Business rating: 1.5/5 stars
Star cast: Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Jaaved Jaffrey, Ritesh Deshmukh, Aashish Chowdhary, Mallika Sherawat, Kangna Ranaut, Satish Kaushik, Zakir Hussain.
What’s Good: The punch-filled dialogues that will appeal to the masses; the good performances of some of the actors.
What’s Bad: The uninteresting story; the loopholes in the screenplay; the absence of hit music.
Verdict: ‘Double Dhamaal’ will not score well enough as it will appeal to the masses more than the classes, and the single-screen audiences more than the multiplex-going audiences.
Loo break: Not really.
Watch or Not?: Watch it for the funny dialogues and some hilarious comic sequences.
Spoiler alert! You may want to skip directly to the Script Analysis below.
Reliance Entertainment and Maruti International’s Double Dhamaal (UA) is a comedy. Sequel to Dhamaal, it is about the four friends – Manav (Jaaved Jaffrey), Adi (Arshad Warsi), Roy (Ritesh Deshmukh) and Boman (Aashish Chowdhary) – and their encounter with Kabir (Sanjay Dutt) who is no longer a police officer.
Kabir is a conman in the guise of a rich businessman now, having resigned from the police force. Kamini (Mallika Sherawat) is Kabir’s beloved and a partner in his con game. Kiah (Kangna Ranaut) is the third partner and she is Kabir’s sister.
The four friends happen to spot Kabir and they hatch a plan to con him so that they can make money out of him, little realising that he is himself a conman. Anyway, Kabir manages to sell a government-owned plot of land to an underworld don-turned-tantrik, Baba Batanand Swami a.k.a. Bata Bhai (Satish Kaushik), by showing that the land has crude oil reserves. For the transaction, he tells Adi, Manav, Roy and Boman to deal with the don. Once the amount of Rs. 250 crore is received from the don as sale price of the plot of land, Kabir, Kamini and Kiah disappear with the money, leaving a fuming don who soon realises that he neither has right over the plot of land nor is it rich in crude oil reserve nor has he access to his Rs. 250 crore because the foursome who, in any case, don’t have the money to return him, have also disappeared.
Fearing for their lives, the four friends take the help of Mohsinbhai (Zakir Hussain) to flee the country. They land in Macau where they learn that Kabir is settled in the city. Thirsting for revenge, they try to gain entry, in disguises, into the life of Kabir who now runs a casino. Their aim is to win the confidence of Kabir, Kamini and Kiah, and then seek revenge by making away with his wealth. On his part, Kabir is trying to lay his hands on $1,000 crore from a local don of Macau, Johny Bonzela, by defrauding him but he doesn’t want to look like he has defrauded Bonzela.
Do Adi, Manav, Roy and Boman succeed in seeking revenge on Kabir? Or does Kabir con them once again? What about Bonzela whom Kabir is looking to con? And what about Baba Batanand Swami?
Double Dhamaal Review – Script Analysis
The film tries to encash on the ‘Dhamaal’ brand but in doing so, the story and screenplay writer (Tushar Hiranandani) has concentrated on gags and punches rather than an interesting script. In fact, the story about one-upmanship is predictable and the screenplay is full of gaping holes. Probably, the biggest drawback of the script is that the person from whose view point things are being narrated keeps changing as per the convenience of the situation. No harm in that except that this becomes an anomaly because when the focus shifts, the audience realises that some characters in the drama have done what could’ve been easily avoided. For instance, when the four friends come on a revenge mission to Macau, it is understandable that they would first and foremost try to win Kabir’s confidence and for that, they have to proceed in a round-and-about fashion as they are in disguises. But why Kabir, Kamini and Kiah play along is not explained. For, here were four scapegoats willing to do anything for Kabir – and Kabir, instead of using them to befool Bonzela and fleece him of his $1,000 crore, was busy playing along. Wasn’t Kabir in a hurry to first get control of the $1,000 crore? Why would he give even a minute extra to the foursome because what if any one of them got wind of his intention? If the writer would have us believe that Kabir was trying to make things as believable and as real as possible, that argument does not hold if only because, as stated earlier, the foursome was more than willing to do anything to win Kabir’s confidence – and getting $1,000 crore from Bonzela would be readily acceptable as a job by the foursome. More so, because the foursome, in any case, wanted to seek revenge which they could by running away with the money, and Kabir could have them get the money by conning them into believing that they were, in the process, going to win his confidence, and as soon as they got the money by risking their own lives, Kabir could’ve had them cornered. Instead, Kabir himself asks Bonzela to invest $1,000 crore in his casino. If that is so, wouldn’t the investor gun for Kabir to get his money back even if Kabir convinces him that the money is robbed by the foursome? Why would Bonzela go after the four and spare Kabir? This is just not explained but the fact is, this question crops up in the audience’s mind. Probably, the biggest hole in the screenplay is: why would Kabir ask for the four friends to be brought to Macau for his next con job, when he has himself run away from them and fled the country (India) after getting them involved in a crime? The natural human instinct would be to stay away from the four because it doesn’t require great intelligence to understand that they must be thirsting for Kabir’s blood. After all, Kabir had defrauded Bata Bhai of Rs. 250 crore, no less, and had made it appear as if the four friends were the criminals. Does the writer want the audience to believe that Kabir couldn’t have got four other idiots whom he could have made scapegoats of, for his casino deal in Macau and, therefore, wanted the same four friends to carry out the job? If so, the writer should have shown the compulsion for Kabir to want these and only these four friends. But the fact is, it may be difficult to get four intelligent men but not four idiots whom Kabir could’ve lured with money just as he lured the four friends in India in the Swami Batanand case. What’s worse still is that after having the four friends transported to Macau, it is Kabir and only Kabir who strikes the deal with Bonzela. Why wouldn’t Kabir make the foursome be at the forefront of the deal while himself remaining in the background so that he would never appear to be involved in the fraud? But the writer has no answer for this too.
