Starring: Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Sunil Shetty, Paresh Rawal
Information: Contains mild slapstick violence, language and sex references
Running time: 163 mins
BBFC cert: PG
Release date: 27 November 2009 by EROS International
House servant Nitin (Akshay) works for dictatorial Cruella de Ville (Archana) in Singapore. Cruella’s life revolves around her love for money and her dog, Moolchandji. But Nitin dreams of escaping his humdrum life and marry his girlfriend Anjali (Katrina).
So to get rich quick, he kidnaps Moolchandji for a huge ransom. He is helped by courier delivery boy, Ram (Sunil), who also needs cash to marry Manpreet (Sameera), daughter of a rich businessman.,
But smart dog, Moolchandji escapes and the police mistakes Nitin as the victim. This results in a comedy of errors with mistaken identities with more characters crossing Nitin’s path.
These include a serial conman, Harbans Chadda (Paresh), a prostitute (Neha Duphia), an assassin (Johnny Lever), a waiter (Rajpal) and a local don.
Director Priyadarshan tries hard to give us a non-stop, laughable joyride but he fails due to a weak storyline. His previous comedies Hungama and Hera Pheri were laugh riots all the way. But the same cannot be expected for De Dana Dan.
Whilst trailers focused on lead stars Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Katrina Kaif and Sameera Reddy, we find they only form part of an ensemble cast.
In fact, Kumar and Shetty do a disappearing act in the second half leaving the co-stars - Johnny Lever, Manoj Joshi, Paresh Rawal, Rajpal Yadav, Asrani, Vikram Gokhale, Shakti Kapoor - to hold the fort. And they do a good job of it too!
But the story gets convoluted as the film drags towards the climax making you forget who is chasing who!
Whilst Akshay Kumar tries his comical best going overboard with his acting, it is Rajpal Yadav’s Charlie Chaplin style character that wins you over.
He is equally supported by Paresh Rawal, the hyper-active conman and Johnny Lever, the chloroform-inducing villain!
De Dana Dan is a situational comedy, with few laughable gags but is certainly not one of Priyadarshan’s best works. The movie has done extremely well at the UK box office due to the recent Eid festival turnout.
Reviewed by Manish Gajjar
BBC Bollywood Correspondent