Monday, December 29, 2008

Ghajini


Where do I begin counting what went wrong with this movie?

Lets begin with the script. It was plain lousy. The concept was marvelous. There were some really strong characters in there. There was Sanjay, suffering from memory loss. Every morning he wakes up blank, disoriented. He has no idea who is he, where he is, what he is supposed to do. Every morning he spends reconstructing his life in bits and pieces, filling himself with rage, with hatred. And then he spends the day struggling against his handicap, trying to achieve that single goal that keep him alive – Ghajini's death. Then there is Kalpana, childish and mature at the same time, hot and sweet in the same instant. She is a girl to die for. And yes, kill for. Then there is Ghajini – the evil incarnate, someone who cares nothing about these small motes in his empire of crime.

But for some reason, the script writer focuses only on Sanjay. The first scene, where he gets up and goes through his daily routine of discovering himself and the last scene, where he forgets who Ghajini is and is duped by him, are well done. But other than that? Lousy writing throughout. There's too much of the deus-ex-machina in there. The police officer investigating Sanjay get conveniently killed in a road accident. Jiah Khan (she's a medical student) has clearly been put in only to provide help to Sanjay whenever the writer could not think of a better way. The internal logic of the film is lousy. There is just no end to it.

I really wish Ghajini himself had been played by a better actor. Good heroes are made by good villains. I mean, who the hell was that guy? Has anyone even heard of him? Imagine Irfan Khan, Manoj Vajpai or even Ajay Devgan in his place. Now that would have been a movie to watch.

The song and dance sequences are typical Bollywood. And I actually like that. The choreography is good, the music is nice and both Amir and Asin look stunning on screen. I also liked the fight sequences. The flamboyant exaggeration of South Indian cinema fits well here. For once the special effects blend in seamlessly with the rest of the movie instead of standing out like an elephant in Cannought Place.

In all, Ghajini is a could-have-been-great movie falling flat in it's face. The initial hype may have grossed it a lot of money but this is not a movie people will remember. If only the writer had burnt more midnight oil.

Rating: 1.5/5

13 comments:

  1. As a rule, I never read reviews, cause it creates a bias in my mind. But I read this, since I have no plans or inclination to watch Ghajini. And it has Jiah Khan too? Jeez.

    Anyway, so going with my rule, I'm not reading what you wrote for Slumdog. Later about that. See ya around, chat partner :)

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  2. @ instinctivecuriosity - Why the hell do you have such a long nick name? I fumble every time I have to type it out.

    Anyhow, I went into the movie after reading a raving review online. This reviewer had rated it 4.5/5 and thought that this was the best movie of the millenium. How is that for bias? Wonder what I'd have thought of it if I hadn't read that review.

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  3. I totally agree with the choreography point . It was really good to see creative editing in dance sequences . I have not seen this kind of editing work for years . It used to be very common in bollywood during my childhood .

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  4. Good to find someone who didn't like the movie all that much.
    Happy new year!

    S.

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  5. @ Ashish Khare - which particular movies are you talking about?

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  6. @ Sakshi - You mean there are people who liked the movie?! :P Happy New Year to you too!

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  7. Do you remember A R rahman's song " mukkala mukabala " . At the end of that song the hero (i dont remember clearly but it was prabhu deva i think )is shot and his hands , feet n head blow off n he still dances . Many songs of that time had this kind of editing . At that time people used to play a lot with softwares .

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  8. Hmm, well, haven't seen it, and I guess I might as well give it a miss and watch "Australia" (any idea how that is?) instead!

    By the way, did you find any similarities with "Memento"? It's supposed to use the same concept but Aamir Khan has insisted it isn't a copy.

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  9. @ Payal - The similarity is of the kind that cannot be put into the category of a copy. Memento narrates the story in reverse order. Ghajini takes a straightforward bollywood approach, albeit with a flashback. Ghajini is a simple story of revenge, that's all.

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  10. This movie is less Ghajini and more Rajini :P looks like a telugu action movie :)

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  11. @ Ankit - please tell me that you went to the most expensive theater in Delhi and endured it in dolby digital surround sound.

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  12. Not the most expensive, but it was a 120 buck PVR :P But I've seen worse and paid twice as much in US.

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  13. Yeah, the whole US experience kind of takes the joy out of watching crappy movies in PVR. :P

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