Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal (2012) *MQ*

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When all filmmakers began to set their films either abroad or in Delhi, Mumbai, you cannot accuse director Priyadarshan of having forgotten the village, whether in Billu, Malamaal Weekly, Bhool Bhulaiya, or this film. Though it’s usually hard to tell which part of India Priyadarshan’s villages are situated in.

The one in this movie is a Christian village with a church for a panchayat. It doesn’t seem like Goa or Kerala, while people speak in accents borrowed from both Maharashhtra and Uttar Pradesh. Not that it should matter. What matters of course is a gentleman who’s appeared in this village seemingly from nowhere.

The family in the film (Om Puri plays the old father) feels this unknown man could be their long lost, elder son. That son of theirs had run away from home 18 years ago! This stranger before us is clearly in his late 40s, if not older. And yet, the family has reasons to debate if he could be the same boy. They obviously don’t remember what their son looked, walked, and talked like, only 18 years before. Anyway, all day, this gentleman with a spade digs outside the house, and eats: “khodna aur khana,” that’s all he does. He can pack a mighty punch. This comes useful for the other son in this household, who keeps getting beaten up throughout. The stranger becomes his bodyguard.

This young boy (Shreyas Talpade) is a nincompoop. He doesn’t believe in working, and is scared of even children thrashing him up. He is also in love with a rich, gorgeous girl in the village. Actually, the girl is in love with him. Why anyone would be attracted to this “nikamma” is anyone’s guess. This love story is the core of the entire picture. There is hardly any comedy. I suppose you must yawn through the whole film now to find out who Nana Patekar’s character actually is.

Is this good enough to make a full-on feature film? If the director is Priyadarshan, you needn’t answer that question. Across two and half decades, Priyadarshan has “filmed” around 70 movies. After some decent stuff in the late ‘90s, early 2000s (Viraasat, Hera Pheri), it has rarely mattered what his films have been about – whether or not they were remakes of his own Malayalam movies, or ripped off from Hollywood.

In 2005, the Indian government announced the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act to ensure at least 100 days’ work to all Indian citizens. Since a little before that, Priyadarshan had been running a similar scheme of his own in Bollywood that would give employment to some fine Bollywood actors who may be free at any point in time in a given year: the good old, Asrani, Om Puri, Neeraj Vohra, Paresh Rawal, Shakti Kapoor…. The hero could be Akshay Kumar, or Sunil Shetty. That scheme began to flop at some point. The leading men here are now Patekar and Talpade. You can sense the director’s still pushing his luck.

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Alternate Watch Online

part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4

Alternate Watch Online

part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4

Alternate Watch Online

part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4

Alt. Watch Online
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