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Ghajini January 4, 2009

Posted by Shujath in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
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Nobody needs a review to decide whether to watch the biggest blockbuster of the year or not. But for those who haven’t yet seen this yet, it would do good to set your expectations right especially you have seen the original. If you haven’t seen the original then still please don’t go in expecting in some masterpiece like what it is made out to be.

Ghajini is more like a Bollywood viewer’s initiation into the world of South Indian action cinema. Thanks to the hype around this flick, everyone by now should atleast be aware of the plot – an anterograde amnesiac on a revenge mission – to be precise. Right from the title sequence, Ghajini for most part is a faithful scene-to-scene, dialogue-to-dialogue reproduction of the original. In fact for the portions not featuring Aamir Khan and Jiah Khan, they could actually have reused footage from the Tamil version and still no one would have noticed. What seemed to have worked well especially here are the action sequences. One section of the audience (presumably the exclusive Bollywood viewers) kept getting visibly excited whenever Aamir screams ala Sunny Deol and bashes up multiple guys at once. Those who didn’t seem too excited (including me) were (probably) thinking – ok…now we have to start getting used to this in Hindi too!!!

Aamir Khan – playing an action hero after a long time is great as long as he is bashing up people. When compared to Surya, he goes over the top sometimes – especially when he screams in anger. Surya was a lot more consistent in maintaining that bewildered and confused look throughout. But I couldn’t come to grips with loverboy Aamir (especially in comparison with Surya). Maybe he’s too old for this now and most importantly his styling for this part is hard to digest. He is supposed to be the CEO of a huge firm and he is dressed like a cross between a waiter, a bouncer and a bodyguard. It looks all the more ridiculous in those scenes when he is surrounded by his assistants all dressed in dapper suits. Asin again successfully reprises the part which really made her career down south. It’s one of those extremely crowd pleasing roles which still hold appeal on repeat viewing. Jiah Khan and Pradeep Rawat are alright.

In what is probably his most prolific year, A.R Rahman comes up with another successful score – though this would be of lesser significance when you compare it with his other soundtracks earlier in the year. Not sure if he actually did the background score because during the climactic sequences the theme which you get to hear sounds very familiar. The picturization of the songs is excellent nevertheless. There was also this huge thing about Aamir Khan rewriting the climax of the original for this one. If you go in expecting some drastic change/twist you’ll be sorely disappointed. It’s just been simplified to do away with the villain playing a dual role here.

Honestly, I was bored for most part as there is absolutely nothing in it to hold the interest of those who have the Telugu/Tamil version still fresh in their minds. For first timers planning to watch this, Aamir Khan playing the tough-as-nails 8-pack action hero should be good enough reason not to miss it.

Ghazni August 17, 2006

Posted by Sai in Movies, Reviews, Tamil, Telugu.
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Ghazni, which was dubbed into Telugu with the same name and is also to be remade in Hindi with Aamir Khan, was inspired by Memento. When I say inspired, I do not mean that it is lifted. The narrative style and complexity of the original is not suited for the common man. Director Murugadoss has taken the basic theme about a guy with short-term memory loss taking revenge for his wife’s death and made it a good commercial film for the audience in question. The presence of Surya and Asin in the film is a case of excellent casting. Their performances were deservedly loved by most audience members. The love story which was quite enjoyable was supposedly lifted from an old Nagarjuna movie (according to TeluguCinema.com). Though the climax is a bit of a letdown, this film works and Murugadoss should get most of the credit for the adaptation suitable for the target audience. The performances of Surya and Asin alongwith Harris Jayaraj’s music (my favorite is “Oru Naalai” or “Oka Maaru” while I hate the overly sweet “Suttum Vizhi” or “Hrudayam Ekkadunnadi” which I unfortunately had to hear a couple of hundred times at least, thanks to my Tamizhan friends) added to the success level of the film. Though it would rate very low, in comparison with Memento, this is an enjoyable watch for anyone who likes commercial films or thrillers.

I’ve always wondered why this movie was called Ghazni. Wikipedia gives me the following reason: “Ghajini (Ghazni) Mohammed was the man who tried to invade India 15 times, failing miserably on every occasion. Finally, on the 16th time, he was successful. Similarly, the protagonist in Ghajini fails many times in his attempts to murder the villain, yet ultimately succeeds.”