Not meant for the faint hearted
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Starring: Aamir Khan, introducing Asin, Jiah Ali Khan and Pradeep Rawat
Director: A.R. Murugadoss
Sanjay Singhania (Aamir) after being hit on head suffers from a short term memory loss. He cannot recollect anything beyond 15 minutes. He has various phone numbers and names tattooed on his body all hinting at one thing, seek revenge for the murder of his girlfriend, Kalpana (Asin). The only clue he has is the name that he remembers his dying girlfriend uttered in his ears – Ghajini. What obstacles Sanjay encounters in his hunt for Ghajini forms the rest of the film.
The film is a perfect masala film, a revenge thriller, a genre which was very popular in the 80s. But what sets the film apart from a typical pot boiler is the way the screenplay has been structured, oscillating between flashbacks and present time. There is also a good balance of romance, suspense, action and comedy. Plus the biggest asset – Aamir Khan! The story has two major flashbacks, 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.
Murugadoss’s direction is terrific and the master story teller that he is, he just doesn’t give the audience a moment to think even in 180 minutes running time film. Technically it definitely stands amongst the best films of 2008. Superb editing (Anthony), excellent camerawork (Ravi K Chandran) and amazing sound design (Resul) take the film to an altogether different level. The action by Peter Hains and Stunt Shiva keeps you on the edge of your seat. But some action sequences have turned out a bit too gory and not meant for the faint hearted. But with Aamir giving his everything all out in them they end up being a treat to watch. A.R. Rahman’s melodies are a treat to watch onscreen having been excellently picturised. Also, none of the songs hamper the proceedings.
Amongst the sequences that stand out are Aamir’s first encounter with Asin, Aamir visiting Asin’s boss’s party, Aamir’s outburst in the hospital, Asin’s murder sequence and of course the action packed climax where Aamir for a moment forgets what he is fighting for when he comes face to face with the villain!
In an author backed role, Aamir has outperformed himself, making us fall short of words in his praise. He is not only utterly convincing as a killing machine but he is extremely loveable in the romantic comedy sequences with Asin. South starlet Asin in her Bollywood debut leaves a lasting impression. Jiah though fits the part somehow pales in comparison to Asin. Her accented Hindi irritates. Pradeep Rawat brings back to Bollywood, the true villain that was missing since long time. He is menacingly good.
Ghajini does live up to the hype it has generated and is a must watch for Aamir Khan fans and also for debutante Asin and the latest addition to talented filmmakers of Bollywood, director A.R. Murugadoss.