Johnny Gaddar poster

Johnny Gaddar

wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)

quick review:

It was refreshing to use my brain while watching a movie and finding out that the moviemakers have also done the same while making it. Not flawless, but completely entertaining, Johnny Gaddar is a must watch!

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Director: Sriram Raghavan
Running time: 140 minutes
Genres: Crime, Suspense, Thriller
More Movie Info

Story - brilliant, colors - vibrant, camerawork - creative, sound - unobtrusive, editing - slick, entire team - smart! Sorry, director saahab, I have run out of adjectives, so choose a superlative for yourself and I’ll agree.

What do I say? Where do I start? I must admit, it is the most difficult to write about a suspense thriller “without giving the movie away”. Any specifics that I would like to talk about will contribute to you knowing a bit about the movie. And that would be a crime in this genre. So, here is my attempt at being as unambiguous as possible.

This movie will be talked about a lot for the stylish homage the director pays to the people/styles of movie-making that have inspired him. And for a good reason too. The beauty with which the tributes have been interwoven with the narrative is not something one should write or read about. It has to be watched and applauded. Watch out for the way the subtle tribute to Anand has blended with and become a part of the story.

Acting - one of the departments missing from the list above - is not at its best. Dharmendra deserved far fewer lines considering his dialogue delivery was rather monotonous. Neil Nitin Mukesh is quite flat in some scenes, but overall, he has grasped and enacted the nuances of his character really well. For me, Vinay Pathak was the show stealer. In general, the versatility of this actor is just incredible!

Dialogues - my disappointment with this area might have more to do with the expectations set by the first 15-20 minutes of the movie. The general mysterious tone set in the beginning is missing at certain points later on. Especially, in the climax, keeping the dialogue enigmatic would have had much more impact. But, I am sure it was a balance the director must have struggled with - leave it to the audience to decipher or spoon-feed them.

What impressed me the most was how much I enjoyed the movie despite being a little dissatisfied with the two main departments of the movie - the two most visible ones. Though acting and dialogues are not necessarily the selling points of a movie in this genre. Just goes to show what a long way treatment of material can take a movie.

- meeta, a part of the audience

27 reviewers(?) - 25 yays 2 so-so 0 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Nikhil Kumar, Apun Ka Choice : .... The script is tight, the plot is immensely interesting, the dialogues are well penned... full review

Thumbs up, : ...The first half is tight and has ample twist and turns, but the second half drags... full review

Thumbs up, by Rachel Fernandes, Bollywood Mantra : ...The action may not be of hi-tech variety but its rawness is what makes it even more interesting.... full review

Thumbs up, by Fatema H Kagalwala, Business of Cinema : ...The skilful writing of the film is also revealed in its characters who, though skimpily sketched makes the audience relate to them.... full review

Thumbs up, by Deep, Deep's Home : ...The music was kind of bad, leaving the title song apart.... full review

Thumbs up, by Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times : ...Truly, the form is simply fantastic, what with the jump cuts, swipes, crane swoops and creative lighting schemes... full review

Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...If there’s one problem and one problem alone with Johnny Gaddaar, it’s the fact that the screenplay slips up in the second half.... full review

Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...The beauty lies in the fact that no one can predict what's in store next.... full review

Thumbs up, by Praveen Lance Fernandes, indiatimes : ... What works is the fact that minute things shown earlier in the film come cropping up once again adding to the punch of the already existing plot.... full review

Thumbs up, by Anu Kamat, Intermission, The Bookeazy Blog : ...No songs. Yes, the film has no songs which means the viewer does not lose focus or deviate on the central plot even once.... full review

Thumbs up, by Amit Kaundinya, J.A.M : ...He pays homage to his idols, James Hadley Chase, Vijay Anand and Amitabh Bachchan and weaves them very innovatively into the plot of the film.... full review

Thumbs up, by Vaibhav Wankhede, M TV : ...Neil Mukesh makes a impressive debut... full review

Thumbs up, by Amit R Agarwal, merinews : ...Each and every character has been detailed to perfection... full review

Thumbs up, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...But Johnny is a far more fun than Hasina. Sriram, a devotee of Vijay Anand and James Hadley Chase, has created slick pulp fiction.... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Now : ...Hamletian in tone and utterly liberated from the artifice that often underlines noire films from Bollywood, "Johnny Gaddar" is a feast of feverish fury harnessed very cleverly... full review

