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Malamaal Weekly Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, March 10, 2006 • Hindi ]
Malamaal Weekly Review
Sahara One Motion Pictures
Paresh rawal, Om Puri, Riteish, Reemma, Rajpal yadav, Asrani, Shakti kapoor, Sudha chandran, Innocent, Rasika joshi, Priyanshi, Sona nair, Raakhi sawant, Bineesh kodiyeri, Ravindranath
Suresh Balaji , George Pius
Uttankk V Vorra

How do you spin a comic yarn about a rural, rustic-as-go bar village in a way that has city slickers convulsed with laughter? Ask comedy king Priyadarshan, or go catch Malamaal Weekly.

The first half, especially, of this funny tale set in the back-of-beyond Lahauli village is indeed a laugh riot, and even though it starts off innocuously enough, setting the premise about a village that's inhabited by poor-as-church-mice villagers, the story has you engrossed before long.

The premise, first. Lahauli is a village that, like any other Indian village, is at the mercy of the weather gods. Small communities of farmers are fighting to survive against poverty, bad weather, and a bad harvest. And when there's drought, the villagers can only take recourse to pawning off their possessions, and even as the queues of poor rustics waiting to pawn off their possessions gets longer at her door, the villainous land lady Karamkali (Sudha Chandran in a caricaturish role) gets richer.

One of the villagers is a lottery vendor Lilaram (Paresh Rawal, brilliant as ever). Forget about where more than a 100 villagers get the money to buy a lottery ticket each, but the fact remains that Lilaram does sell them, and now that he's lost all his land and cattle to Karamkali, he can dream only about the 10 percent commission he stands to make should one of the lottery tickets he's sold emerge a winner. And so, one day, he is shocked to learn that one of his tickets has come up trumps and bagged the first prize of one crore!

But to bag his commission, he first needs to find out which villager has the winning ticket, and so begins a desperate and funny quest for the winning lottery ticket. Lilaram pawns his `son' (actually a goat kid his poor wife's devoted to) to Karamkali, and invites the village to a feast. The only string attached to the invitation? Only those who've bought a lottery ticket from him can attend, and they must bring the ticket along.

And guess what? Everyone turns up, except one man. The old drunkard Joseph Anthony. And when the penny drops, Lilaram packs some kheer and slips away towards Anthony's house to tell him the good news that he's won the first prize, and to claim his commission.

But Anthony is dead on arrival! On Lilaram's arrival into his house, that is. With the winning lottery ticket clutched in his hand. Once Lilaram realizes Anthony is dead, he decides to keep the ticket and claim the prize. And even as Lilaram is trying to pry it loose from the dead Anthony's grip, the village milkman Ballu (Om Puri again, brilliant as ever) turns up, and thinks Lilaram has killed Anthony. So now, Lilaram, dreaming of a crore, has a partner, Ballu, and both decide to do away with Anthony's body before anyone catches them. Which does happen. Kanhaiya (Riteish Deshmukh), who works as a cowherd for Ballu and is in love with his daughter Sukhmani (Reemma Sen) stumbles upon the middle-aged duo, and before long, the number of partners increases to three.

From here on, the list of wannabe lakhpatis grows by the minute, till half the village is in the know, and all led by the bumbling yet smart Lilaram, followed by the simpleton Ballu.

Meanwhile, we're treated to the antics of the wastrel Raj Bahadur (Rajpal Yadav), younger brother of Karamkali, whose favorite pastime is to do get a crony to splash muddy water on women and then do the Peeping Tom when they change in a public `bathroom'! One day he watches Sukhmani and there and then decides he wants to marry her at any cost.

So, to half the village's mad quest for the lottery ticket and its winnings, we now add the tussle between Raj and Kanhaiya for Sukhmani's hand in marriage.

OK, the story is simple, but the premise is unique. And it is embellished with some b

Rating: 0 / 5.0

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