Ghayal was the 'citizen vigilante against the system' film from way back then – 1990. I remember liking it as a 16 year old because it was different from the QSQTs and the MPKs of the time.
Ghayal Once Again seems to have the drama, histrionics and anger seething out of its teeth once again. But, this time around I, and most of the audience, have grown up. Not only in terms of the likely target audience aging, but also in terms of the milennials having seen the story umpteen number of times in the newer films with current day “star”s. Is Sunny Deol appealing to the new audience of Bollywood? Maybe, no. Is Sunny Deol appealing to the bigger audience that lies in the heart of India? Maybe, yes.
Sunny Deol claims that this isn't a remake. It is today's system vs. today's common man. I hope this means it is more than adding words like Facebook and Twitter into its language. Even so, I hope it will kero-mama it's way into our hearts even if the music itself hasn't impressed.
- meeta, a part of the audience
It was pleasantly surprising start to the film. Characters being introduced seamlessly, story building up well. For once, I felt like the concept of how the story is told can really make an over-told story engaging. Alas, post-interval, the film nosedives faster than you can think.
When I say it started well, it has a lot to do with what wasn't done. There were no typical voice-over type shortcuts; no extra emphasis on trying to explain the background. A little tacky with the mental-illness induced flashback and a few obvious lines that were there just so the audience knows what the characters already know. These were easily excusable considering the setup typical of a film like this was conspicuous by its absence. For example, when was the last time we had a villain who was aware of behavioral issues? When was the last time a child was applauded and the child reprimands her audience with “what's the big deal?”
The performances too were quite restrained. I might be a tad more forgiving because I went in expecting a screaming Sunny Deol. Soha Ali Khan seems worn out but at least she is taking age in her stride. The villains, Narendra Jha and Abhilash Kumar play their parts as business tycoon and spoilt brat well. The four idealistic youngsters – Shivam Patil, Aanchal Munjal, Rishabh Arora and Daina Khan – are competent enough for you to be worried for them.
However, the story writing doesn't support them in the second half. The film goes from being about the menace of the business-politic nexus to a personal story, rather abruptly. Also, all the focus on the main story, the long-long chase sequence is wrapped up all too quickly making you wonder what the fuss was all about. Speaking of which, the chase sequence (like the film) starts out engaging you completely making it a thriller worth its salt and then overstays its welcome.
When the film ends though, you remember what you liked even though you are totally miffed with how it all ended. A lot of what you like has to do with what was avoided – like self-references, songs, romantic track and so on. Unfortunately, you can remember a film for what it is not, only so much.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...If you’ve seen your fill of action films over the years you’ll really be able to appreciate what Ghayal Once Again serves up in its two-hour runtime. The dramatic bits are inconsistent but even so, the film manages to impress. It’s shot nicely, it’s fast and it takes the right kind of approach to building on the legend of Sunny Deol and Ghayal. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...The kids Anushka (Aanchal Munjal), Rohan (Shivam Patil), Zoya (Daina Khan) and Varun (Rishabh Arora) all put in a decent performance but the boy who hits the high notes with his performance is the one who plays Bansal's son. Soha Ali Khan has a confused role. One does not know whether she is just a doctor to Ajay or if there is more to their relationship. ... full review
Thumbs up, by shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...Only wish the climax was not so long-winded. Watch this one, even if you are not a Sunny Deol fan. The action sequences are worth your ticket money.... full review
Thumbs up, by Shaheen Raaj, Star Blockbuster : ...Last Word: Ghayal Once Again is well narrated predictable story with lots of twists and turns which will be enjoyed both by the single theatre as well as the multiplex audiences.... full review
