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Thackeray movie review: Nawazuddin Siddiqui rocks the character and rules our heart

Read our movie review of Thackeray starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Amrita Rao!

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I LOVE NAWAZUDDIN SIDDIQUI. This man can carry any part given to him and with amazing prowess. The disclaimer with the producer Sanjay Raut’s voiceover says that the film is based on Balasaheb Thackeray and some events are modified for making it visually appealing. So let’s not go into the story, but the film as a whole. And is it well-made! The actors here are not merely mimicking the actual people, but playing them and owning the characters. Be it ministers or the lead himself, unlike the recent biopic The Accidental Prime Minister. Director Abhijit Panse knows what his vision is and walks towards it without deviating.

What’s it about? The film is based on the life of the sensational late leader Balasaheb Thackeray. It traces Balasaheb’s journey from deciding to form Shiv Sena till the day he places his political organisation on the map and makes a mark with winning the elections. The film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Balasaheb and Amrita Rao as Meena Thackeray, wife of Balasaheb. It begins with the tension in the environment on the day of the hearing of Babri case where Balasaheb is going to present his testimony.

The film introduces Balasaheb and directly takes you to a flashback story about why this man is standing in the witness box that day. Then the film gets into how Balasaheb realises that Maharashtrians are being side-lined, how the migrants have dominated them and he pledges to do something about the situation. He launches his own comic magazine and it becomes a hit in no time. Later he decides to form a political party which leads to his journey as a leader and all that happened till Manohar Joshi becomes the Chief Minister of Maharashtra in 1995. That is where the film ends.

Yay: This one has many plus points. The first one is Nawaz himself. How does this man transform himself into different real life characters is a point someone needs to research about. His body language, posture, style of speaking, everything is well-practised and nicely performed. The film when goes into flashback first shows Balasaheb’s inner struggle, rage and catharsis which only he knows and then all the gathered rage is transmitted in his work once he decides to do something about it. This is a transition and the makers with Nawaz have executed it finely.

Everybody knows Balasaheb was a cartoonist, so to show his state of mind the director uses moving cartoons, innovative indeed. This brings me to the cinematography of the film. Sudeep Chatterjee uses the monochrome and sepia tones to show the time frames clearly through his lens. He creates a haunting scene where during the riots a crying toddler is shown sitting by the lane, when a bomb explodes next to him. The film doesn’t jumble but starts from a year and travels through everything that he witnessed till the end and is crystal clear.

But also there are sweet sequences of his father feeling proud when someone calls his son ‘Saheb’ for the first time. Balasaheb sending letters to wife Meena from jail, a mutual understanding that exists without any confession of love, bring out the tender moments in his life. Amrita Rao as Meena Thackeray is very soothing to watch, the patience on her face, her soft-tone looks effortless and natural and gets her noticed. Prosthetics expert Preetshil Singh deserves a mention for making Nawaz look like Balasaheb.

Nay: Though the film is good, the second half is a bit stretched and the pace becomes slow in between. The film completely ignores the dynamics Balasaheb shared with his son and there isn’t any mention. I expected to see at least a little bit of that. The prosthetic team has done amazing job in the transitions, but they are not explained, like when he started wearing his Rudraksh Mala around his wrist. And is a Sukhwinder Singh song a compulsion in every biopic or sports film?

Cine Blitz Verdict: The film is a replication of the life Balasaheb had led in that time frame. Though alleged to be an agenda film, the biopic is honest and credible. It may offend some, but watch it for the makers as their dedication is the winner here. And please don’t miss the part where the actor playing Sharad Pawar says, “I don’t like cricket”’ and then Google who was the BCCI president in 2005.

Rating: 3 stars

Movie Reviews

Total Dhamaal review: Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor make it worth the paisa!

Total Dhamaal review: Is Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor’s comic caper worth your money? Find out here…

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Total Dhamaal review Ajay Devgn - Madhuri Dixit - Anil Kapoor steal the show

Total Dhamaal brings both – good news and bad news for the fans of the Dhamaal franchise. The bad news is that if you were expecting the third installment in the Dhamaal franchise to be as good as the first, then let us be very clear, it is not. However, the good news is that Total Dhamaal inspite of its shortcomings is way better than Double Dhamaal. With the cast that director Indra Kumar had put together, one had expected it to be a complete laugh riot, but it is not. Most of the actors in this ensemble cast are known for their comic timing. Yet – Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Mishra, Johnny Lever, Riteish Deshmukh, Boman Irani, Arshad Warsi, Jaaved Jafferi – together fail to lift the movie.

To call Total Dhamaal a must-watch comedy or a total paisa vasool is wrong! It is paisa vasool, but not total paisa vasool, if you get what we are trying to say. The director seems to have sat with a checklist with all funny things. Instead of concentrating on the quality, he has worked more on making sure that the funny things find a way into the film. So from toilet humour to WhatsApp forwards and from domestic humour to silly characters, every ingredient has been added to this comical serving. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a character representing all communities. From a Gujarati to Maharashtrian, a Bengali, to a North Indian, Total Dhamaal has very diverse characters! And let’s not forget there are the animals too.

What is Total Dhamaal about? Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Mishra steal Rs 50 crore from a corrupt police commissioner, played by Boman Irani. They are however double-crossed by Manoj Pahwa, who hides the money in a Janakpur Zoo. Manoj meets with an accident, but before dying he reveals the location to four pairs – including Ajay and Sanjay. The four pairs are complete strangers, but their greed for money sets them on a crazy treasure hunt. The film establishes early on who these four pairs are. There’s Ajay-Sanjay, then there’s Madhuri and Anil, a couple on the brink of divorce. Riteish and Pitobash are corrupt firefighters, while Jaaved and Arshad are on the lookout for a job. The crazy adventure that they set out on is what the film is all about.

