Ghajini - Preview

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

That I didn't realize how my 3+ hours passed by is testimony to the fact that you can't take the love for masala out of this Indian. Even though I usually don't like this combination of spices I found myself enjoying most of Ghajini. The thriller succeeded in getting me anxious but the seasoning left a bad after-taste.

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NOT A REVIEW - Just wondering if I can delete Memento from my memory, so I can give Ghajini a fair chance...

Do your ears prick up when you hear the name of one of your all-time favorites? If yes, then you'll know exactly what I mean, when I say, "I felt like a newly married Indian bride - full of mixed feelings, sorrow and excitement all at once - when I heard Aamir Khan is going to star in the Hindi version of Memento. It's one of my all-time favorites, across genres, across boundaries, across years, etc."

Mixed because it's exciting that someone's trying something as mind-boggling as Memento in Hindi movies. The concept will be exposed to so many more people. BUT, one look at the promos, and my apprehensions began germinating.

Songs! With dance!! Bare-chested hero dancing!!! Noooooo, they can't do this to me!!!!

What's wrong with that? For one - its going to make the movie longer. See what I mean here. And when you are used to eating a particular dish with a certain amount of salt-and-pepper, there is bound to be anxiety if other masala is added to suit other people's palate, right? Anyways, that's the flipside of wanting more people to watch it, I guess. Let's just hope the publicity department got over-enthusiastic and the movie will be in stark contrast to the on-the-face promos. Other bloggers share my uneasiness too, albeit for different reasons.

But these objections make sense only if Ghajini is a remake of Memento. According to producer, Madhu Mantena -

There are other Hollywood films on same theme of short term memory loss like Finding Nemo and 50 First Dates. So why single out Memento?

LOL Finding Nemo? Ha! Finding Nemo?? Ha! Ha!!

If Ghajini is like Memento as Finding Nemo is about short-term memory loss, then it can have all the songs and drama as it likes. To me we are not even talking about Memento, then. Besides, there's more to Memento than just the background of short-term memory loss. It's the whole construct. The non-linear narrative technique used is completely justified and in sync with the background. And the lingering effect that the climax has on your psyche - the kind which wants you to watch the movie again...right away!

For now, let's hope the makers have done a little more research on short-term memory loss than they have on movies that have it as a backdrop. Anyway, in the same interview, Madhu says -

It's not a tale of violence. It's a tale of retribution. And at the moment after 26/11 everyone wants answers. Films about retribution are always liked.
Now, that may be the need of the hour, when cinema halls in cities are being avoided in the last few weeks. And the theaters seem all set to welcome Ghajini too. Read this fun bit about how the theaters are gearing up in response to the promotional efforts -
Mumbai actor Aamir Khan, whose hairstyle in the film "Ghajini" has been imitated by the ushers and employees of various multiplexes as part of a special promotional activity.
I'm assuming no-one was coerced into it.

The actor's physique, is the other marketing tool. 6-8-10-12-infinity pack abs. Who am I to complain about a good-looking male body on screen every 10th minute? Hey, 5th will do too. But, if I'm too distracted to notice/follow the story, only the makers are to blame. And I certainly hope that the distraction from story is not intentional, just so we don't notice the gaps. However, it has already earned some good karma by inspiring some of us to hit the gym and stay healthy!

Meanwhile, the blog-world however seems to have warmed up to the music. Some love lyricist Prasoon Joshi's work and some hate his guts, but almost all have enjoyed the music.

Hey, is there some hope of dark humor considering the URL chosen for the official site is 'remember ghajini'. Let's just cross our fingers and hope Ghajini will stay in our memory for longer than short-term...