Percept Pictures’ Kamaal Dham­aal Malamaal (UA) is a comedy set in a village. It is a remake of the Mala­yalam film, Marykkundoru Kunjaadu.

David (Om Puri) and Peter (Paresh Rawal), living in the same village, had been the best of friends but had fallen apart due to money matters. They had gone their separate ways, gotten married and had children. Years have since passed.

David and his wife, Maria (Sona Nair), have a grown-up son, Johny (Shreyas Talpade), who is lazy, good-for-nothing and a weakling. He is nicknamed Bakri by the villagers. David also has two grown-up daughters, Sarah (Pooja Rani Chaudhary) and Lily (Terina Patel). Peter has a daughter, Maria (Madhurima), and three grown-up sons, Gogo (Rajiv Pillai) and two others (Anirudh Harip and Vivek). Despite the enmity bet­ween David and Peter, the former’s son, Johny Bakri, and the latter’s daughter, Maria, love one another and want to get married. But Peter and his sons are dead against the marriage.

One day, a man (Nana Patekar) comes to the village from nowhere. He happens to save Johny Bakri while the latter is being beaten up by Maria’s brothers. Johny Bakri takes a liking for the man and cooks up a story to introduce him to his family as his long-lost brother, Sam. David and his family believe Johny Bakri’s story and wel­come ‘Sam’ back into the family. Sam hardly speaks, is physically very strong and eats like an elephant. By the by, Johny Bakri learns that ‘Sam’ is actually a rapist and a murderer. He tries to oust him out of his house but his family has become too fond of ‘Sam’ to now let him go. ‘Sam’ keeps helping David in his work.

Johny Bakri and Maria’s love story cannot progress much because of Peter and his sons. There is also a track of the the gold cross of the church having been stolen.

One day, ‘Sam’ slyly sets David’s house on fire. In the dark of the night, Johny Bakri sees ‘Sam’ hunting for something in the plot of land where their house once stood. He is shock­ed to find ‘Sam’ dig out the stolen cross of the church.

What happens then? Who had stolen the cross? Who is ‘Sam’ in reali­ty? Do Johny Bakri and Maria unite in matrimony? Are ‘Sam’ and Johny Bakri able to see eye to eye again?

Benny Nayarambalam’s story couldn’t have been more ridiculous! There is no logic in the story and everything happens so easily that it would appear, nobody in the village had brains or common sense. Neeraj Vora’s screenplay is as silly as it can get. How David and his family members accept Johny Bakri’s story about the return of Sam is not explained. Why Johny Bakri does not confront ‘Sam’ and seek a clarification about the rape-and-murder story from him is not known. Even Johny Bakri and Maria’s romance is so half-baked that the audience just doesn’t feel for them one bit. Since the story is so thin, scenes keep getting repeated, thereby boring the audience in the process. Although the film is designed as a comedy, the fun element is so poor that it does not even prompt the view­er to smile, leave alone laugh. Neeraj Vora has penned such a pathetic screenplay that the comedy film turns out to be a tragedy for the unsuspecting audience. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the comedy is so childish that it is an assault on the sensibilities of the viewers. Everybody in the village has a say in everybody else’s business. For example, Pinto (Neeraj Vora), who is but a mere coffin maker, pokes his nose in everything under the sun in such a way that it would appear, he owns the village! Even Neeraj Vora’s dialogues leave a lot to be desired.

In short, romance is conspicuous by its absence; comedy falls flat on its face; emotions are zero; and the entire drama is meaningless.

Performances are mostly so theat­rical that it often appears as if the audience were watching a nautanki, not a film. Shreyas Talpade tries very hard to rise above the horrible script but fails. Nana Patekar is ill-at-ease in a role that gives him hardly any scope to speak. To cast an actor whose dialogue-delivery is his trump card, in a role where he has to remain quiet is silly, to say the least. Paresh Rawal is at least earnest in what he does. Om Puri also puts his heart and soul into his character. Madhurima looks pretty but gets no scope to act or impress. Neeraj Vora is too theatrical but at least puts life into his role. Asrani and Razzak Khan pass muster. Shakti Kapoor is hopelessly wasted. Sona Nair is alright. Pratima Kannan (Kazmi) has her funny moments as Bulbul Aunty. Anjana Sukhani appears in a song-dance number. Rajiv Pillai, Anirudh Harip, Vivek, Dinyar Tirandaz (as the doctor), Sitaram Panchal, Pooja Rani Chaudhary, Terina Patel and the others fail to create any impression. Rajpal Yadav’s commentary at the start of the film does not add anything to the insipid drama.

Director Priyadarshan seems to have sleep-walked his way through the film. His command over the medium is not evident anywhere. His narrative style, coupled with the lacklustre script, bores the audiences and tests their patience. Sajid-Wajid’s music is functional. The ‘Chhalke’ and ‘Ringa ringa’ songs are okay. Lyrics (by Jalees Sherwani and Wajid) pass muster. Song picturisations, by Pony Verma and Prasanna, are ordinary. Ouseppachan’s background music leaves plenty to be desired. Thyaga­rajan and Abbas Ali Moghul’s action scenes and stunts are commonplace. R. Ganesh’s camerawork is routine. Sets (Sabu Cyril and Manu Jagadh) are ordinary. T.S. Suresh’s editing is way below the mark.

On the whole, Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal is a terrible film devoid of merits and it awaits a horrifyingly poor time at the box-office. It will meet with disastrous results at the turnstiles.

Released on 28-9-’12 at Regal (daily 1 show), Liberty (daily 1 show), Maratha Mandir (daily 3 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay thru Aum Exhibitors. Publicity: dull. Opening: terribly poor. …….Also released all over. Opening was disastrous everywhere.

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