Aamir Khan, besides being one of Bollywood’s most intelligent actors, is also a genius when it comes to marketing his releases. (Remember the impossible to miss Jaane Tu… hype?). But while JTYJN was pitted against the unimpressive Love Story 2050, Ghajini had no lesser than SRK’s first venture with Aditya Chopra since DDLJ to compete with. Obviously then, Aamir was over-indulgent when it came to the promotional campaign for his solitary release of the year.
The pressure to deliver only increased for Aamir when SRK’s supposed magnum opus, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, nearly tanked.So has Aamir pulled it off once again? Yes and No if you ask this reviewer. Yes – if you expected Aamir to deliver an action film, the likes of which you rarely see our side of the world and a thumping No – if you expected this to match Christopher Nolan’s Memento.
Let’s first look at the positives: Straight off the bat, one must give director AR Murugadoss a pat on the back for the style in which the whole movie has been shot. Be it a song sequence in the middle of a desert or a chase sequence in the narrow lanes of Mumbai, the man captures both with unexpected ease. The action scenes in particular are a sight to behold. Not since RGV’s path-breaking Satya, has Bollywood witnessed such borderline over the top yet thoroughly disturbing violence.
That however was expected. The fact that the leading-lady, Asin, would turn out to be instantly lovable and thoroughly watchable was totally unexpected. Playing Aamir Khan’s ever-talkative beau, Kalpana, she charms the audiences in a way Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla once did and lightens the otherwise sullen mood of the film. Alongside Saba Azad’s performance which was the saving grace of Dil Kabaddi, her’s is the best female debut of the year in Bollywood.
AR Rahman, as is characteristic of him, delivers a cracker of a soundtrack to cap what has been a golden year for him. And finally, Aamir Khan only further proves what a gem of an actor he is. The same man who had us in splits with his fake amnesia act in Andaz Apna Apna, appears menacingly scary this time around with actual anterograde amnesia. While we’re at it, let’s not take anything away from Pradeep Rawat, who impresses within the constraints of his stereotypical 80s villain role.
The only one who fails to impress despite being given a role that changes the course of the movie is Jiah Khan, who is rather annoying to be honest. Also disappointing is the way director AR Murugadoss almost takes for granted that the audience knows how his amnesia-stricken leading man hunts for clues and instead spends all his time developing the love angle between Aamir and Asin. Ghajini , as a result impresses at the start but loses its way in the middle before finally gripping the viewer in the last 30 minutes or so. Given the fact that the director wasn’t impressed with the last half-hour of the Tamil Ghajini, that last statement may not be such a bad thing after all.
In the end, though this movie does not live up to the pre-release hype, it’s quite an entertaining watch for at least 2/3rds of the way. Just suspend your imagination a bit and try not to compare it with Memento!
Rating: 3 out of 5.
What the Ratings Mean:
0 – Terrible Beyond Imagination
1 – Mostly Pathetic
2 – Strictly OK
3 – Good
4 – Very Good
5 – Bow Down and Worship!