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The Fakir Of Venice movie review: Farhan Akhtar’s acting debut sees the light of day 10 years later and it is refreshingly undated

The Fakir of Venice move review: Farhan Akhtar’s film is classified as a comic-drama, the film is essentially more tragicomic. And despite the very delayed release, the film looks refreshingly undated and the characters are ageless!

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The Fakir of Venice, completed in 2009, by first time director Anand Surapur and producer Punit  Desai, has finally arrived at a release date of 10th March 2019. The film was held up due to production related issues, the production houses being October Films and Phat Phish Motion Pictures. The film stars Farhan Akhtar in his debut performance as an actor, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in his performance. Annu Kapoor is brilliant, and unfortunately, a greatly underutilised actor in the industry. The film also stars Kamal Sidhu (with a terribly unclear accent) and foreign actor Valentina Carnelutti, in key roles.

The story credit is Homi Adajania’s , the film scripted by Rajesh Devraj. The Fakir Of Venice was presented in 2009 at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. The music, a solitary song (not shown in the movie), and the background score are composed by A. R. Rahman.

What’s it about? As a production coordinator, Adi Contractor (Farhan Akhtar) gets the strangest of demands from his clients in The Fakir of Venice. He needs an Indian Fakir to feature in an installation show at a museum/art gallery in Venice, to bury himself in the sand for a few hours each day. The show is to play out for a whole week. Completely unfazed by the demand, Adi starts looking for the perfect fakir.

Not finding success at locating the real Mc’coy, he, through an oily, gold-toothed agent, hires a slum dweller, a poor painter of buildings Sattar (Annu Kapoor) surfaces to play the part. Therein starts the great international con job. They journey to Venice, and these two individuals, completely polar opposites in every aspect of life and living, end up bonding in the course of the not very easy to keep up charade of the week. Some of the lines were truly funny.

Yay: The cinematography by a three-person team of Deepti Gupta, Preetha Jayaraman and Bakul Sharma, captures the beauty of Venice as well as its seamy side excellently. Annu Kapoor is simply brilliant as a poor man, out of his depth in a foreign country, facing a daily death, burying himself under sand, ironically to keep himself and his sister Hamida (back in India) alive by the money he earns. The cute brief female interest for Annu Kapoor (not Farhan) in Valentina Carnelutti strangely works, and doesn’t seem far-fetched, the only tender moments are between these two.

In The Fakir of Venice, Farhan Akhtar looks at his physical peak, youthful and fit, and has really thrown himself into the role, the milieu of the character, something he seems to understand. One would rate this as one of his acting career highs. The glib patter of a desperate con guy flows easily and convincingly, even the awkward moments. Though in the years since the film has been made, Farhan has proven himself a better director than actor, this is one film he should embrace joyfully in his career graph as an actor. Some of the scenes have been very well created and orchestrated. The peripheral characters are also credible.

Nay: The only possible nay in the film seems to be the undue delay in its release. And the rumours that Farhan refuses to promote The Fakir of Venice thinking it would be conning the public. But he’d be wrong there. His fans and the public would welcome the film with no agenda.

Cine Blitz Verdict: Though this has been labelled a comedy drama, it is in its essence, more tragic, and the plight of Annu Kapoor is certainly not laughable. Despite that, it doesn’t drag you down with heaviness. It is a well portrayed comment on the ironies of life, the desperation that drives the have-nots, the pathos that is evoked in the very con, and the simple act of human bonding over a sorry situation, not weighed down by sentimental sop. The resilience of the human spirit triumphs.

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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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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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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