Movie Review: Ghayal Once Again

Ghayal Once Again: Hardly anything to be “Ghayal” About

Ghayal Once Again Movie ReviewOnce upon a time in Bollywood there was a genre called the Deol genre which meant shouting in the name of acting and Super human powers accompanied with “Dhai Kilo ka Haath” where people used to fly if Sunny Deol gave them one punch, the adrenalin rush made box office hits. But that was 1990’s but now we are in 2016, and today Bollywood movies have seen a sea change in the way the movies are made and presented….

But unfortunately “Ghayal Once Again” belongs to the 1990’s genre of Bollywood action movies where the hero is the supreme power and has the capacity to change the society single handedly….

So the story of “Ghayal Once Again” starts where “Ghayal” (1990) ends and Ajay Mehra (Sunny Deol) who is out of jail and suffering for nero issues (which is not made clear whether it was mental issue or neuro issue)and runs an honest newspaper “Satyakam” which is famous for its various sting operations and expose. Things changes for Arun when his good friend and confidant Ex ACP Joe D’Souza (Om Puri) gets killed in an accident, but his whole world gets completely changed when a bunch of college kids comprising of Rohan (Shivam Patil), Anushka (Aanchal Munjal), Varun (Rishab Arora)  and Zoya (Daina Khan) accidental shoot the video of Joe D’Souza’s murder by city’s richest businessman Raj Bansal’s( Narendra Jha) son Kabir Bansal (Abhilash Kumar) and the real reason of Joe D’Souza’s death surfaces. Is Arun able to get justice for Joe’s murder is what the movie is all about..

Story written by Shaktimaan Talwar, Sagar Pandya and Sunny Deol himself and screenplay by Sanjay Masoom & Vishal Vijay Kumar tries to re-create “Ghayal” through its main protagonist Arun Mehra, but somehow fails miserably. The main issue of the story & the screenplay is its confused genre whether it is a movie on youth or a revenge drama or a thriller or an out and out action movie, till the end the audience could not make out. Just showcasing technological advancement does not make it a modern and contemporary movie. “Ghayal Once Again” tries to be under the shadow of its original “Ghayal”, but the problem is times have changed and the way a story is narrated is completely different in 2016 than how it was told in 1990. The screenplay follows the age old style of narration which falls flat, especially in the second half when unnecessary emotional twists are introduced which has no relevance what so ever. All the characters including the main protagonist Arun Mehra look like card board characters straight out of a below average Bollywood potboilers from the 80’s….

The dialogues by Vishal Vijay Kumar is too 90’s and sounds artificial. Having some English dialogues does not necessarily mean that it is today’s lingo. None of the dialogues make any impact in this high octane melodrama…

The biggest flaw of the movie are its performances, starting from Sunny Deol as Arun is over the top and repetitive shouting and screaming in the name of acting really bogs you down. The young debutants Shivam Patil, Anchal Munjal, Diana Khan and Rishab Arora are complete wash out as far as their performances goes, they look outright unconvincing. Narendra Jha as Raj Bansal is the only decent performance amongst the entire cast, though weak writing puts his performance down. Soha Ali Khan as Dr Rhea looks perpetually lost throughout the movie. Manoj Joshi as the Home Minister Appa Saheb overacts and hams incessantly. Other actors like Ramesh Deo, Zakir Hussain, Sachin Khedekar, Tisca Chopra, Neena Kulkarni, Nadira Babbar and Om Puri are wasted in small roles.

Sunny Deol as a director has only emphasised on the CGX which I must say is good, but fails to put a soul into the movie neither through its writing nor by extracting good performances from his ensemble cast. Sunny Deol’s first movie “Dillagi” was still better than “Ghayal Once Again”. In this movie Sunny completely looses track of what he intends to show….

Definitely an extremely weak attempt…I will go with One and a Half star….

Movie Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars (1.5 / 5)


Review : Midnight’s Children

Midnight’s Children: A Rich Dish with all the ingredients but with an average taste


On the onset I salute Deepa Mehta for taking the risk of adapting a complex novel of Salman Rushdie “Midnight’s Children” into a movie.

The story spans from 1917 Kashmir to 1977 Mumbai, and tells the story of two children one born to a rich family and other to a poor family on the Midnight’s Childrenstroke of midnight of 15th Aug 1947, when India got independence. How their destiny changes after they are swapped, the son of the rich is swapped with the son of the poor forms the crux of the story.

Though the story starts long before the kids are born in Kashmir 1917 with a doctor Azam Aziz (Rajat Kapoor) and how he gets married to Naseem (Shabana Azmi) and has three daughters Mumtaz (Shahana Goswami), Emerald (Anita Majumdar) & Alia (Shikha Talsania). The story progresses with Naseem who gets married to Ahmed Shinai (Ronit Roy) and then gives birth to a son who is swapped by a son of the poor Saleem (Darsheel Safary/Satya Bhabha) and her son Shiva (Sidharth) by Mary (Seema Biswas). The destiny changes for Saleem who is bought up in a rich family and Shiva who is brought up by a street singer. How they grow up and go through ups & downs of life constitutes the rest of the story.

The screenplay by Salman Rushdie himself is the biggest hindrance, Rushdie struggles to put his renowned novel in a 2 and a half hour script. The main drawback is the pace which is slow at times, but it has its moments like the sequence when Emergency is called by PM Indira Gandhi, or when the kid Saleem realizes that he has gift of connecting with all the children who were born at the same time as him or Saleem’s interaction with his father or his nanny Mary, all these become the highlight of the otherwise slow movie.

Deepa Mehta has captured each era with minutest details with Production Designer Dilip Mehta, Costume designer Dolly Ahluwalia and cinematographer Giles Nuttgens. Actually the Production Design, Costume Design & Cinematography are the biggest highlights of the movie.

Performances by the ensemble cast starting from Rajat Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Shahana Goswami, Ronit Roy, Seema Biswas, Rahul Bose, Soha Ali Khan, Sidharth, Shriya Saran, Darsheel Safary and rest of the supporting cast do an exemplary job, but Satya Bhabha who plays the main protagonist the older Saleem in the movie does not come out as strong as the supporting cast.

Music by Sidharth Mahadevan blends with the mood of the movie. But where Deepa lags is the slow screenplay & Satya Bhbha’s performance..

Overall a Midnight’s Children is a rich dish with an average taste, I will go with TWO & A HALF STARS