected to which earns him the nickname ‘Bakri’. Enter Nana Patekar (an unnamed thief), who gets convinced by Johnny to become his long-lost brother Sam. The newly-turned Sam wreaks havoc all over the town, bringing much-needed relief to the embattled Johnny. Everything is fine, until the real reason of the fake Sam’s arrival in town is revealed!
Although the performances put in by the cast, comprising Shreyas, Paresh, Om, Nana, are quite good, put all of them together in one sequence and you will realize that the adage ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ is so true. The supporting cast, comprising Asrani and Neeraj Vora, lend some life into the film.
Priyadarshan’s films are known to be the ‘theatre of the absurd’ but sadly, even the absurdity fails to evoke a guffaw anymore. His comedy-of-errors style of humour must have worked tremendously well in the 2000s, but it’s not just doing the trick anymore. Neeraj Vora’s dialogues are funny, occasionally, but overall, the writing is very disappointing.
Performances are fine, dialogue is well-written, but the writing and direction just goes haywire. ‘Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal’ is pretty much Halaal! You might laugh at a gag or two, but just not enough steam to go on for 2 and half hours! (First Posted in MSN)