Monday, January 05, 2009


Rating : 5/10
Running Time : 181 Minutes
Release Date : 26th Dec 2008
Director & Writer : A R Murugadoss ; Music : A R Rahman
Starring : Aamir Khan, Jiah Khan, Asin, Pradeep Rawat, Tinnu Anand

If I had to choose three words to describe this film they would be ‘gory, implausible, predictable’ with just a bit of ‘interesting-ness’ thrown in. Its a more pulpy copy of Memento (I was laughing when I read about the case between the original producer vs Murugadoss etc as both have essentially copied an English film anyways). I know Ghajini is a huge hit, but I was disappointed in the end-product – with a little more effort, it could’ve been much better…

Aamir plays a man who suffers from short term memory loss, where you cant remember anything for more than 15 minutes – so he has to rely on polaroids etc to remind himself of his house, his friends, his bus etc. And in Aamir’s case, he’s also got tattoo’s all over, which remind him that his fiancĂ©e, played by Asin, was killed by a man named Ghajini, whom he has to find and kill. While all this is made obvious in the first 15 minutes (the director fearing that the audience may also be suffering from short term memory loss perhaps), the rest of the movie then describes how the ultra rich Aamir and the poor-ish Asin fell in love, what led to the transformation of the smooth, rich tycoon to the muscle bound, tattoed, crew cut, near monster we see in the posters. And Jiah Khan plays the most underworked medical student I know, who has oodles of time to try her luck as a crime investigator and help put together what happened to Aamir.

I don’t like films where you kind of give it all away in the first few minutes and then explain how in flashbacks – it takes away the suspense for me and makes my viewing experience poorer. Here, they gave away too much – there was no need to do so and you then watch the entire film with a sense of grim foreboding, waiting for the bad stuff to happen. The songs were kind of weird – the mix of the South Indian grandeur and beats with Bollywood kitschiness. The fight sequences were a throwback to the good old days where the hero could single-handedly beat up 50 thugs, without a mark on himself, no matter that they were bigger, beefier etc. Also, in keeping with the theme of the ‘good, old days’, the thugs also shunned guns / knives but relied on wooden clubs, iron bars etc.

Aamir acts very well – even the implausible bits – but then you expect nothing else from him. Both Asin and Jiah were lukewarm for me, not entirely convincing in their roles, missing the spark a bit. The best part for me was the opening credits with the CG shots of the brain and its nerve endings provide a surreal background canvas. I also liked the way where in parts they used the fast forward technique of describing the story. However, the movie drags quite a bit, you feel most of the latter half of its three hour length go by.

I hope this wasn’t the case, but there did seem to be an element of Aamir saying to Shahrukh, whatever you can do, I can do better – the six-pack abs, the romancing chocolaty hero, the vengeance seeking fighter etc. Aamir, for me, is in a different league and stands for something different. I wish he had stuck to being himself or at least been more involved in the story - we would surely have seen a better film then.


rhythm fadia-maniar said...

was waiting what u wud be writing abt it...i too found it too violent....n disappointed in the way the story played out....had a head ache by the end of the movie..hopefully aamir's next movie is better than this one...n a r rahman's music is better than ghajini n yuvraaj....btw waiting for ur take on yuvraaj....(as i have not yet seen it)

Meena said...

Thanks.. little comforting after reading your review cos i was of the same opinion that it was gory and am gonna skip watching this and might not also wait for a DVD to get out.

Vikas said...

totally agreed with 5/10..

the action scenes were totally mollywood too..

but... why did aamir act like a retarded monster ?? growling and grunting ??

the brilliance in momento was that he was still human.. not super human.. he would wake up and reason with himself.. aamir would look around in a retarded manner..

naah.. u cant try to remake movies like momento.. movies that have so much depth in them.. open to interpretation..

even the name was really stupid.. ghajni !! yuk.

Anonymous said...

amen to axeman