After the success of films such as Soodhu Kavvum and Moodar Koodam, it is proven that there's market for comedy-thrillers, and if executed well even with newcomers, audiences are ready to accept films in this genre. Debutant director Shree, who seems to have understood this mantra, produces a reasonably good comedy-thriller that predominantly works because of its simple story and short running time. It's not an exceptionally good film in this genre, but has something different to offer that you may likely embrace and appreciate.
The entire story is weaved around a series of small errors, which pave way to unforeseeable and funny situations. A techie, played by Vaibhav, who has recently lost his job, accidently becomes the owner of a box full of money (INR 5 crore). Originally, the box is supposed to reach a businessman called Kamatchi, who is fleeing the country after being caught red-handedly in a medical scam, from a local don called Ilavarasan. Vaibhav decides to keep the money because he has lost his job and has to marry off his sister, whose wedding is fixed. What should Vaibhav to keep the money and also save his life from a chasing army of Illavarsan's henchmen?
I enjoyed the film because it stopped exactly where it's supposed to stop. A few minutes more would have definitely killed the film's prospect at the box-office. The smart use of errors to weave a story comes across as a very creative attempt. Sample this scene, the box of money is originally supposed to be delivered to a flat with door number F6, but it gets delivered E6, which after being hit by a cricket ball becomes F6 (part of E breaks and becomes F). It's a small error but that sets in motion events that carry forward the story with intermittent use of humour to keep the audiences hooked.
After films such as Mankatha and Goa, Vaibhav finally flies solo in Damaal Dumeel. It's an apt title for the film because we get to hear bullet sounds far too many times in the film. Vaibhav fits in his overtly apprehensive character but we don't see him express the required emotions in important scenes. Remya as his co-star has a brief role and it hardly gets registered with us. Kota Srinivasa Rao has a role that offers us the maximum laughter while Sayaji Shinde turns in a smart cameo that gets it due towards the end of the film.
Thaman's music is passable but for the title track. However, his BGM stays with us even after we leave the cinema. I thought it was very apt for the mood of the film. It's not a pulsating score we usually hear in thriller, but a score that has a tinge of comic flavour in it. I feel it's one of his best background scores in recent times.
Damaal Dumeel is definitely one of the best comedy-thrillers that could have been excellent had it was in some able hands.