So-So, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole GHAYAL ONCE AGAIN comes across as a shoddy and outdated attempt of the classic remake. Fans of Sunny Deol might patronize the movie; however the aam junta might not take a liking to it. As a result the movie will have a tough time at the box office. ... full review
So-So, by Mehul S Thakkar, Deccan Chronicle : ...As for the film, being a remake of 90’s blockbuster Ghayal, the story line does bring in some relevance from the old plot. This makes the situations in which Ajay Mehra has been operating appear more realistic. Baring few shots, which appear like a work of an amateur, the VFX could have been better. ... full review
So-So, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...Most of the supporting cast is just forgettable and so are the dialogues and characterizations. It’s the writing and the direction that is a let down. For someone who promised ‘never again’ after his disastrous debut as director, this comes as a curious turn. Even if he was disillusioned by his favorite directors and it made better economic sense while in production to shoulder all the key responsibilities himself in order to cut costs, this doesn’t appear to be a wise comeback as director. A fresh young and able director might have done wonders with the treatment –enough to give it a fresh new look. With Sunny, it’s just standard oft-repeated, antiquated and outdated rigueur, and that’s just not likely to be appealing in this day and age. ... full review
So-So, by Josh, fullhyd.com : ...Ghayal Once Again is intriguing and exciting from a filmmaking perspective, and may be good enough entertainment if you don't expect much. However, if you want a high dosage of good old aggressive Sunny Deol, perhaps you should just watch Ghayal once again. ... full review
So-So, by Divya Solgama, MoviezADDA : ...On an overall basis ‘Ghayal Once Again’ had full potential to be somewhere close to its predecessor but, due to the half-baked script and bland finale ends up being a bit letdown for all diehard fans of Sunny Deol and ‘Ghayal’. The wounds and pain of Ajay Mehra (Sunny’s character) are still felt from ‘Ghayal’ but out here the painless wounds dries off as soon as possible leaving just a scar to remember. ... full review
So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...And so while Sunny Deol makes for a fairly powerful performer, his filmmaking style is sincere, but keen to stick to the old-school, and rough around the edges. The film is earnest and has a few genuine, emotional moments, but is defeated by an outmoded viewpoint and look. It had the potential to be so much more. ... full review
So-So, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...Ghayal Once Again is very old fashioned, rough hewn and klunky. Everything, right from acting to action, is high strung. But it remains curiously engaging till the end.... full review
So-So, by Renuka Vyavahare, Times of India : ...Despite the flaws, Sunny's idealistic film exudes the sincerity and unbreakable spirit of a common man. If you mess with us, "We will find you and we will punch you." Watch it. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Anna MM Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...The name of Ajay’s newspaper in this film is no doubt a bow to Dharmendra’s 1969 film Satyakam in which Deol Senior played an idealist struggling against a corrupt world. That classic deserved a better-thought-out tribute than this one. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...And how is Sunny Deol in one of his signature roles? In one scene, he screams so hard his face turns red – it’s as if someone turned on an infra-red lamp. But that’s lung power, not performance. Looking at him, we see why Ghayal feels dated while the Bachchan vigilante movies still have the power to surprise us. After a while, it’s not the action – it’s the acting. Deol just cannot play emotional scenes convincingly. But at least he looks as if he can move mountains with a single hand, and that’s really what this film needs. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times : ...For a movie whose sole sales pitch is ‘ghayal’ man himself, there’s no point in chaffing out logic here. And there is no one to stop him; Deol is also the director. ... full review
Thumbs down, by RAJEEV MASAND, IBN Live : ...Ghayal Returns isn't unwatchable – far from it. But it’s old-fashioned and evokes a distinct sense of déjà vu. I’m going with two out of five. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Suhani Singh, india today : ...Often the film flaunts the earnestness on its cause and then progresses to become ridiculous such as when Bansal announces that the death of his son will lead to a stock market crash and investors committing suicide. Ok then. At best, Ghayal 2.0 seems like Deol, 58, reliving his glorious past as the last ... full review
