Under the sun

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Ghajini

re·al·is·tic
1. Tending to or expressing an awareness of things as they really are:
2. Of or relating to the representation of objects, actions, or social conditions as they actually are:

sub·tle
1.
1. So slight as to be difficult to detect or describe; elusive:
2. Difficult to understand; abstruse:
2. Able to make fine distinctions:
3.
1. Characterized by skill or ingenuity; clever.
2. Crafty or sly; devious.
3. Operating in a hidden, usually injurious way; insidious:

These two words are strangers in the Tamil film industry and even if they are not, they are just like guest lecturers gracing some rare occassions with their presence.
The marked lack of subtlety in narration and acting was evident in MurugaDOSs's Ramana, inspite of Captain's fiery and adrenalizing rhetoric and Ilaiyaraaja's brilliant background score.

Realism and subtlety do not find a place in Ghajini. [The film was supposed to be originally titled "Mirattal". I guess "Sodhappal" would have been more apt].
If not for thanmaanachingam Saravanan a.k.a Surya and the beautiful Asin (living proof of the claim that women are nature's greatest works of art), Ghajini would have been unwatchable. As is my wont, i'll pull out the culprits first.

Harris Jayaraj: What the hell was he doing, sitting in the re-recording sessions? Apart from the two songs "Oru maalai" and "Suttum vizhi" and some BGM pieces in romance situations, the rest was nothing but noise. Something must be wrong somewhere. Is he the same guy who scored the BGM for Minnale and Kaaka Kaaka?
He has used the music which comes in the opening frame of Kaadhal in Thotti Jaya and in this movie also. If that were not enough, he has used a piece recurring in the second half of Kaadhal in this movie as well. HJ, you would embarass Deva.
Mere hollering of "BOZO! MAZO..... sheeyaa ooyyyaaaaaaa maayyaaaa...!!!" doeth not maketh a background score.

Nayan Thara: She is annoying. I can't stand her. End of the story.

The Villain(s): Remember the baddie in Thotti Jaya? Some Rawat guy? There are two Rawats here. Sorry, the award for "worst villain" stays with TJ. Thankfully, "Thalaivasal" Vijay has dubbed for one of the Rawats in this movie.

MurugaDOSs: Nobody expected him to be faithful to the original Memento script [Everyone must be knowing that Ghajini is based on Chris Nolan's Memento]. You cannot remake a movie with that type of narration without customizing it. What one didn't expect was the tangential deviation the director has taken in customizing it. He could have done without the now-essential-service of big fat dumb sidekicks serving an even dumber main villain. You can have murder without 8 fat men, and a villain mouthing "Aaaeeey! avana pudichu kollungada" in Hindi.
When i was a kid, i and my cousins used to "direct" movies with all the essential ingredients that we thought (at that age of 5 or 6) a movie required. Fight, love(yes!), songs, amma sentiment, police etc. I can take all the flicks we "directed" and still can't come up with a dumber depiction of a business tycoon than what we see in Ghajini. Surya is always surrounded by 5-6 men, a couple of them whites, even when he goes to the loo. If only the director had taken even half the care in these matters as the costume designer had in the selection of Surya's costumes, it would have been much better.

Ghajini is about a man suffering from short-term memory loss, avenging his girlfriend's murder.
He makes notes of his day-to-day tasks and photographs everything from the persons he meets, the ones he kills and the street and the apartment where he lives. He is captured by a cop played by Riyaaz Khan, who is busy flexing his muscles and running a la Carl Lewis, rather than acting. As Riyaaz reads Surya's dairy, the flashback unfolds.
Surya, the tycoon scores over Surya, the patient, who tends to overdo it a little bit. The former is breezy and suave, aptly fitting the role. The tonsured Surya (after the incident) does well too, but his wide-bow-legged walk could have been done without.
Asin is a harmless and adorable ad-model who cons her colleagues into believing that the telecom bigwig Sanjay Ramaswami (Surya) is in love with her. They meet each other but she doesn't know that he is Sanjay Ramaswami. For me, watching Asin on screen made me oblivious to the disappointment i felt on seeing how this movie had come out. Thamizh heroines like Trisha should take the cue from this Malayalee beauty to dub in their own voices. Asin's dubbing is flawless for the most part, except for pronouncing "rendu" with a Mallu accent, but that's just like asking for too much. Love blossoms and the two songs "Oru maalai" and "Suttum vizhi" are well picturized.
Still not revealing his true identity to Asin, Surya leaves to London at the same time Asin leaves for Mumbai on an assignment. She saves a group of little girls who have been lured by (guess!) the villain's men into flesh trade in Mumbai. And as expected, Asin is murdered and Surya is injured. The rest will obviously fall into place.
Nayan Tara comes as a medical college student who is more than interested in studying the "Sanjay Ramaswami" case. She screws it all up for Surya, only to help him out ultimately in the end. Even after all the running she does in the movie (in fact 90% running, 9% gyrating, 1% acting), she has managed to look her own fat self. Our directors can insert glamour anywhere they want. Take for example, the scene where she is chased by a group of bad elements. The director says "Let there be rain" and even as she gets drenched he hollers to his cameraman "Zoom in on the right parts!"

