Total Dhamaal directed by Indra Kumar. Photo: Twitter/@ajaydevgn
Total Dhamaal directed by Indra Kumar. Photo: Twitter/@ajaydevgn

‘Total Dhamaal’ dominates screens

  • Director Kumar tries too hard to make you laugh with some scenes in Total Dhamaal but overall delivers a clean film
  • Bengali romantic drama Nagarkirtan directed by Kaushik Ganguly is a must-watch thanks to Ganguly’s unsentimental unsparing vision

In a week bereft of any major Hollywood releases, it is up to the single Bollywood offering to woo audiences.

Adventure comedy Total Dhamaal directed by Indra Kumar starring Ajay Devgn, Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi, Madhuri Dixit and Anil Kapoor, had the potential to be a comic rollercoaster ride given the ensemble cast, says The Times Of India. However, the fact that the film is slapstick is not a problem, what brings it down is poor writing and execution.

The easiest route for comedy in recent years has been to follow the route of sex. What works for Total Dhamaal, just like the original, is it does not fall into this trap and refrains from sexual innuendos, says Khaleej Times. It doesn't rely on vulgar one-liners or double entendres and yet is packed with some funny moments. Repeated gags that we have seen in the earlier installment tend to drag the film. Director Kumar tries too hard to make you laugh with some scenes but overall delivers a clean film.

Tamil drama To Let directed by Chezhiyan starring Santhosh Sreeram, Suseela and Dharun is a moving tale about a family that is in search of a rented house during the IT boom in Chennai, says The Hindu. It’s poignant and evocative at the same time. The combination of close-up and wide shots, the frame-within-frame cinematography, the liberal usage of natural light and sound make it the purest film we had since Thalaimuraigal directed by Balu Mahendra.

Tamil sports drama Pettikadai directed by Esakki Karvannan starring Samuthirakani, Chandini Tamilarasan and Varsha Bollamma is not even hilariously bad, says The Times Of India. It teems with half-baked ideas about organic farming, globalisation, the corporate world, feminism, politics, revolution, and a filmmaking style that makes home videos seem professional.

Tamil political satire LKG directed by Prabhu starring RJ Balaji and Priya Anand is a clever political satire, says India Today. It is more of a product that is topical and would sell like a hot cupcake for now. It remains to be seen if the film makes an impact after a few years.

Tamil drama Kanne Kalaimaane directed by Seenu Ramasamy starring Udhayanidhi Stalin and Tamannaah feels like an amiable drama about genial characters, says The Times Of India, since there is hardly any significant conflict for two-thirds of the film. If it manages to keep us engaged, it is mainly because of the niceness of its characters and the feel-good moments.

Telugu biographical film N.T.R: Mahanayakudu directed by Krish starring Nandamuri Balakrishna, Vidya Balan and Aamani is definitely a film for NTR fans but for the regular audience it may end up as just a one-time watch, says telugu360.com. Balakrishna’s splendid performance as NT Rama Rao and Krish’s deft handling of the political events that rattled Andhra Pradesh in the late 80s are the major highlights of this political drama. On the flip side, the abrupt climax, the serious tone throughout the film and a slightly underwhelming subplot between NT Rama Rao and his wife Basavatarakam may hinder the film’s prospects to an extent.

Malayalam crime thriller Kodathi Samaksham Balan Vakeel starring Dileep and Mamta Mohandas directed by B.Unnikrishnan is a run-of-the-mill thriller made for you to like and be in awe of the hero, says The Times Of India. It is a story entirely revolving around that need to urge you to like him and appreciate his Sherlock-ian intelligence.

Marathi thriller drama Dombivli Return starring Sandeep Kulkarni and Rajeshwari Sachdev directed by Mahendra Teredesai has an uneven plot that loses steam even as Kulkarni's performance is unmissable, says Times Now. Unwanted scenes and songs, the second half losing pace, some impractical elements and loopholes in the screenplay are quite glaring.

Bengali romantic drama Nagarkirtan starring Riddhi Sen and Ritwick Chakraborty directed by Kaushik Ganguly is a must-watch thanks to Ganguly’s unsentimental, unsparing vision, says Film Companion. Thanks to the two outstanding performances, there’s scarcely a false note in what is possibly the most authentic and hard-edged depiction of transgender identity on screen.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Tamil drama Arandavanukku Irundathellam Pei, Telugu adventure comedy Mithai, Telugu romantic comedy 4 Letters, Kannada action drama Chambal, Malayalam comedy drama Mr. & Ms. Rowdy, Bengali drama Barof, Bengali romantic drama Ahaa Re and Bengali psychological thriller Bristi Tomake Dilam.

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