Thumbs down, by Surabhi Redkar, koimoi : ...Watch or Not?: If you are a big fan of Ghayal then let me warn you this is no where close to it. Unless you have nothing to do this weekend, watching Ghayal Once Again could be an option. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...But obviously, she does not have the power to extend any such favours to the audience. So watch Ghayal Once Again at your own risk and only if you can withstand the relentless onslaught it unleashes. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Fortunately, Ghayal Once Again wraps in about two hours and does away with all that was wrong in the first one -- songs, comedy -- to focus on elaborate chase sequences involving the kids in a mall conspicuous by unconcerned shoppers and invisible security or a reliably invincible Deol and a Frank Martin clone over a LaCie hard drive. Nice bit of detailing there. Only the rugged, shockproof model could survive the ensuing destruction and daredevilry. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Saumil Gandhi, Upper Stall : ...But the film is not effective or engaging, because it is too tacky. There are scenes where it looks like the it didn’t make it through post-production at all. Dubbing is off on a number of occasions, and the repeated ariel shots of Raj Bansal’s house become embarrassingly fake, especially in the climax. Some of the plot points written in to make the story creditable are amateurish, and there is generally a sense that this is not a film made by professionals. ... full review
yuvigupta88: 2.5kg hand is back with bang @IAMSUNNYDEOL paa ji u rock now do gadar onec again.......must watch #ghayal once again
Surajyadavo: A good comeback by sunny deol through ghayal once again. The film is on social issues. Good one#ghayalonceagain.
saurabhatnitp: Ghayal once again is revolutionary attempt ... bahut dino baad ek accha combo mila action junoon aur story ka
RamLalit19: Ghayal once again a must watch movie for cinema, society lovers...
ParxAJ: Ghayal once again.. A worth watch movie.. I loved it.. Typical Sunny paaji's action n style back wit modern technology..
MohdNadeem035: Sunny paji tussi cha gaye Ghayal once again superb action movie...!!!!!
iKoolRaj: Just back from ghayal once again vintage @IAMSUNNYDEOL stuff and d film itself packs a heavy punch!
IamGurmeet007: Ghayal Once Again success marks the arrival of @IAMSUNNYDEOL Paaji Once Again, Ab phirse machega Tahalka GHAYAL RULING HEARTS @Ghayalagain
goenkagautam: Ghayal once again is a must watch
dwivedishivam50: Ghayal once again is faintaistic movie....thanks to sunny paaji....@IAMSUNNYDEOL
dablarahulkumar: Sunny is back and he is back with a bang. Ghayal once again rocks.
BeingAkshaySK: Ghayal once again is good
AnjulSirohi37: guys yesterday i watch ghayal once again.sunny sir and team rocks.everything is superb.really GHAYAL RULING HEARTS..@Suniel9 @IAMSUNNYDEOL
anilbablududi: When I see ghayal once again movie ... I fill that vin desel coming in Bollywood .... sunny paaji like vin desel @IAMSUNNYDEOL
AjayKum77729333: Guys go & watch ghayal once again awesome movie
abhishekkrpand1: GHAYAL RULING HEARTS Only Ghayal Once Again.......Best Movie hai bhai
Abhijit48344611: I love you sunny sar jee super hit movie Ghayal once again
25de03c6f6b744a: Sunny paaji aagaye sabke dilo par chah gaye #Ghayal Once Again jabardast movie
tbkdotcom: Ghayal Once Again scores 2.5 out of 5 in The Bollywood Khans Scorecard
SJDUBEY007: GAYAL ONCE AGAIN ONE STAR *
madhur_rai: है तो महाबंडल.....पर सनी पाजी को बॉबी का भी खर्चा देखना है...तो देख आइए आप लोग| #ghayal_once_again #failed_to_impress_Ajay_Mehra
amritaolakh22: Gayal once again is totally crap with 2rs storyline and direction Sunny paji entertain but movie doesn't work bcz of story
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Andy : A gift for Sunny Deol Fans
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Avi joshi : one of the nice movie
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Casey
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Gagan : Good movie
Yay! Thumbs Up, by kawkaw : Neerja Movie Review: A MUST Watch Movie for All
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Priya
So-So, by Avi
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.