Went to watch Ghajini today and have come back severely disappointed. This is not a movie Aamir Khan should be associated with. A B-grade action hero would’ve been great in this role.
A slight rewind, a few days ago I re-watched Memento in anticipation of this movie. And how could I not get caught up in the hoopla being created by the movie marketing machinery at the disposal of the producers. Plus, when you see the reclusive Aamir Khan coming out and giving intelligent sounding interviews and exciting appearances all over the place you automatically get drawn into the web. Expectations from the movie were at an all time high for me because even though Memento may not have been one of my favourite movies but I really enjoy interesting experiments with the chronological flow of a movie or even any other experiments in movies. Thus Memento’s reverse order, Pulp Fiction’s muddled chronology and even Dus Kahaniyan’s 10 short movies in one movie have been very interesting for me.
That’s precisely why I wanted to see how Aamir Khan would incorporate the non-chronological play in a movie meant for the general Indian population (including me) who love their song and dance and happy ever after stories. I thought that the man who thought of stories that no one gave any chance of success and turned them into humungous super hits without compromising on his vision would treat this challenge in a unique and unprecedented manner that would draw out a gasp of appreciation from me (This is a sad but true – I get completely engrossed in movies when I see them in a theatre. I am told I have a silly grin on my face and exhibit all the emotions that the movie conveys traipsing over my face as I watch it. I have also been known to clap my hands and guffaw on some silly joke onscreen, much to the chagrin and embarrassment of those accompanying me.)
Sadly, he managed it by ignoring it. A few clichéd diary based flashbacks is all we get. A three hour movie which has a huge chunk wasted on a love story between the a pretty but irritating do-gooder girl and a business tycoon who apparently sends his executive assistant with a brood of other senior officers in a bunch of BMWs to get permission to put up a hoarding on the heroine’s terrace (puhleez!). The love story undoubtedly was cute but was not really essential to the plot (Actually it probably was for this movie because the short term memory condition was casually treated as a by-the-way-did-you-know-the-hero-suffered-from-some-brain-problem-ji in Ghajini.).
So the first half was reasonably breezy and quite frankly if they’d have closed the movie immediately after the interval with Asin accepting Aamir’s proposal I would’ve been the first to doff my hat at Mr. Khan for a making a beautiful, light romance. But it was not to be as he had to force in the memory loss and the laughable action sequences. Now the action he did in Ghulam had the crowd getting behind him and egg him on and cheer his every punch. Here you could hear laughter whenever Khan threw a punch that turned a goon’s neck around towards his back (!). And people went out to get more popcorn as a gang of thugs prepared for Aamir’s arrival by their boss attacked him haphazardly with sticks and fists rather than, you know, guns!
And I never thought I’d ever write this, but the perfectionist Khan was overacting like crazy and except two brilliant scenes when he suddenly blanked out. The action sequences were laughably staged.
Sigh, oh Aamir, Oh Aamir, how could you do this to your die hard fans?
Some interesting things:
1. The group of cars AK traveled in were numbered 1111, 2111, 3111, 4111 – this was quite cool
2. Was the iphone that the villain used available in 2006 – I’m not sure? If it wasn’t then it’s a really big gaffe
3. Why would you name a movie on the villains first name – imagine if that movie (whose name escapes me right now) was called ‘Mogambo’ ?