Friday, October 07, 2005


From the discussion I had with Suresh in the the comments section of my rant-post on the Oscar Swindlers, I decided that I will have a neat little write-up on Ghajini. I watched the movie yesterday and I should say that Murugadoss did surprise me in quite some aspects on the genre he was trying to touch upon. I was expecting him to make a 'taut thriller' (a real abused term) in which he will sit back, explain what happenned in every significant scene in the form a stand-in character for the audience, hence making the movie a real bore to watch. Boy, how wrong I was! Not only did the movie come out of the mold of an archetype thriller, it also bowls you over with it's twists.
Firstly, I feel it's quite unfair to say that this movie is ripped off from Memento considering how much of that premise is actually used in the movie. It's very difficult to remake an Indie American movie like Memento maintaining all it's primary elements and still expect the movie to work wonders at the B.O. But, the director goes completely off-track thereby serving the producer's desire (as I hear the movie is doing great business) to see the cash-regsiter ringing as Ghajini is anything but an Indie film. Now, for the actual review.

Ghajini is a film of lost opportunities. With a little care, the director could have sure made an unintentional piece of Altman-esque black comedy. Try revisiting the following sequences and you will know what this movie could have been.
1. The moment in which a Police Officer (played to hilarious effect by Riyaz Khan) desperately looking for the 2003 diary since he is not able to resist his anxiety to know what happenned to their love story on the new year day (reminiscent of Kubrick's idea to have Gen. Turgidson in the toilet when apparently a much significant thing - the bomber wings being sent to U.S.S.R. - happens). This is a recurring theme of the movie. There is also a direct nod to the Kubrick's classic when Nayanthara (again played with remarkable understanding) goes to take bath (mind you, here it doesn't serve as being funny but is a tipping-off-the-hat-act only) after reading the 2002 diary.
2. The hilariously in-your-face death of the Police Officer (Sudhish Kamath points this out in his take as well).
3. The Jyothika-esque Asin helping out handicapped children by helping them swing off the gate entrance floor without stepping on the bars. This seems to be a bold commentary on human being's pleasure (like this review) to indulge in his/her creativity in the name of charity and goodwill. I hope, in the future, this scene find a place in all those black-comedy handbooks.
4. The already much-praised sequence (finding place in every damn review like here, here) as a not-so-intelligent cop (a possible reference to the cops-gone-crazy hollywood flicks) takes his time to find out that the 10-digit tattoos in Sanjay Ramasamy's body must be cellphone numbers.
5. Much has been already said about the BGM by Harris Jeyaraj. All I would like to add is that he gives able support to the proceedings and he has put all the talk, that he could be the next best thing to have happenned to Tamil film music, to rest.

So, is this as entertaining as, say, a Narasimha? Definitely not; It would have been one only if it had completely made sense throughout its duration. But it had those little differences.
1. The stand-alone comedy track in the flashback, involving Surya and Asin as lovers in a strange setup. This would have definitely served very well in some other romantic comedy. But here it was off-track and made one wait helplessly to know what happens to the main story and Riyaz Khan's antics :p.
2. The songs. There are too many of them. These seems to have been added for commercial viability and hinder the film's proceedings in more than one way.
3. If he had completely left behind the rather oblique inspiration from the movie Memento which was rarely put to use (and the little moments when it is put to use, it serves as a spoof of the movie).
4. Surya, in his lone (but failed) crusade trying to make the movie appear like an edge-of-the-seat thriller.

P.S.:- It's too easy for self-professed critics to lampoon Ghajini. Ignore them.
P.P.S:- And for a little saner review, look elsewhere!


  1. Did no one fucking notice that the titles were a ripoff off 'Fight Club'?

  2. writetrack,
    I was a little late into the movie and was in when Nayanthara was already looking for a good thesis project.

    P.S.:- I checked out ur blog and if the last post in ur blog was regarding reviews like mine on Ghajini, I guess I can help myself with some explanation!

  3. The best part of the movie was the romance between Surya and Asin. But otherwise, it was a drag. Their romance was shortlived though. And the second herione was dumb and served just one purpose - masala. Whoever heard of whor-ish dances for medical college students? The double role for the villian was also not required. Who wants to watch brotherly love between two villians? And the matrix kinda fights have become a regular now in the movies.
    A timepass though.

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