In a scene in Double Dhamaal Ritesh Deshmukh, disguised as an older Gujarati businessman, twice whacks Sanjay Dutt in the nuts by swinging his golf club in the wrong direction. Dutt winces in pain. Given the standard of humor in this film, it’s a fairly funny scene. And director Indra Kumar knows it. Which is why he throws in another scene in which a gorilla is kicked in the groin. And then another one in which Dutt lines up Ritesh and his buddies and whacks each of them in the crotch with a golf ball. How many times do you repeat the same gag, before it stops being funny?

Double Dhamaal, unlike the 2007 film whose sequel it is, has absolutely no plot to speak of. The film’s entirely unfunny first half involves Dutt conning the four protagonists – Ritesh Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi, Ashish Choudhary and Javed Jaffrey – into selling sewage water as oil. The tables turn in the second half, when the boys decide to strip Dutt of his ill-earned riches and his joy. Their hare-brained plan involves changing many disguises so they can dupe him without it being traced back to them. So at one point Ashish Choudhary slips into a monkey suit, and must kiss face with a real gorilla. (If you think that’s sick, wait till you see him in a slinky dress, baring enough cleavage to put Rakhi Sawant to shame). Ritesh Deshmukh smears black face-paint and wears an Afro wig so he can pretend to be a Caribbean lover-boy who seduces Dutt’s sister. Arshad Warsi poses as a smart sardar who offers to handle the security of Dutt’s casino. And Javed Jaffrey, the ‘slow’ one in the group, pretends to be….umm…a slightly ‘slower’ version of himself.
 
The only genuinely clever bits in Double Dhamaal are the repeated film references. There are jokes directed at Guzaarish, Taare Zameen Par, Peepli Live, and even at the actors in this very film. Satish Kaushik’s character, an underworld figure named Batabhai, repeatedly insults the younger foursome by beckoning them with such names as “Multi-star cast ke side hero” and “Hit film ke flop hero”.
 
But little else tickles the funny bone here. Actors yell out their lines instead of saying them, every gag is repeated over and over again, and the double entendres get tiresome after a point. Mallika Sherawat and Kangana Ranaut, who star as Dutt’s girlfriend and sister respectively, are easy on the eye but make as much of an impression in this film as good-looking wallpaper does in an ugly room.
 
The earlier Dhamaal, although generously copied from It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, had several moments of inspired lunacy. This sequel is a lazy effort made on a bigger budget, but evidently with half the integrity and spirit.
 
I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for director Indra Kumar’s Double Dhamaal. Aside from a few laughs post-intermission, this film is a crashing bore.

 

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