Therefore, although the drama picks up after interval, the structure of the screenplay is so weak that other than the punch-filled dialogues, it doesn’t hold much. This is the reason why the film would find more acceptance among the masses and the single-screen audiences than among the classes and the multiplex audiences. Also the pitch at which the characters in the film speak is so loud that it would get on the nerves of the classes. Besides, so much reliance is placed on coincidence in the drama that it is not funny.
Another example of the focus being shifted randomly: the four friends vow to seek revenge at interval point but what comes of that vow in the end is not what one is used to watching. After all, in the scheme of things, the foursome are the underdogs and, therefore, the heroes in the drama. Put differently, the writer was not clear whether Kabir was the hero or the group of four was the group of heroes.
What saves the screenplay to a fair extent are the punch-packed dialogues by Sajid-Farhad and the performances. The funny lines often evoke laughter even though the drama defies logic. Similarly, there are some chunks which bring the house down with laughter. Among such funny anecdotes are the portions of Baba Batanand Swami (his dialogues are also splendid), Roy’s take-off on Sanjeev Kumar and other actors, the perpetually wrong timing of Manav’s dim-witted questions, the gorilla sequence etc. The scene in which the four friends hide themselves from Swami Batanand by covering themselves in long overcoats and ‘hanging’ themselves on the wall will bring the house down with laughter.
The climax is not as funny as it ought to have been.
Double Dhamaal Review – Star Performances & Direction
Sanjay Dutt is fair. He looks okay after interval but too stocky in the first half. Jaaved Jaffrey plays the dim-witted Manav very ably. Arshad Warsi is also effective. Ritesh Deshmukh is excellent, especially when he mimics Sanjeev Kumar and other actors. Aashish Chowdhary is okay. Mallika Sherawat doesn’t have a very substantive role. She is alright in what she does. Her dance on the Jalebi bai song is sexy. Kangna Ranaut also gets limited scope; she is fairly good. Satish Kaushik is a veritable highlight. His acting is remarkable and his one-liners are very enjoyable. Zakir Hussain has been wasted but does make his presence felt.
Indra Kumar’s direction is okay. He has concentrated on gags more than an arresting story to create comedy, which is hardly the most intelligent thing to do. Music (Anand Raaj Anand) is quite a letdown. Except for the Jalebi bai and the title songs (which is fair), the other numbers pass muster. Even the lyrics (Anand Raaj Anand and Mayur Puri) are nothing to shout about. Song picturisations (Ganesh Acharya and Remo D’souza) are okay. Background music could’ve been better. Aseem Bajaj’s cinematography is eye-filling and brings out the richness of the Macau locations. Sets (Tanushree Sarkar and Dipankar Dasgupta) are good. Action scenes (Allan Amin) are fair. Sanjay Sankla’s editing is reasonably sharp.
Double Dhamaal Review – Komal Nahta’s Verdict
On the whole, Double Dhamaal is for the masses and the single-screen cinemas mainly. Considering its high cost (over Rs. 40 crore), it is not likely to prove a profitable venture even though the producers have made a killing from its satellite rights. If, by a stroke of good luck, the producers are able to break even, at least the distributors of the circuits, for which the producers have sold the rights, would end up being in the red because of the high prices they’ve paid.
Double Dhamaal Review – Video Review