The biggest disappointment of the movie is the fact that the director has either completely missed the point of the original, or he assumes that the intelligence of the Tamil audience is only marginally superior to that of an ant. Instead of making the audience see from the mind of the protagonist, thereby keeping the suspense alive, he totally removes the suspense and the "guess" factor and instead concentrates wholly on action, propped by (not again!) Matrix-like fight sequences. People may say that compared to the other movies lately, this one is far superior or whatever. Or that it is entertainment with all the necessary ingredients. My grouse is that he could have done that with any actor. Why waste Surya in this?
The movie's taken a grand opening and for Surya's sake, i hope the movie sustains the momentum.

P.S: [The biggest joke of the movie]
A senior police officer, examining Surya's tattoed body and noticing a number like 95550 65656, remarks with Sherlock Holmes-like ingenuity "There are ten digits in this number. Surely, this must be a mobile phone!". Needless to say, the whole of Satyam theatre was in splits. By the way, for 90 bucks, the seats in Satyam suck big time!


9 Comments:

  • still waiting to see the movie ...

    By Blogger Jegathpriyan, at Thu Oct 06, 02:48:00 PM  

  • Jegath,
    I was looking forward so much for this movie.. disappointed in the end.....let me know ur comments after you watch it..

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Thu Oct 06, 03:40:00 PM  

  • saachuputiinga machaan :)

    I was looking forward to the movie so much&after Prabhu Ram gave it a thumbs up,got even more excited.

    Your review(which I was looking forward to)comes as a dampener.

    Will I see the movie still-YES.Will post my review here.

    By Anonymous Cinefan, at Thu Oct 06, 05:13:00 PM  

  • Cinefan,
    :)
    Anniyan pudicha idhuvum pudikka vaayppu irukku, and this is slightly better than Anniyan.
    Anyway, do post ur review.....

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Thu Oct 06, 05:36:00 PM  

  • Oh!oh!,I didn't think much about Anniyan.Felt it was more a business proposition&less a film.

    Anyway let me see Thanmaana chingam Saravanan's :) film first.

    Also I see movies without expectations whether it's a Kamal,Mani film or Vijayakanth's :)

    It helps me form a very fair opinion.

    By Anonymous Cinefan, at Fri Oct 07, 12:05:00 PM  

  • yeah.. been hearing bad things about it.. so sure wanna watch and will keep you posted on my thoughts..
    ltr
    Jegan

    By Blogger Jegathpriyan, at Sat Oct 08, 06:02:00 AM  

  • hmmm . .i hav'nt seen it either but I DID HEAR THAT KAMAL APPRECIATED SURYA's acting after watching the movie . .hmm thats interesting . .

    By Blogger Shan, at Tue Oct 11, 07:50:00 AM  

  • shan,
    Yes, here is the link http://www.indiaglitz.com/channels/tamil/article/17292.html
    Sir thaan Surya-oda guru.. and it is only fitting that Sir has accepted Surya as his sishyan!

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at Tue Oct 11, 01:49:00 PM  

  • Yeah .. I am with you on that.. Surya is indeed a very good craftsman.. just came back from the theatre.. honestly I was not expecting Memento ..So the movie was not all tooo very bad.. better than Anniyan many times ...Suttrum Vizhi Sudarae .. captured my heart even more now..it's a feast to watch the well planed fight scenes.. one just has to remember that everyone is bound to make mistakes.. could have avoided a few unwanted draggy scenes.. but movie was ok to watch once for our Surya :) way to go dude :)

    By Blogger Jegathpriyan, at Mon Oct 17, 08:06:00 AM  

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