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Memory lapse

 
 

Ghanchakkar

Rating: 2

June 28, 2013

Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Vidya Balan, Rajesh Sharma, Namit Das

Director: Raj Kumar Gupta

The mystery in Ghanchakkar involves the whereabouts of a suitcase containing stolen cash. Yet, a harder puzzle to crack is figuring out just how so many talented people could make such a disappointing film.

No One Killed Jessica director Raj Kumar Gupta recruits a competent cast, but flounders with a half-cooked script that doesn’t know where to go after setting up its delicious premise. Sanju (Emran Hashmi) is a retired cat burglar-turned-full time couch potato who’s goaded by his pushy wife Neetu (Vidya Balan) into participating in one last job. What follows is a terrific bank robbery scene involving a security guard and a matka kulfi, the inventive use of movie-star masks, and the unscheduled arrival of a cop who almost foils the plan.

Nevertheless, Sanju and his two accomplices – Pandit (Rajesh Sharma) and Idrees (Namit Das) – make off with Rs 35 crores in loot. The entire cash is left with Sanju for the next three months, until the heat from the crime dies down. But when the two goons return to claim their share, they discover Sanju has lost his memory in an accident, and can’t remember either them or where he’s hidden the bounty.

Ghanchakkar has all the ingredients for a dark comedy, yet shaken and stirred they blend like oil and water. The storytelling itself is inconsistent. The plot hits the ground running, never spoon-feeding you with background information you don’t need. Then, when the two goons move into the couple’s flat while Sanju struggles with his amnesia, you have a set-up ripe for laughs. But Gupta squanders this potential with one too many dinner table scenes banging on about the same joke involving Neetu’s cooking.

Frustration sets in during the film’s flabby middle portion where nothing much really happens. The angry goons want their money…Sanju can’t remember a thing…He chases clues that lead nowhere…They bash the living daylights out of him. This routine is repeated over and over again till the line: “Paise kahan hain?” becomes embedded in your brain like a pesky metal chip! And well before it’s ultimately revealed in the film’s climax, you’ve guessed the suspense already.

It’s all such a shame because some things work nicely. The local train becomes an unlikely ‘conference room’ where the goons hatch their plans, and a running joke about a vegetable-bearing commuter is genuinely funny. The cast too, hits all the right notes. Vidya Balan offers a particularly uninhibited performance as the garrulous, fashion-disaster of a housewife; the kind of part few leading ladies would venture near, or competently pull off. Emraan Hashmi is suitably befuddled, but struggles to shine under the limited scope of his role. The two leads slip easily into the shoes of a couple stuck in a humdrum marriage.

As the desperate goons slowly losing their patience, Rajesh Sharma and Namit Das are first-rate. An unlikely team, Sharma’s manner is almost polite as the older Pandit, while Namit Das turns Idrees into a hot-headed, trigger-happy lout. In one scene that goes from icky to whacky, we watch as Idrees, midway through a raunchy phone call, ups and chases after Sanju in his underwear.

These inspired moments then are few and far between in this lazily scripted film that leaves you bored and searching for the nearest exit. I’m going with two out of five for Ghanchakkar. The money is found in the end, but that’s 2 hours and 17 minutes of your life that you’ll never see again!

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

16 Responses to “Memory lapse”

  1. Sandeep Naik says:

    Right said…but the scene getting the maximum guffaws is the bank robbery scene,the Utpal Datt mask in the most appropriate expression.In fact the Utpal Datt mask itself has acted better..

  2. Adil says:

    i agree with you. gr8 review

  3. Adil says:

    the director miss the opportunity . he had a gr8 cast nd gud storyline yet he failed to do justice.

  4. vipul says:

    Nice review again Rajeev sir..

    Here is my take.. Despite being a foursome, it fails to have an Orgasm! Ghanchakkar, directed by RajKumar Gupta (for details read my ghanchakkar preview) relates to every genre be it comedy, drama, suspense or thriller. Yet, in all this potpourri it loses its very essence, entertaining the audience.

    Read full review at http://www.vjmoviews.com

  5. Priya says:

    Went to see a star-studded Comedy film and ended up in a Tragic waste of Time. It can be twisted in so many ways yet at the end it came to a track in which audience felt “oH my gOd!! Such a bore”. Weekend seems to start with an absolute bore by watching this movie. Only Vidya balan had done some justice to her role.

  6. AMIT says:

    Hi rajeev i like the movie and far better than those 100 cores potboilers this hv a story and good actors to execute it . Bt i think u hv rated it one star low any way i love urs reviews one best in trade t.c

  7. Ana says:

    Don’t you think that the repetition and routine was the point of the film? That was the Ghanchakkar (for the viewer) and in that way, the viewer could empathize with the protagonist. I also loved the tiny details in the film, that there were women’s magazines (Cosmo, Femina) in the college friend’s apartment, clearly pointing towards something that was suspected… I loved that alot was left unsaid. The film really shone in its climactic scenes, i.e., the comedy of the bank robbery, and the ‘black’ comedy of the climax, the irony of which I found to be hilarious (even if I was the only person laughing at it in the theatre).

    That being said, while this was a good effort, I was expecting something a little more conceptual and darker, and the film itself could have done with being shorter, particularly the first half. I’d give this 2 1/2 stars, but still recommend it.

  8. Gunja Kapoor says:

    A disappointment from UTV. So much could have been done. The mother could have been used better, Idrees could have received one of mother’s calls, and double crossed pandit etc. etc. or Vidya hatching aplot with the actuall goon. The script offered loads of scope for a climax, (was there one in the film??), but grossly underutilised talent and story. You could actually pull it anoter halp notch done, considering it was Vidya and Emraan and Gupta. You cant set the bar high and then not meet it. Very patchy and half-cooked. Lousy.

  9. Gunja Kapoor says:

    disappointment from UTV. So much could have been done. The mother could have been used better, Idrees could have received one of mother’s calls, and double crossed pandit etc. etc. or Vidya hatching a plot with the actual goon. The script offered loads of scope for a climax, (was there one in the film??), but grossly underutilised talent and story. You could actually pull it anoter half notch done, considering it was Vidya and Emraan and Gupta. You cant set the bar high and then not meet it. Very patchy and half-cooked. Lousy.

  10. Gururaj says:

    Totally agree with u.The film was supposed to be funny.I hardly made me laugh.A drag.

  11. Gururaj says:

    Totally agree with u.The film was supposed to be funny.It** hardly made me laugh.A drag.

  12. Vaibhav says:

    In Ghanchakkar,movie doesnt have any climax but climax has the movie and creates nonsense stories……

  13. Parixit says:

    when doctor was found dead, i felt now something will build up, now something will build up but nothing. Food scene , yes boring. Final villain should have been someone better. The story kept revolving around and din’t finish at all. There was no end to this story

  14. shiva says:

    worst film. best review …

    director really wasted the cast…….

  15. Sohan Surag says:

    Ghanchakkar is destined to hang in the limbo of “Could Have been Awesome”.
    What I Thought! http://bit.ly/199oY6v

  16. Yadav says:

    This review isn’t correct at all. The movie was witty and absolutely entertaining combined with a great script. Calling it inspired would be wrong as all movies are inspired in a sense from others, the thing is that it is not a copy. I guess Rajeev watched it in a bad mood or something, a bad review I must say.

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