Thumbs up, by Ashok Nayak, Now : ...The pace of the movie is sluggish at most times and not suitable especially for a film belonging to this genre.... full review

Thumbs up, by Varun, Passion for Cinema : ...There were just 8 people in theater here in Houston and all of them liked it... full review

Thumbs up, by Siddharth Pillai, Passion for Cinema : element, that raises ‘Johnny Gaddar’ from the ‘pop, enjoy and evaporate’ likes of ‘Ek Chalis..’- nostalgia.... full review

Thumbs up, by Full2Faltu, Passion for Cinema : ...I had liked Sriram Raghavan’s “Ek Hasina Thi” too and this is so much better.... full review

Thumbs up, by Abhishek Singh, Planet Bollywood : ...he tributes are so heart felt that he didn’t even feel the need to hide the source of inspiration like most of the other filmmakers.... full review

Thumbs up, by Hanumant Bhansali, Radio Sargam : ...The best thing about of this thriller is that the suspense is opened right in the beginning.... full review

Thumbs up, : ...all the ingredients of a fine thriller - love, crime, sexy girls, action, unexpected twists and betrayal.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...Watch out for Neil Mukesh who pitches the perfect note as the smooth snake in the sleeve... full review

Thumbs up, Upper Stall : taking, lighting, background score, art direction all get an A+, but the show stopper is the sound design... full review

So-So, by Martin D'Souza, : ...The cast is good and it shows in their performances.... full review

So-So, by D Morgan, Rediff : ...assumes that we're a thinking, breathing audience and not just popcorn-munching machines... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

3 readers - 2 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

Want to Watch, by jasa seo murah : Houston

Yay! Thumbs Up, by sdasnd

Yay! Thumbs Up, by yts movie : Good one

So-So, by Consumer Goods

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Warning: this section has some details that could distort your experience while watching the movie. I strongly recommend reading this only after you have seen the movie or if you have decided not to see it.

Plot Summary

Four members of smuggling gang have a big job at hand. They have planned well to execute it. How the execution takes place is what the movie is all about.

What Worked

  • The different styles of camerawork used to differentiate between different segments of the narrative. Yes, it is a regular technique to do that. But, how the styles flow into each other without being overt is where the finesse of the makers lies.
  • The drone of a tone used by the police announcer on the wireless system is hilarious. He is giving news of accidents, etc in the most unemotional tone, signifying the triteness of it all.
  • The titles of the movie. A wonderful tribute to the genre and style of the 70s - in more than one ways.
  • Thank you, Mr. Cinematographer only your skill could make Pune airport look so pretty.
  • The way Vikram’s character smartens up and gains confidence as the movie progresses.
  • The way the intermission shows up on the screen - if a cinematic liberty has to be taken, this is how stylishly it should be done .
  • The camerawork from the water tank’s point of view in a very important scene.
  • The way the breaking of the glass is captured when a coffee table breaks.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • Dharmendra! Him, the lines given to him, the actions given to him - judging the authenticity of money by listening to the flicks of the currency bundle? Please!!
  • Why would Vikram sit on the side of the train that is closer to the platform if he did not want to be discovered by the people on the platform?
  • How does Prakash know they are ‘his’ counterfeit currency notes?

Johnny Gaddar - Cast, crew, links

Supporting Cast:
Background Score:
Action Choreography:
Running time:
140 minutes

Comments (6)

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Review - Johnny Gaddar...

It was refreshing to use my brain while watching a movie and finding out that the moviemakers have also done the same while making it. Not flawless, but completely entertaining, Johnny Gaddar is a must watch!...

[...] of a movie in this genre. Just goes to show what a long way treatment of material can take a movie. Review - Johnny Gaddar ? without giving the movie away? [...]

[...] Movie - Johnny Gaddar is definitely my pick from bollywood. Bourne Ultimatum would be the hollywood pick. Johnny G is a [...]

Meetu, I have just one word for your web site. Fantastic!

I just watched Johnny Gaddar and just searched it on web in a dazed state. I landed on your web site. Some of your observations I agree with and some I disagree with. But best part is the observations you make about camera angles and cinematography that I can never make when I watch a movie for the first time. I can analyse only in second viewing. But you could do it and put ir comprehensively on your blog deserves a BIG thumbs up!

Keep on writing, will be a regular now on. :)

Thanks, Poonam!

Nice post. I really appreciate your review about this movie. Looking forward to watch this movie.


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