Saturday, March 22, 2014

Gang of Ghosts

Rating : 4/10
Release Date : 21st March, 2014
Time : 129 minutes
Director : Satish Kaushik; Writer : Anik Dutta; Music : Dharam Sandeep
Starring : Sharman Joshi, Parambrata Chatterjee, Anupam Kher, Mahi Gill, Brandon Hill, Saurabh Shukla, Yashpal Sharma, Rajpal Yadav, Chunky Pandey, Jackie Shroff, Meera Chopra, Vijay Verma, Rajesh Khattar

Once you’ve got past the novelty of the film’s premise, that of a motley gathering of ghosts living together in an old mansion in Mumbai, there is precious little the film has to offer. Based on the recent hit Bengali film, Bhooter Bhabishyat (which I haven’t seen), there is clearly something lost in translation.

It has some fun moments, all in the first half, as the ghosts get together but stretches interminably in the second as the makers run out of ideas on what to do with the characters, throwing in builders, politicians, dons, hitmen, some awful songs and a very predictable end in a desperate bid to keep the film going.

Sharman, a struggling film writer, narrates the story to Parambrata, who is about to shoot his first film, about a gang of ghosts inhabiting the derelict, disputed mansion, which is one of the locations for the film. How the gang came together, are (like the rest of the inhabitants of the city), in need of suitable quarters. And how, thanks to a builder, Rajesh Khattar, the mansion is now going to be torn down and rebuilt as a multiplex, rendering the ghosts homeless.

The ghosts are led by Anupam Kher, ther erstwhile owner of the mansion and include Brandon Hill (token Englishman), Saurabh Shukla (caricature Bengali), Yashpal Sharma (typical Punjabi fauji), Mahi Gill (an actress who loved to be the center of attention), Meera Chopra (the obligatory PYT), Rajpal Yadav (the khansama, to round off the main religions of India), among others. Chunky Pandey, Jackie Shroff and Vijay Verma have brief, forgettable roles too

Its not clear what the ghosts do all day, in the large mansion they inhabit. Its not clear why some people turn to ghosts and others don’t. Its not clear whether they are all always visible to living mortals or can choose whether to be in stealth mode. Also, they seem to be able to eat, drink and be merry when they so choose, change clothes, wear jewelry, make-up etc.

Cheap jokes like the ghosts drinking ‘Ghosters’ beer (in the logo of Fosters) or being in touch on Spookbook (Facebook) wear very thin after a while. There are interesting characters but the film-makers aren’t able to resist the temptation to turn them into irritating caricatures. This is one of the films where you wish large parts would simply disappear

1 comment:

Bala Girisaballa said...

Going by your review, you have been generous with a "4" rating!