This is not a bad film. At all.
I think it pretty much is paisa vasool. Hopefully, you won’t be too bored. My guess is that you need to suspend your mental facilities that help you understand how logic works. The same way the protagonist is forced to suspend his reliance on memory. He has some sort of amnesia.
There is no point in comparing this film with Memento. I am a little sick of people telling me how Memento is way better. Yes, we know it is. And we know you were one of those really cool people who saw it in 2001. (So did I, okay?). Ghajini is an Indian beast. It has music, romance, fight sequences, bloodshed, and a new found love for flat male stomachs.
On that note, someone please explain to me why bodies of men are suddenly plastered all over Bollywood films. To Shah Rukh Khan’s three point something pack in OSO, to John Abraham’s shoulders, that Kapoor boy dropping towel in Saawariya and then this – Aamir’s many packs which basically serve as a graffiti wall. (I am not really complaining or anything. God knows I am sick of watching near-naked women on screen.)
There’s something refreshing about the action sequence in this film. It involves fists and kicks. Of late, Bollywood films have become all about gunshots and grenades. If you’re like me and grew up on dishum-dishum background score – you find yourself liking the OTT action bits in this film. Like the 80s flicks, the protagonist is unbelievably strong and can fight ten people simultaneously. But that’s good. (Some other day, I am going to do a post on how economic downturns might make people prefer a certain kind of cinema over another).
Asin comes across as loud and screechy at times, but I am going to blame that on the director. Thing is, Tamil film heroines are usually required to be loud and virtuous. Which means that they are supposed to come across as nauseatingly nice and chirpy. They are usually chatty and loud. Bollywood heroines aren’t too different, but on an average, they are OTT in a different way. When Asin is supposed to show concern, or fear – she excels. But Bollywood doesn’t like their heroines too loud – so they might find the chirpy side of her character hard to digest. What worked in the Tamil Ghajini may not really work in the Hindi one. But you do warm upto her character at some point.
Jiah Khan’s script must have read the following – “Show up, screw up protagonist’s plan, drive scooter, read diary, almost-die”. That’s what she does, and she bored me everytime she was on screen. I mention her because she is the only person with a stomach flatter than Aamir’s.
I like Aamir Khan. And I think he hasn’t looked this animal-like ever. He’s done anger and frustration plenty of times before. But he usually tends to be far more tame. In this one, the bits where he expresses sheer confusion and bewilderment, he is just brilliant. Funnily enough, he’s quite boring in his “romantic, intact memory avatar” in this film. You see a few glimpses of the actor who did a fantastic job in classics like Andaz Apna Apna, but on an average it feels like he’s lost his sense of timing in comic situations. In fact, Asin clearly steals some of the scenes which have both of them.
I’ve warmed to the soundtrack over time. AR Rahman can get pretty inconsistent, but a few tracks are brilliant. One particular song – Kaise Mujhe really appeals to me.
The story of the film isn’t as exciting as you want it to be. It’s painfully obvious. The worst part is that the character of Ghajini who provokes the tale of revenge is a big let down. And maybe that’s the way it’s meant to be. This film is more about revenge than memory loss. Which is not a bad thing at all. I didn’t get bored. I didn’t feel cheated. I really liked some parts of it.
This isn’t a bad film. But it could have been way way better.