Yay: Madhuri and Anil’s chemistry gets our thumbs up. Madhuri lights up the frame each time she appears on screen. Her comic timing is still as perfect as always. She breathes life into the most dull dialogues and salvages Total Dhamaal from being a complete wash-out. Anil ably supports her in this. Jackie Shroff’s ‘Chindi’ voice-over also brings about a few laughs. Ajay sticks to his swagger more than comedy and the director smartly makes it work for his character. Johnny Lever is his usual comical self, though this is not his best. Jaaved and Arshad are the ones who are consistently funny.

Nay: Total Dhamaal falters on several levels. A major drawback is the background score and the additional comical sounds added for effect. It’s a pity that the audience’s intelligence is so under-rated that they will need a sound to make them laugh. But then perhaps the makers were trying to fill in for the lack of punch in the dialogues. The last 20 minutes are when you actually realise that the film does have a dialogue-writer. But that’s a sputtering few lines! The dialogues do not do justice to any of the actors and they clearly don’t get to show their comic side to their full potential.

CineBlitz verdict: This one is a clean comedy that kids are likely to enjoy, thanks to the animals and Jaaved Jaaferi. Madhuri and Anil fans won’t be disappointed. The film tilts a bit towards entertaining than the borderline entertaining mark. So, if you are a Dhamaal fan and don’t mind their brand of humour, then Total Dhamaal might not be a totally bad idea.

Star rating: 2 stars

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Movie Reviews

Total Dhamaal review: Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit-Nene’s comic caper is hilarious, reveal movie-goers

Total Dhamaal review: Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor make the audience fall in love with the movie

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Total Dhamaal public review: Fans love Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor's comic caper

Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Arshad Warsi, Riteish Deshmukh’s Total Dhamaal has finally hit the screens. And looks like it has started off with a bang! Not only is the occupancy in the morning shows good, the response it is receiving from the movie-goers is also fantastic. People are loving the third installment of the hit comic franchise. Social media is full of praises for the movie and its cast. In fact, the audience cannot stop gushing about Total Dhamaal, especially Madhuri Dixit-Nene. All the fans have been raving about the actress, her beauty and her on screen presence.

Movie-goers are even happy to see Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit-Nene on the big screen after so many years. Ajay Devgn’s swag is being loved, while Riteish Deshmukh is being praised for his comic timing. The movie is very hilarious, according to the fans. In fact, one movie-goer even mentioned how everyone in her cinema hall was laughing hard throughout the first half. Total Dhamaal is truly a family entertainer, a laugh riot and mind-blowing, reveal people who saw the first day first show of the movie. Check out what everyone had to say about the Indra Kumar directorial right here!

Our reviewer – Aakanksha Naval-Shetye has also mentioned how Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit-Nene are a delight in the movie. Clearly, this family entertainer is impressing one and all. With the film taking a wonderful start and getting such positive reviews, we are sure it will do well. In fact, Akshaye Rathi (exhibitor and distributor) predicts that Total Dhamaal will earn Rs 14 crore on day 1 at the domestic box office. In the meantime, share with us your review of the movie in the comments section below! Also stay tuned to CineBlitz as we get you all the news and updates about Total Dhamaal right here.

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Movie Reviews

Total Dhamaal review: Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor steal the show in the first half

Total Dhamaal review: Ajay Devgn, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor, Arshad Warsi, Jaaved Jaaferi are the highlights till the interval

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Total Dhamaal review Ajay Devgn - Madhuri Dixit - Anil Kapoor steal the show

After Dhamaal and Double Dhamaal, Indra Kumar is back with the third installment of the hit comic franchise. Total Dhamaal stars Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixir-Nene, Arshad Warsi, Sanjay Mishra, Riteish Deshmukh, Jaaved Jafferi, amongst others. The film has just released. But what does our reviewer, Aakanksha Naval-Shetye, has to say about the movie? The first half of Total Dhamaal is just over, and she reveals to us, “The film kick-starts with the peppy track Paisa Yeh Paisa and the first few scenes set the pace of the film. Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Mishra steal Rs 50 core from the corrupt police commissioner played by Boman Irani. They escape unscathed by jumping down a 16- storey hotel building. After testing if you can digest this, the director decides to test you further.”

Aakanksha further adds, “Talking about performances, Ajay and Sanjay are clearly the ones doing action comedy. Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit indulge us with WhatsApp jokes revolving around domestic warring husband and wife. Arshad Warsi and Jaaved Jaaferi are genuinely funny and they draw some laughs in Total Dhamaal. Ajay’s swag works, but Sanjay struggles to keep the comic pace going. An ill timed Mungda doesn’t help things either. Madhuri, however infuses her natural comic timing and is a saving grace so far. But, Riteish Deshmukh and Pitobash are a let down.”

“The four pairs cross path in trying to reach a bag with Rs 50 crores in it. Chased by Boman, the race to the Janakpur Zoo, where the money has been hidden begins. What follows is an assault on your senses! To say the Total Dhamaal is loud is an understatement. But you would expect more comed, right? However, the film evokes laughter only in inconsistent parts.  The actors struggle to salvage the not so funny dialogues relying more on their own performances. The jarring background music and forced comic sounds worsen matters,” adds our reviewer.

Summing up the first half, Aakanksha mentions, “So far the laughs have come too far and few to live up to the brand. And have been predictable. Johnny lever as a helicopter pilot manages to add to the comedy. None of the animals have made an entry yet so hoping that will put the film in an upswing.” Stay tuned to CineBlitz for the full Total Dhamaal review.

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