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Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal  : No kamaal, no dhamaal
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Friday, September 28, 2012
Nana Patekar, Shreyas Talpade, Madhurima Banerjee, Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Asrani, Anjana Sukhani, Tarina Patel
Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal Movie Stills
Been there, seen that. Age-old friendship turns sour and the ensuing feud singes two young lovers from the families. Fortunately, there’s no bloodshed, there’s love, laziness, lies and a lost golden cross. Comic mayhem? It’s a Priyadarshan film after all.

The plot: Undreamed of money evaporates the friendship between David (Om Puri) and Peter (Paresh Rawal). While Peter relishes his newfound wealth, David is left behind steeped in poverty. When Peter’s wife leaves him to marry David, that’s the last nail in the coffin.

Switch to the present where a trembling Bakri, oops…sorry Johnny (Shreyas Talpade), the son of David, hides behind a mask of non-violence. He is lazy, jobless and utterly useless. But he does have an aim in life. To wed Maria (Madhurima), the love of his life who is family enemy, Peter’s daughter. Hiding from her brothers, Johnny is scared to be even open about his love.

But soon the winds of change sweep through the village and voila! Enter a very hungry and angry Stranger (Nana Patekar). His unexpected help in warding off Maria’s brothers, gives Johnny an idea: Mr Stranger morphs into Sam, his long-lost brother. But who is he really? And what is the mystery behind the lost church cross? A madcap ride unveils it all.

The good: Shreyas Talpade who has his highs and lows, is on an upper this time. He is spontaneous, funny and honest. Veterans Om Puri, Paresh Rawal and Asrani are stock efficient, no complaints. Madhurima Banerjee mercifully has only a tiny role, so the over-acting is limited. Nana Patekar is superb as always in a silent, strong avatar.

There are a few moments which tickle the bone. The music by Sajid-Wajid is interesting, although it sounds too familiar for comfort at many places.

A point that should be noted: the controversy that KDM hurts Christian sensibilities does not have any ground to stand on. There is nothing that portrays the community in a bad light. So spare us the politics, please.

The bad: There is no firm premise. Too many stories, too many undercurrents and none of the usual, effective confusion that will make you fall off your chair (remember Hungama?). There is a nalayak, nikamma beta, there is long-lost son Sam, there is friendship gone sour, there is Johnny-Maria’s love story and there is the lost golden cross, besides many more unwanted side stories. Not all of them make sense or make you laugh. eg Maria’s aunt (Pratima Kazmi) who is in love with the Father (Asrani), is pointless. Priyadarshan always uses confusion to raise laughter but this time he leaves you scratching your head, wanting something more. Also, it is way too long and could’ve been much crisper with many, many unwanted parts chopped off.

Overall: A remake of the Malayalam blockbuster Marykkundoru Kunjaadu, KDM has nothing impressive or impactful enough to give it that elevated box-office status in Hindi. Tolerable in places because of the proficient performances, it feels incomplete, like hurried patchwork.

– Priyanka Ketkar

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