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De Dana Dan Review {3.5/5} & Review Rating

Be forewarned. DE DANA DAN is the most bizarre film from the maharaja of laughathons, Priyadarshan. Not even in your wildest dream you'd think that Priyadarshan would place almost an entire film in a hotel and have its entire cast, comprising of 26 [or is it 27?] characters, most of them weirdos, interacting with each other. Brings back memories of BLAME IT ON THE BELLBOY? May be!
 

But Priyadarshan needs to be credited for pulling it off. There are times when you laugh hysterically at the most outlandish jokes and situations. There are times when a raised eyebrow or a wide-open jaw makes you break into a guffaw.
 

Be cautioned. DE DANA DAN is a loud film, with each and every character screaming on top of his/her voice, with the characters shouting, running, even floating and swimming in the end.
 

But what do you expect in a Priyadarshan film that has a title like DE DANA DAN? The promos never promised path-breaking or thought-provoking cinema that would give birth to debates and discussions. So why look for logic in this one?
 

DE DANA DAN makes no qualms of narrating a story you haven't heard before. Here, the story is non-existent and it's left on Priyadarshan to mix-n-match those two dozen characters and keep the momentum alive for the next 2.45 hours.
 

DE DANA DAN promises laughter and entertainment and sticks to its promise. This one's not for the hard-nosed types, but for those who worship escapist cinema. Who want to chuckle, giggle and chortle at those mindless jokes. In short, DE DANA DAN is a pure dhamaal entertainer!
 

Nitin [Akshay Kumar] is a butler, cook, driver, watchman, gardener to a wealthy female industrialist [Archana Puran Singh] in Singapore. Like any young man, Nitin too dreams of a better life. He desperately wants to become rich and marry the love of his life, Anjali [Katrina Kaif], who supports him financially.
 

Ram [Suniel Shetty], Nitin's best friend, also came to Singapore with the dream of striking it rich, but ended up a courier delivery man. He falls for Manpreet [Sameera Reddy], but her high society parents will never approve of marriage, not unless Ram has lots and lots of money.

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Katrina Kaif, Paresh Rawal, Sameera Reddy

Director: Priyadarshan

In our school days we were taught nonsense rhymes that were incoherent, jumbled words strung together trendily. “De Dana Dan” is a 150-minute-long nonsense rhyme.

Its power to mock every rule of sensible and intelligent filmmaking simply infuriates and exasperates you to a point of complete breakdown of communication between cinema and art.

The characters are fairly funny to begin with. Akshay Kumar as Archana Puran Singh’s slave-cum-driver is the portrait of anguished hilarity. He brings to his part of the servile toy-boy a kind of facile fury that flaunts an easygoing sense of self-deprecating comedy.

Suniel Shetty as Akshay’s partner in the nonsense rhyme scheme seems to enjoy the comicality initially…At least he’s relaxed until the frames begin to fill up with more characters than Noah’s Ark and the spaceship invented to save mankind in Roland Emmerich’s “2012” combined.

There are more characters romping in confusion in “De Dena Dan” than in any of Priyadarshan’s over-crowded comedies. Two marriageable women (Katrina Kaif and Sameera Reddy) with secret lovers, their harassed fathers, Tinu Anand and Manoj Joshi, an avaricious father-in-law-to-be (Paresh Rawal) and his son (Chunky Pandey), a tart (Neha Dhupia) willing to sleep with anyone who pays. And that includes poor Vikram Gokhale who looks out of place in the boisterous goings-on.

“De Dana Dan” is like a jabbering juggernaut hurling with its fast-talking, constantly-moving army of characters into a region of utter chaos. The screenplay throws forward a gaggle of incoherent gags, which suggest that the melee of characters is more distressed by their financial than emotional condition in life.

Soon we, the audience, cease to figure out what the characters are up to or how they are inter-related, if at all.

Just go with the flow. At times, literally because at the climax we have the characters swimming and spluttering in a flood of water let loose from a bombed terrace tank in a luxury hotel.

Who planted the bomb? Is it the funny hitman Johnny Lever? Or the funnier assassin Asrani roaming around the hotel trying to hard sell a corpse in a coffin?

All this, mind it, is supposed to be the summit of hilarity. The jokes depend almost entirely on the actors’ ability to say the atrocious lines as though they mean it. Some like Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal succeed. Others don’t.

At the end of the day, this comedy of incredible mistaken identities and monstrous errors of judgement coaches us on the meaning of ‘slapstick’…literally. Everyone slaps the person closest to him or her regardless of the reason or the repercussion.

Zany or just plain witless? You decide.

If this is the present and future of mainstream Hindi entertainment then we need to do some serious thinking on the way a coterie of super-successful directors and actors have redefined entertainment to a state of utter inanity.

“De Dana Dan” is not a film. It’s a series of skits strung together to convey a sense of baggy fun and frivolous entertainment

In the midst of all this is Harbans [Paresh Rawal], a shrewd businessman, who's looking for ways to multiply his income and avoid his debtors. He decides the best way would be to marry his son [Chunky Pandey] off to a girl whose parents can give him a large dowry. He is introduced to Manpreet's parents at a function and is impressed by their social status. He introduces himself as a well-established businessman, impresses them and they decide to get Manpreet and Harbans' son married.
 

