(I would like to go on record and state that this is an informal review.)
Director A.R. Murugadoss's 2005 Tamil film Ghajini takes inspiration from Christopher Nolan's critically acclaimed cult film, Memento; and George Cuckor's 1960 musical comedy, Let's Make Love. Director A.R. Murugadoss's 2008 Hindi film Ghajini takes inspiration from the same, and is also a direct Hindi retelling of his former, Tamil, Ghajini. Why remake a Tamil film in Hindi? And why make it as similar as possible to the Tamil inspiration? So much so, that even majority of the cast is the same. I'll tell you why. It is simply because the Tamil Ghajini was a runaway hit in Kollywood. Before continuing to read the rest of this review, I want the reader to take a deep breath and think again about reading this piece.
A.R. Murugadoss's Ghajini is a three hour film. It's story revolves around Sanjay Singhania (played by Aamir Khan), the chairman of Air Voice, a world-famous mobile phone company; his love at first sight, Kalpana (played by Asin, whose title magically remains unspoken throughout the entire length of the film. Yes, even on the news she is referred to as Miss Kalpana. By god, methinks she does not even have a last name); Ghajini Dharmatma (played by Pradeep Rawat), the man responsible for murdering Kalpana, and also for hitting Sanjay on his head with a steel pipe, causing him to suffer from anterograde amnesia.
A.R. Murugadoss' hindi film Ghajini, also stars Jiah Khan (from Ram Gopal Varma's Nishabd, remember? The one with the long face. Yes), playing the role of Sunita. Sunita is the innocent college girl who merely wants to study Sanjay Singhania's case, she has an accent (sometimes. Other times it magically disappears), she dances at the college programme, she is a third year medical student, and she entangles herself in (does not accidentaly get entagled in) the entire mess. Sunita also warns Ghajini, making him aware of Sanjay's desire to kill him. She also wants Ghajini not to mention her name if the need comes because 'mera college mein laphda ho jayega'. However, later, having smiled and awed at Sanjay's love story she decides to change sides and help Sanjay instead.
Does not make any sense? Don't worry, dear reader, it is not meant to make any sense whatsoever. Just like Kalpana's helping every person she finds on the road, making her the epitome of all goodness in the world, but left alone at a time of need, to be warned only by Constable Vaijyanti of the hospital (who does not seem to have the brains to call the police to aid the damsel in distress) that 'woh goonde apke murder plan kar rahe the. Aur woh aapke ghar mein chhupe hue hain', Ghajini ceases to mean anything. After a mere few minutes into the film, you simply don't care. How does no one recognize the chairman of a top mobile phone company? Why is the photograph we see of Sanjay on the computer CGI? Why does the villain not kill the witness of the crime when he has the chance to? Only a few tiny details the makers might have missed. Not very significant at all.
From start to finish, A.K. Murugadoss's hindi film Ghajini never makes any sense whatsoever. Straight from the police officer (played horribly by Riyaz Khan) taking the aid of the bus conductor who had written down the calculation of the ticket change on the tiny bus ticket (how did that bus ticket get there anyways? And under a cupboard too?), to him being set free from the confines of a cupboard after Heaven-knows-how-long, only to restlessly make his way to the fridge to drink some water (I mean, does he not need to go to the bathroom instead?). Then of course there is Ghajini himself. Why call the film Ghajini? The villain is not the main point of the story, nor is the person playing his part well. He does not deserve such importance. He is some kind of a doctor who is always surrounded by South Indian goons (He is South Indian himself too, I guess); he also knows who is actually trying to kill him but still he kills everyone who is actually not trying to kill him; and after Sanjay, single-handedly demolishes 30-odd goons of his without shedding a single drop of sweat, he calls out to him 'Aa gaya? Ab tu dekh. TU DEKH!' What's the point? Oh wait. There isn't one.
The part that Ghajini concentrates on is what the point is not. The love story of Sanjay and Kalpana is given almost half the screen time. So therefore, Ghajini is actually a love story. But wait. It is not. It's a revenge story. But wait. That can't be. Through most of the film Aamir acts like a madman, not a man who is seeking sweet revenge. That is something that Guy Pearce had calmly done in Memento. Oh yes, it seems A.K. Murugadoss had forgotten that little detail. One must not make the hero of the film insane for it does not help the viewer relate to his loss or whatever. Must remember your film studies classes, Mr. Director. All you seemed to be concerned about is recording the noise of shattering glass and steel pipes hitting human heads. Oh wait. You've made a blunder there too. The human head is not made of steel. So when you hit the human head with a steel pipe, the sound that is made is not tthang! That's the sound a steel pipe hitting another steel pipe makes. What happened, Mr. Director? Lost all your notes? Shame-shame.
The worst thing is, Ghajini is horribly miscast. No sympathies to the man playing Ghajini (he sucks. This is an informal review remember?). The role of Aamir Khan should have been played by Rajnikanth. Ghajini has Rajnikanth written all over it (A.R. Murugadoss is South Indian, I believe. So is everyone else in this film, I guess. Except the 'sometime' accent Miss Jiah Khan). You can just imagine Rajnikanth beating up all those goons, making there heads turn 180degress and walking ahead without a scratch, making his way to the main villain. Once there he goes 'Yanna Rascala. Mind it!' No offence to Aamir Khan. He has bulked up nicely for this role, but it just isn't him. It does not involve much acting. All he does is scream and shout and beat people up. Asin is given the duty of making the viewers laugh, which she does cheaply, speaking of things like cchaddi's and khujli. Plus she comes nowhere near to being as captivating as Anushka Sharma was in RNBDJ. Jiah Khan is just there, spilling over her cleavage, acting like the good girl who does not want any laphda, and dancing to some stupid song that goes lattoo lattoo lattoo. Main uspe aye la la la la.
One more thing. I do not get the reviews I have read of this film. The supposedly outstanding critics of Indian cinema have given this film 4 and 4.5 stars out of 5. In that case, films like Good Boy Bad Boy and Race and Tashanare our joy. Let us forget everything and send these films to the great Film Festivals of the world. Ghajini is the boiling point. It is three hours of torture. Even the songs aren't good enough, not to mention uncalled for. The best bit comes at the end, with a two minute panning of camera between Aamir and Asin, concluding with a beautiful shot of Aamir staring into a magically formed valley. It's pretty, and also, it's the end of the film. I simply cannot write anymore about this sorry excuse of a film without abusing. I'm sorry.
Must see. Just for how bad it is. Highly recommended for people who are willing to pay for self-torture.