Worth the hype?

First off, let me say that I rarely read reviews of movies prior to actually seeing a film. Also I watch movies for what they are generally meant to be: 2 to 4 hours of escapism from my every day mundane life be it romance, comedy, action, etc. With this in mind, I will tell you that, even though I did find some faults with it, overall I enjoyed Ghajini.

Though this was a remake of his Tamil version, and similarly linked to Christopher Nolan's Momento (which I confess I found hard to follow due to its 'reverse chronological' order screenplay, I admit it!) A.R. Murugadoss did a fine job syncing the memory challenged revenge plight that Sanjay Singhania found himself facing with the wonderfully compelling and funny, albeit incomplete, love story between Kalpana and Sachin.

I have great respect for Aamir Khan and find him commanding onscreen, and this role was no exception for me. He was compelling as the memory challenged Sanjay, often vulnerable and confused, but also intense with a raw wrath and agony which was required for his character. Because he didn't have an overabundance of dialogue, he conveys whatever has to be conveyed through his body language and says it all with his facial expressions. I liked the contrast between the two roles he played, but wished he'd had a little more substance in the pre-injury storyline.

Asin, who has been getting huge acclaim over her first large Hindi film role, could have easily been trapped into giving an over the top chirpy performance but she is controlled yet spontaneous and endearing to watch, especially once we were shown a little more of her every day life. However, I totally found her song and dance number, Aye Bachchoo, completely unnecessary.

Though she is the lynchpin throughout much of the film, serving as both the character who puts the story into action and acts as the link between Ghajini and Sanjay, I could have done without much of Jiah Khan's role and found the Sunita character stupid and frustrating.

Some other points I found irritating:

In his state, how was Sanjay permitted to live on his own? His people knew where he was so I'm pretty sure he should have been under daily monitoring or had an aide living with him or something. Also, how could he be motivated enough to kill people so ruthlessly & cunningly if he cannot remember beyond a quarter of an hour? That would mean that, just to sustain his murderous rage, someone would need to be continually reminding him of what has happened to him & the love of his life...by the time he comprehends enough to erupt with anger, he would have again forgotten everything!

Why did the villain not identify Aamir as a possible threat when he killed all his other "enemies", unless he truly was so evil that the act of bludgeoning a woman to death was commonplace to him.

Why did that policeman come to Sanjay's house all alone and why did he stay to read the diaries instead of reporting him?

How did Aamir survive at the end after getting an inch thick rod in his chest/gut?

Why would a female constable call Kalpana over the missing girls instead of the police? She has no jurisdiction over them and I would have thought that her part in it was finished once they were with the authorities. Similarly, why, again, would that same constable call her with the plot to kill her?

And lastly, I found the 15 min memory retention to be inconsistent at best. You can't tell me that towards the end when Sunita meets Sanjay in the hospital, explains the situation to him, takes him to Ghajini's hiding hole where he then proceeds to take out every single one of Ghajini's men before blanking - all of that took place within his 15 minute time frame?

As I review it more in depth, I realize that there were an awful lot of plot holes and maybe it doesn't deserve the accolade which I originally bestowed. That aside, the violence and the intensity did leave an imprint on me long after it had finished. Though laced with large chunks of comedy, it is ultimately a tragedy. I felt for Sanjay's character a large portion of this movie and was relieved that, in the end, he found some peace. Are there things I would have changed? For sure, but then I remember I don't get paid to make films!

2 Response to "Worth the hype?"

  1. Jules says:
    April 14, 2009 at 9:17 PM

    This movie was spectacular and left me totally speechless. I was gripped right off the start (and I'm not just wishful thinking there) and was enthralled all the way through. Dare I say it's probably my 3rd or 4th favorite movie!!! Loved it, would highly recommend it!

  2. shell says:
    April 15, 2009 at 6:34 AM

    I think, even for those who didn't like it, Aamir was totally worth watching!