Intelligent & fresh; Aamir Khan sets new benchmarksWednesday, December 24, 2008
Intelligent, violent and packed with a freshness that Hindi cinema hasn't seen in a long time is what Ghajini offers. The wait is finally over! An Aamir Khan film is nothing short of an event. The supremely talented actor acts in one film a year and no two films are ever identical in terms of plotline. No wonder then that you await an Aamir starrer with bated breath.
GHAJINI, the Tamil version, has been a massive hit and so was its dubbed Telugu version. 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. GHAJINI demonstrates how strong film-making can enhance and elevate an already solid concept.
GHAJINI is a revenge saga, one ingredient that has been the staple diet of
Hindi films since time immemorial. It is a powerful film. This is a breathless, exciting story, heart-breaking and exhilarating at the same time. It has the power to sweep you off your feet from the word 'go'. It has a riveting story, which has been told with flourish by director A.R. Murugadoss. And, of course, it has a knockout performance by Aamir Khan.
Running time, almost 3 hours. There's so much happening in every scene and the screenplay is so gripping that you don't feel the need to look at the auditorium ceiling or at your watch at brief intervals. You aren't restless. The story has been told differently and most importantly, the story offers so many twists-n-turns that you just can't guess what would unfold next.
It is violentat times, but it's justified. In fact, every time the protagonist bashes up the evil-doers, you clap and root for him. The climax is jaw-dropping -- dissimilar from the original, but it's an out of the world experience nonetheless.
There are so many memorable moments and scenes in Ghajini. To describe a few..
1) When Aamir is chasing the cop and Jiah, he suddenly loses his memory. Yet tries to recognise Jiah by her rapid breathe rate.
2) The Aamir - Asin love story. He’s a business tycoon; she’s a pretty ordinary girl. The way their love story begins is sweet and extremely funny!
3) The villian! Neck and fingers filled with gold jewellery, a silver tooth, menacing look et al. Ghajini is a typical 90s villian. Almost perfect for a revenge movie. The most surprising thing was, the movie has been named after the villian, which usually isnt the case with Bollywood movies. Has a movie ever been titled, inspired by the character of a non-star villian?
4) The climax! Scintillating stuff. It seems quite easy to predict, what could happen next. But the short term memory loss makes the movie quite unpredictable.
Director A.R. Murugadoss deserves brownie points for not just coming up with an interesting story, but also presenting it [refreshingly] differently. The storyteller balances the light moments and the ones demanding intensity with expertise. There's dum in every sequence. Even if the director has to depict violence, he doesn't resort to blood-n-gore or knives-swords-pistols for effect.
A.R. Rahman's music is top notch. At least three numbers have the unmistakable stamp of a genius -- 'Guzarish', 'Behka' and 'Kaise Mujhe'. Ravi Chandran's cinematography is stunning. The film bears a stylish look all through. The action sequences are brilliantly executed. The Hindi moviegoers haven't seen such scenes ever.
Asin is fabulous. To share the screen space with an actor of the stature of Aamir Khan and yet remain in your memory even after the show has ended is no cakewalk. She looks fresh and photogenic and acts her part brilliantly.
Pradeep Rawat, the villain, is first-rate. Jiah Khan impresses, especially in the sequence when Aamir follows her to a shopping mall.
Aamir delivers his career-best performance. In the first place, it requires courage and maturity to name the film after the villain. Knowing how egoistic our stars are, something like this is next to impossible in Hindi films. It's a concentrated, layered performance. He acts with his entire being. His body movement, the details of his performance, everything rings true. He is both vulnerable and hard. The pain in his face when he can't remember, is palpable. It's not only the plot that carries GHAJINI. It's also the mood and the expression on Aamir's face that makes GHAJINI a treat.
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.
GHAJINI is commercial Hindi cinema at its best. The film has 'Hit' written all over it. Let me put it this way: Cancel whatever you're doing today and go watch GHAJINI instead. GHAJINI is a winner all the way.