Additionally, I think we have Ghajini to thank for Wanted and Dabangg, for which I am very grateful indeed.
I’ve never seen the original but I do think that Ghajini works very well as a Bollywood adaptation of a Southern masala film. There was no specific comedy track and the packs of junior artistes playing rowdies and henchmen and friends were a bit understated but overall, I think it succeeds. And, more importantly, continues to provide thrills and chills multiple re-watches later.
Asin is lovely as the chipper Kalpana and it’s a real shame that nobody else in Bollywood has been able to harness her charms effectively. Kalpana does have troublesome shades of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl but Asin’s performance mitigates the worst aspects of the trope and Kalpana ends up being quite sympathetic. We, the audience, end up as smitten as Sanjay Singhania.
And I want to speak up in defense of my girl Jiah Khan, who had the thankless role of audience stand-in as Sunita, the medical student. When I was tweeting during my re-watch, a couple people tweeted back about how much they hated Sunita! Now, wait just a second here... this is what I wrote about her at the time:
Jiah Khan was in a bit of a thankless role as the audience stand-in. I think she did a great job at playing the curious and fearless medical student – even if her character did steal a newspaper from the archive. Sunita was put in the female-in-distress role, but thankfully managed to think her way out of most of the situations, so I didn’t mind too much. And how scary was the scene in the girls’ dorm?!
My opinion still stands. Sunita is sharp minded and does manage to think her way out of trouble, not to mention solving the mystery. Her character was more of a tool of the plot than a stand alone but, come on, who would you rather see running around Mumbai solving mysteries (while never mussing that gorgeous hair) than Jiah Khan? There aren’t too many other intelligent pairs of eyes flashing around Bollywood studios these days...
Finally, Aamir Khan. I know I gave him a lot of flack for his bug-eyed college student look in 3 Idiots but I really do love him. He is wonderful in Ghajini and the transformation from wild-eyed mental case to intelligent businessman and back remains astonishing. Aamir is so expressive that he can convey so much with his face and posture - you see the confusion and distrust on his face, instead of having him say it in dialogue.
And still a very fun movie to watch. Please to be enjoying some images from the film!
"The brain controls every body part."
*Sunita writes down this important info*
I think that is supposed to be a "1965" there...
Do you know what I miss the most when watching most contemporary Bollywood? The hordes of junior artistes. Admire these ladies providing fine back-up to Miss Thing here!
Enter Sanjay Singhania!
Is there a more perfect square-jawed police-wallah in all of Bombay?
I'm surprised Briyanshu hasn't screencapped Riyaz Khan and his jeans yet!
Pradeep Rawat - never trust this guy! If he shows up, you had better hope the hero is there to *dishoom* him for you.
Now, watch this masterclass of acting from Aamir Khan...
And Sanjay does this every morning.
It's almost shocking to see him normal with his posse of junior artistes.
There is a nice theme of disassociated identity in the song picturizations...
(Also, Asin = adorable.)
Kalpana is an actress by trade...
And a nice turn by Tinu Anand as the director.
Kalpana spins a story within a story within a story about how she (fake) met Sanjay Singhania.
Sanjay goes to confront her and is instantly smitten.
Another disassociate identity song...
The effects for this were great. And if you notice, Aamir does a different personality for each look. The man is a Perfectionist.
It's pretty amazing that halfway through Ghajini I kind of forget the ending and start cheering for a happy ending.
The proposal scene...
Another identity mix-up song!
Sunita is stuck playing Scooby-Doo... "Should I go in and snoop? OF COURSE!"
Now, somebody tell me who the hat guy is - he's my favorite henchman.
And I love when the characters got to play with Sanjay's memory problem like here where he is chasing Sunita and she tricks him into forgetting that she is chasing him.
I'll leave you with "Guzaarish"...