Theatrical release poster
|Produced by||Suresh Balaje|
|Narrated by||Naseeruddin Shah|
|Music by||Uttankk V. Vorra|
|Editing by||N. Gopalakrishnan
|Distributed by||Percept Picture Company
|Running time||160 min.|
|Budget||60 million (US$960,000)|
|Box office||387.5 million (US$6.2 million)|
The film was rated poorly by most critics in India but was a surprise hit among cinema-goers.
The film takes place in the impoverished village of Laholi where, following droughts, most of the villagers' possessions are mortgaged to the local Thakurani Karamkali (Sudha Chandran). One of the few entertainments the villagers can afford is the lottery, Malaamal Weekly (malaamal is Hindi for 'rich').
Lilaram (Paresh Rawal) is the only educated man in the village. He has the job of intermediary between the lottery organisation and the village, for which he receives a commission whenever a villager wins; thus, he has a relatively good but volatile income. One day he reads the winning lottery numbers and realises that one of the tickets has won the top prize of one crore (about $220,000, a relative fortune in rural India). He devises a plan to obtain the winning ticket and present it to the commission as his own. He hosts a dinner (mortgaging his wife's beloved pet goat to the Thakur's wife to pay for it) and invites all the villagers who play the lottery, but the man he is looking for does not turn up. By elimination he deduces that the winner is Anthony (Innocent Vincent), the town drunk, and reasons that he didn't turn up because he knew that he had won the top prize. Hoping to at least extract his commission, he goes to Anthony's house, and finds him dead, the winning ticket clutched in his hand and a happy expression on his face.
Lilaram attempts to pry the ticket from Anthony's fingers but is thwarted by Anthony's body in rigor mortis. Lilaram eventually succeeds in freeing it with a knife; at this point Ballu (Om Puri), the local dairy farmer, enters the house and discovers him standing over Anthony's corpse with what appears to be the murder weapon in his hand. Lilaram tells Ballu the truth and convinces him to remain silent in exchange for sharing the lottery winnings between them.
Unfortunately for them, before dying Anthony managed to call the lottery commission and give his name and address, as well as his sister and several people to whom he owed money to tell them of his good fortune. The secret soon becomes impossible to keep, and Lilaram must figure out how to fool the lottery inspector (Arbaaz Khan), who is on his way to the village to interview Anthony.
- Paresh Rawal as Lilaram aka Leela
- Om Puri as Balwant aka Ballu
- Riteish Deshmukh as Kanhaiya
- Reema Sen as Sukhmani
- Sudha Chandran as Karamkali
- Rajpal Yadav as Bajbahadur aka baje
- Shakti Kapoor as Joseph
- Ajit Sharma as Anthony
- Arbaaz Khan as Jayesh Agarwal
- Asrani as Chokheylal, Kanhaiya's father
- Rasika Joshi as Mary
- Anand Ingle as local vaidya
- Rakhi Sawant, special appearance in the song "Kismat Se Chalti Hai"
- Sona Nair
The Hindustan Times was broadly positive about Malaamal Weekly, with two reviewers awarding it two and three stars but lauding "the sheer pleasure" of Rawal and Puri's comic performances. Most reviewers, however, were more negative. The BBC gave the film two out of five stars, citing a "weak script" and saying that the humour of Waking Ned had been "lost in translation." Molodezhnaja.ch concurred, repeatedly complaining that the film was too long, had only one song and the rest consisting of "repetitive scenes, long, no, endless dialogue and a poor finale," giving it 2.5 stars on the basis of "a few laughs and solid casting." It did at least give the single song credit for "breaking up the otherwise monotonous events"; rediff.com described it as "the worst Bollywood song ever" in addition to summing the film up as "simply pathetic."
Despite the poor reviews, the movie was a surprise hit at the box office. As of April 2006, the film was the top grosser in Delhi and had made Rs. 120 million (about $2.6 million) overall. Priyadarshan shrugged off the poor reviews, claiming "My films have never been given good reviews in Mumbai. I'd get seriously worried about my films the day they're reviewed favourably."
A sequel, which will be directed by Priyadarshan, under the title of Malamaal Weekly 2. It will star Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Dr.Rajeev Pillai and Rajpal Yadav; the rest of the cast are yet to be chosen. The music company is yet to be finalised; the studio will be Percept Picture Company.
- Suresh Balaje
- "Box Office 2006". Boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
- "'Malamaal Weekly' funny but not too stylish". Hindustan Times. 13 March 2006.
- Joshi, Poonam (3 March 2006). "Malaamal Weekly". BBC. Retrieved 2006-05-11.
- "Malaamal Weekly". Molodezhnaja. 7 May 2006. Retrieved 2006-05-11. (German)
- N, Patcy (10 March 2006). "Malaamal: Simply pathetic!". rediff.com. Retrieved 2006-05-11.
- "Top grossers of 2006, so far". Hindustan Times. 11 April 2006.
- "Mercury rises in Bollywood boulevard". Hindustan Times. 30 April 2006.
- "Priyadarshan, Sanjay Dutt shoot pro-chicken ad". Hindustan Times. 17 March 2006.