Review - Ghajini: Original fusioned with a decent flavor of desi tadka
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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A few frames into the movie and I knew I'd be wasting the 3 hours to come if I chose to connect the proceedings on the screen with Memento. So, I sent Memento out of the dark hall. I began adjusting myself to the loud chant-like background music which over-compensated for the sparse dialogue. And my eyes refocused as per the over-zealous camera-person/editor's demands. Once I gave in, I saw myself getting involved with the characters, getting curious, heart-beating in the throat and all.
Ghajini is one of those movies which I liked despite sensing the flavor of 'over-the-top' cinema in each of the 185 minutes. It absorbed me in its present scene and yet left a garish after-taste. It's all packed in there - drama, emotion, romance, action, song, dance, and a social message thrown in for no charge. Mixing of more than 2 genres annoyed me here, as always, e.g. I felt completely lost when the romance cropped up.
And just imagine the state of my mind when songs were thrown in like rabbits jump out of magic hats - from nowhere. While on that note, my heart bled when I heard Prasoon Joshi pull a Sameer, save a few verses. Since the songs were picturised and choreographed well, I vote for a separate music video album for those who are interested. Do you?
Anyway, scene-by-scene Ghajini grew on me. While I wouldn't have enjoyed any one thread of the plot by itself, the total added up to a little more than the sum of the parts. The sequences that worked without any caveat were the two junctions where the thriller was poised such that anxiety of the protagonist's next step raised my pulse-rate.
Not as badly as Aamir Khan's pulsating nerves at his temples though. Wide eyes wanting to scream louder than what his voice box can create. It's inexplicable why his character transformed into this unwieldy monster when angry. Almost as if to show this is what this Khan is capable of -physical shape included. And note that I haven't yet spoken against how his short-term memory turns him into a superhero with super-duper action-powers. Now that I've done it, I had a huge problem with all the so-called 'crowd pleasing', 'mass appeal' items added. Once again, I'm a part of the masses and one in the crowd and I don't want it! Oh well...
However, Aamir mesmerized me with his subtle reflexes in the emotional and romantic sequences. And Asin very charmingly supported him and entertained the audience. Her occasionally-irritating saccharine character was endearing enough for me to wish for her happiness. Though all very white, it was a part written with a little more meat than usually accorded to women in Hindi cinema. On the other hand, Jiah Khan had a sketch of a role which she fumbled through as ungraciously as she could. Why were her urdu lessons being publicized? She could barely hide the accent while speaking English!
Ghajini's nowhere as smart or nearly as subtle as Memento but it's not completely stupid either. It's not even a fraction as mind-boggling as Memento either, but it does keep your brain ticking fast enough to ignore the huge leaps of faith every 10th minute. Ghajini is certainly one of those that people who love the melodramatic elements of Hindi cinema will enjoy but those who hate masala will hate. And either you have to be one of those who hasn't watched Memento or can block memories of Memento to make the most out of this one. I combined my tolerance of all things Bolly and ignored the original to like it as much as I did.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: Loads and pretty brutal at that!
- Nudity & Sexual content: Not much except for a few songs with skimpily dressed women.
- Concept: That of revenge and use of violence to achieve goals.
- General Look and Feel: Very rugged and raw feel in about half the movie. And the rest is bright and peppy with songs at regular intervals.
Ghajini - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Indian Films
- Producer: Allu Arvind, Madhu Mantena
- Director: A R Murugadoss
- Lead Cast: Aamir Khan, Asin Thottumkal
- Supporting Cast: Jiah Khan, Pradeep Rawat
- Story: A R Murugadoss
- Screenplay: A R Murugadoss
- Dialogues: Piyush Mishra
- Cinematography: Ravi K Chandran, Ravi K Chandran
- Editor: Anthony
- Background Score: A R Rahman
- Action Choreography: Peter Hein, Stun Shiva
- Choreography: Ahmed Khan, Geeta Kapoor, Ahmed Khan
- Music Director: A R Rahman
- Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi
- Costume Designer: Arjun Bhasin
- Art Direction: Sunil Babu, SAmir Chanda
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 185 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Murder Mystery, Thriller