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18-03-06, 12:00 AM
Credited cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Rimi Sen, Om Puri, Paresh Rawal and Arbaaz Khan
Comparing Priyadarshan’s previous track record (Hera Pheri, Hungama, Hulchul, Garam Masala) of hit comedies, Malamaal Weekly fails to tickle your funny bones. The story of the movie is very confusing as the sub plots keep interfering in the main plot. Also, apart from some funny dialogues, which are mainly kept for Paresh Rawal and Om Puri, the rest of the movie seems plain. The movie that is stuffed with comic maestro such as Paresh Rawal, Rajpal Yadav, Om Puri and upcoming comic actor Ritesh Deshmukh (Bluffmaster, Masti, Kya kool Hai Hum), has featured below par performances of each actor.
Malamaal Weekly starts with sutradhar Naseeruddin Shah’s narration of a small drought affected village where people are fighting for survival from poverty, poor harvests and a Thakurani called Karamkali (Sudha Chandran) and her brother Baijey (Rajpal Yadav) who harass the poor illiterate villagers by squeezing excess interest from them. These people are barely able to make ends meet.
In such a village lives a lottery seller, Lilaram who takes great pleasure in boasting that he is the only literate person who can speak a few words of English, in the entire village. Lilaram earns a meager income through his business of selling Malamaal Weekly Lottery Tickets. One day, while watching TV at a local tea stall, he learns that one of the tickets he had sold has in fact won the One Crore Rupees Bumper Prize. As most of the other villagers don’t own TV and are illiterate, Lilaram knows that he is privy to this information. The question is how to find that one ticket from the 105 villagers he’s sold. An idea hits him! Lilaram throws a party - a virtual festivity for the people who are fighting to survive. Lilaram, already debt-ridden, manages to host this party at the expense of his one last asset - his goat kid, who is treated like a child by Lilaram’s wife!
Everyone is invited to party on a condition that they bring along their tickets as an invite to the celebrations. All turn up except one - Anthony the drunkard. Lilaram reaches Anthony’s house only to find him dead (on hearing about his victory Antony dies of shock) in front of the TV and the winning lottery ticket in his hand! In his pursuit to get the ticket from dead Anthony, he is mistaken by Ballu (Om Puri) as murderer of Anthony. But he makes him understand about the whole scenario and make him agree if he will help him they both will share the equal half of the amount.
Sub plot [Ballu is the village milkman who adulterates milk with water and manages to make some money. Villagers call him ‘bahadur Balwant’ while actually inside he is quite a chicken. Just to live up to his brave heart image, he keeps jumping in difficult situations. Ballu’s daughter Sukhmani (Rima Sen) has two beaus – Kanhaiya (Ritesh Deshmukh) a servant at Ballu’s house who gets abused and beaten for the sake of his love and Baijey (Rajpal Yadav) an arrogant, defiant brother of Thakurani.]
Lilaram and Ballu are seen by Kanhaiya when they are hiding Antony’s dead body. After knowing their reasons he also demands his share for keeping his mouth shut. Very soon, the entire village knows the secret, and wants a share. Now, the biggest problem is that the villagers now have to hide the truth from the local inspector (Arbaaz Khan) who has not been able to stop sneezing since he landed on the village. Will the whole village be able to keep this big secret?
The first of the half is somewhat entertaining while the second half drags completely due to over stretched love triangle between Kanhaiya, Sukhmani and Bajey. Just the last 10 minutes of the movie are hilarious when Om Puri argues with Asrani in church. What ever humor there is in the film, it is short-lived. Paresh Rawal has survived in the movie because of maximum footage was given to him though his teeth’s are awful. Om Puri has also given a good performance. Ritesh and Reema Sen didn’t get much scope. Asrani as Ritesh father is excellent. Rajpal Yadav doesn’t make you burst in laughter. There is just one song picturised on Raakhi Sawant which is put for the sleazy skin show.
Priyadarshan has lost his comic trick with Malamaal Weekly.
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