Banner: Geetha Arts
Director: A.R. Murgadoss
Producer: Allu Arvind, Tagore Madhu, Madhu Mantena
Cast: Aamir Khan, Asin, Jiah Khan, Pradeep Rawat
Intelligent, violent and packed with a freshness that Hindi cinema hasn’t seen in a long time is what Ghajini offers. At the outset it is important to clarify that Ghajini is as similar as Memento as Novo is to the same film. That is to say that yes the idea of short term memory loss is similar, as is the fact that the character remembers only a few minutes of his life, but the manner in which this concept is executed has nothing similar to Memento.
It’s Aamir Khan all the way and that’s who you should be laying eyes on throughout the film. Ghajini follows Khan’s character Sanjay Singhania through his turbulent past and his violent present. Rich, famous and totally in love is what Sanjay was, before a violent incident caused him to remember all but 15 minutes of his life. Entrapped in those 15 minutes is the loss of his love Kalpana (Asin), her killer and the reason for his condition – Ghajini (Pradeep Rawat).
Out to seek revenge is what Sanjay puts his life towards. But with strong memory as his enemy, Sanjay is left to seek revenge using all but pictures and memos. Somewhere down the line enters Sunita (Jiah Khan), who initially fears Sanjay but then having learnt the truth, is set out to help him. Alternating between a half remembered past and a revengeful present, Sanjay lives, breathes and sleeps only seeking to avenge his love’s death.
One of the main reasons Ghajini works is because despite the rather intricately woven story, Ghajini is simple to understand. Even the characters are fairly simple to comprehend and look their part. So in essence you pretty much don’t have to break your head trying to figure out who is who. Almost old school of types, Ghajini has the quintessential love story, villain and the aid; yet these are used ingeniously through the film. Yes it does take you into a tangent establishing the love filled relationship between Khan and Asin, but unlike many films where flashbacks do nothing for the film itself, this one actually aids in building the character and adding intensity to them. Having seen Sanjay’s past life, you see reason for his current actions. The film at no point justifies the actions but it does give you reason to go with the flow.
Even the manner in which the dialogues are written amplify the feelings and the actions of the character. Kudos to the makers for understanding the characters and not infusing forceful humour just to give the film some added appeal. The film in a sense is complete and though the length is a tad bit long, not once do you cry in exasperation. In fact, you just don’t have the time to even lay your eyes off the screen. Barring two moments where the film does see a lull, the entire film flows cohesively. Ghajini is linear and honestly if it were any other way, chances are you just wouldn’t enjoy it. It is this understanding of the art that needs to be credited. The film has action, romance and intelligence; in every sense is a complete entertainer.
The film though brilliant to look at and slick, does have a few areas that aren’t wow. When you look at the environment of a film it is created to covey an emotion or a feeling. No doubt Ghajini in its setting does that, but instances where space could have played a crucial role in making you feel claustrophobic or could have gripped you harder and stronger, are not done. The film has been edited superbly and there is no doubt in that, the finesse is for everyone to see. The camera captures each scene with great precision and what you see on screen is rave worthy. However all said and done there are a few instances where you see what is on screen as pure indulgence and nothing more. The songs and actions sequences are extremely well choreographed and are worthy a watch.
When it comes to performances Aamir Khan blows you away! It is difficult to imagine another actor carry this off. He carries the entire film on his shoulders and enacts his character with such flair, sheer brilliance. Asin, who enters the Hindi film industry with Ghajini, is certainly poised for greater heights. She is charming, bubbly and a great actor. She too has put in a great performance. On the other hand, Jiah Khan, who gave a fantastic performance in her debut film Nishabd, doesn’t quite do a great job. She looks the part but fails to act it. Rawat is convincing as the villain no doubt, but again to a great extent lives the character like a stereotyped villain. There was nothing new that he brought to the table and only the age old Bollywood villain was rediscovered.
There is no good or right way to put it. Ghajini is certainly a film that you just have to watch. It’s this fantastic action thriller that comes only once and needs to be seen to be believed. Go see Sanjay Singhania, he’ll teach you a thing or too about revenge.