Lottery to Bumper Laughter!!!
One should always hone your strengths and capitalize on them rather than emulate others, and that is exactly what Priyadarshan has learnt from his previous experiments (Kyon ki with Salmaan Khan & Kareena remember). Sticking to his favorite trump card cast like Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav etc and with a rural backdrop, the movie looks more like a rehash of Hulchul but this time handling the biggest enemy of human kind i.e. greed for money that is the cause of problems more than a solution in most of the circumstances.
Malamaal Weekly starts with the ever haunting voice of Naseeruddin Shahâ€™s narration about the fight for survival of people in a drought affected village that is beleaguered by poverty, poor harvests and one interest squeezing moneylender called Thakurani(Sudha Chandran).
Lilaram(Paresh Rawal) the only illiterate knowing few words of English earns a meager source of 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. Lilaram assumes that he is the only person who has this information since most of the other villagers are illiterate and don't own a TV. To In his pursuit to grab that lottery Lilaram throws a party to all the 105 buyers restricting the entry on the condition that they have to carry that lottery ticket as an invitation to the party. The Page 3 Style party even has the jaw dropping cleavage of Rakhi Sawant entertaining the guests with her item song. Lilaram, who is already buried under huge debt, gambles away with his last possession â€“ Gattu a goat kid that is actually treated as a child by his wife to meet the expenses of the party. All turn up except one lonesome alcoholic Anthony. 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!! Dead body of Antony is then tossed like a football among the villagers reminding of Satish Shah in the all time classic â€śJane Bhi do na Yaronâ€ť. Lilaram is the first one to grab the lottery ticket only to have almost half the village sharing that booty by the second half of the movie.
The first half is thoroughly entertaining while the second half drags a little due to the stretched love triangle between Kanhaiya (Ritiesh Deshmukh) Balwantâ€™s servant, Sukhmani (Rima Sen) (Balwantâ€™s daughter) and Bajey (Rajpal Yadav) Thakuraniâ€™s brother. The scene in the church just before the burial of Antony is extremely hilarious. There are many moments that will leave you in splits because the timing of the comedy is exceptional. There is an array of characters like Om Puri as milkman Balwant who mixes milk in water and sells as milk has done a great job. Music is nothing great to talk about and actually there is no place for music since it only puts a break on the fast paced comedy. Rakhi Sawantâ€™s nautanki is there to add some spice to the laughter medicine. The real hero of the movie is Priyadarshan for his story, tacky screenplay and direction followed by Paresh Rawal and Om Puri strictly in the order mentioned. Rajpal Yadav though has been very funny but probably could have been better in the role of Kanhaiya. Asrani always on the elephant as Kanhaiyaâ€™s father is classic while Shakti Kapoor is passable. There is no hero or heroine in the movie since each character is a hero in himself. Every characterâ€™s role is very well drafted. This simply goes to highlight the fact that it is not always only Shahrukh or Sex that sells but a good clean comedy movie will always appeals to the mass as well as the class. You need acoustics like Mauritius beaches, Swiss Alps, sleazy scenes when you know that your movie lacks the substance. A ticket to this movie will get you laughter for a couple of hours that is welcome in the stressed life and probably more prized that a favorable lottery ticket draw.