Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ghajini : One more review

Fine. So here is another review on Aamir’s latest movie. Considering I have had immense respect for him given that he has always challenged himself to do different and very original stuff, I have to say ‘Ghajini’ was a bit of a let down. And yes. I have seen ‘Memento’ too and believe me, this was nowhere near that classic. Memento’s USP was its water proof script that made the audience think, analyze, remember and most importantly, be shocked! The arrangement of Memento was so brilliant that I was always sure if ever a desi version of it came out it would be filled with meaningless fights, male chauvinism and full of other masala that audience crave from movies in the sub continent.

And, sadly, I was right. I say sadly because the Hindi version – or should I say the version that is bound to reach a lot more audiences than its previous avatar in Tamil – features Aamir Khan. I don’t know why he chose to put himself through such an exhausting routine of muscle building and genuine head shaving for a movie that is simply put – a revenge drama. There is absolutely nothing in the movie that makes the audience want to take the journey of memory loss along with the protagonist. We never feel as lost as he does when clues are brutally erased from his body. We don’t even get a rational explanation as to how he managed to remember everything again without the thousands of photographs and sketches he had for himself. Serious loopholes that make a rather dark story a tad too easy to understand which should be the opposite aim for such scripts. Stories that compel the audience to become part of it and not just passive watchers who see a man out to kill his lover’s murderer. Too simple.

So we have a guy who falls in love with a simple lass who has a major affliction to helping random strangers and an immensely positive attitude towards life – nothing wrong there. The guy is a millionaire but wont say it since, well, he wants to ensure if she likes him it has to be because he is ‘aam aadmi’. Nothing wrong there either. A tragic twist of cinematic liberty and goons come rushing in finishing the girl off and smashing Mr. Millionaire’s head into a 15 minute replay button.

The basic problem with this ‘Ghajini’ (since I haven’t seen the Tamil version which I am told 80% of the scenes in this version are a direct translation from) is its super simple execution of what could have been a brilliant script. Aamir’s performance, as convincing as he always is, just doesn’t meet that benchmark he has created for himself with each performance. Be it Dil Chahta Hai or Rang De or Taare Zameen Per or even Lagaan for instance. Movies that bore a quintessential Aamir signature. Bar the heavy breathing and wild wide eyed craziness brooding over a hunky body set to take on goons, Aamir comes of as ‘just another Bollywood hero’. A tag I am sure he has struggled very hard and very successfully to avoid.

Music is alright albeit the songs have nothing to do with the story. A classic cliché like all other masala movies. The female lead is not too bad either although her only genuine scene seemed to be the one where she is killed. Otherwise she was unnaturally peppy with a ‘Juhi Chawla’ hangover with her giggles and overconfident persona. Much has been written about Jiah Khan but I fail to see where it was she really got into the skin of her role. It was nothing more than a confused medical student’s character that was so messed up to begin with that she interfered with a lot of vital sub plots and came off without any redemption.

Anyway. ‘Ghajini’ is here and sadly it didn’t quite make it for me. I did find the chemistry between Aamir and Asin endearing but not enough to call this a milestone movie for Aamir who quite frankly should be more careful with his choices next time. No more remakes please Mr. Khan. Your audience has put you on a special pedestal for a reason. Please stick to it without bogging down to meaningless rank races and muscle building melas that seem to have taken precedence over meaningful stories.

So now lets all hope to become the 15 minute replay button and try to forget this movie. Shall we?
Rating (for the sake of it)
Script 2/5
Music 3.5/5
Performances 3/5
Entertainment Factor 2.5/5


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