With several factors working against them, Nitin and Ram soon reach a dead end in their relationships. When both receive ultimatums from their girlfriends, they realize that only a life of vice can help them out of their misery. They come up with an audacious plan to kidnap someone important and demand a ransom.
 

The kidnapping goes awry and both hide at a local hotel while waiting for the ransom money. But misfortune is never far and the kidnapping spirals out of control.
 

Meanwhile, Manpreet's wedding reception is being held at the same hotel that Nitin and Ram are hiding in. Soon, they are joined by a motley set of characters including a Chinese Don [Asrani], a hired assassin [Johny Lever], a ACB police inspector [Sharat Saxena], a club dancer [Neha Dhupia], an ambassador [Vikram Gokhale], a young frustrated double crossing wife [Aditi Govitrikar], a letch [Shakti Kapoor], a drunken waiter [Rajpal Yadav] and a dead body nobody wants to check into the hotel.
 

DE DANA DAN is atypical Priyadarshan film that has the unmistakable stamp all over it. But, at the same time, DE DANA DAN is erratic and uneven - energetic at times, lethargic at places. Also, the culmination to the film is very similar to the director's earlier works, with the entire cast running helter-skelter.


 

On the flip side, you miss Akshay's presence in the second hour. He disappears [gets locked in a cupboard] for at least 20 minutes and the focus, hence, shifts to the other characters. His fans will miss his presence, for sure. Besides, the film tends to get very lengthy towards the second half and overtly verbose too.
 

Director Priyadarshan is synonymous with comedies and the ace storyteller promises laughter in abundance. Handling so many characters, plus making a film on mistaken identities could be very tough, but the director gets it right. Pritam's music is alright, while the RDB track, 'Paisa', is the pick of the lot. Salim-Sulaiman's background score is energetic. K. Ahambaram's cinematography is alright.
 

The review would be incomplete if one ignored the dialogue writer's [Jay Master] contribution to the film. The lines are laced with wit and soaked in humour and bring the house down on several occasions.
 

DE DANA DAN has so many characters that it gets difficult to pinpoint or single out any one actor. Akshay is at his best in a Priyadarshan film and DE DANA DAN proves it. Suniel is natural to the core. Paresh is incredible; he pitches in a superb act. Katrina and Sameera don't have much to do. Amongst the plethora of actors, Johny Lever, Neha Dhupia, Manoj Joshi, Asrani, Vikram Gokhale and Archana Puransingh deserve special mention.
 

On the whole, DE DANA DAN is targeted at the masses and it delivers laughter in abundance. Leave your brains behind to enjoy this madcap entertainer!

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Katrina Kaif, Paresh Rawal, Sameera Reddy

Director: Priyadarshan

In our school days we were taught nonsense rhymes that were incoherent, jumbled words strung together trendily. “De Dana Dan” is a 150-minute-long nonsense rhyme.

Its power to mock every rule of sensible and intelligent filmmaking simply infuriates and exasperates you to a point of complete breakdown of communication between cinema and art.

The characters are fairly funny to begin with. Akshay Kumar as Archana Puran Singh’s slave-cum-driver is the portrait of anguished hilarity. He brings to his part of the servile toy-boy a kind of facile fury that flaunts an easygoing sense of self-deprecating comedy.

Suniel Shetty as Akshay’s partner in the nonsense rhyme scheme seems to enjoy the comicality initially…At least he’s relaxed until the frames begin to fill up with more characters than Noah’s Ark and the spaceship invented to save mankind in Roland Emmerich’s “2012” combined.

There are more characters romping in confusion in “De Dena Dan” than in any of Priyadarshan’s over-crowded comedies. Two marriageable women (Katrina Kaif and Sameera Reddy) with secret lovers, their harassed fathers, Tinu Anand and Manoj Joshi, an avaricious father-in-law-to-be (Paresh Rawal) and his son (Chunky Pandey), a tart (Neha Dhupia) willing to sleep with anyone who pays. And that includes poor Vikram Gokhale who looks out of place in the boisterous goings-on.

“De Dana Dan” is like a jabbering juggernaut hurling with its fast-talking, constantly-moving army of characters into a region of utter chaos. The screenplay throws forward a gaggle of incoherent gags, which suggest that the melee of characters is more distressed by their financial than emotional condition in life.

Soon we, the audience, cease to figure out what the characters are up to or how they are inter-related, if at all.

Just go with the flow. At times, literally because at the climax we have the characters swimming and spluttering in a flood of water let loose from a bombed terrace tank in a luxury hotel.

Who planted the bomb? Is it the funny hitman Johnny Lever? Or the funnier assassin Asrani roaming around the hotel trying to hard sell a corpse in a coffin?

All this, mind it, is supposed to be the summit of hilarity. The jokes depend almost entirely on the actors’ ability to say the atrocious lines as though they mean it. Some like Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal succeed. Others don’t.

At the end of the day, this comedy of incredible mistaken identities and monstrous errors of judgement coaches us on the meaning of ‘slapstick’…literally. Everyone slaps the person closest to him or her regardless of the reason or the repercussion.

Zany or just plain witless? You decide.

If this is the present and future of mainstream Hindi entertainment then we need to do some serious thinking on the way a coterie of super-successful directors and actors have redefined entertainment to a state of utter inanity.

“De Dana Dan” is not a film. It’s a series of skits strung together to convey a sense of baggy fun and frivolous entertainment


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