In these hard economic times, if your 2009 New Year Resolution is to cut back on wasteful spending and save money for the rainy days ahead, we suggest you start in the fading days of 2008 by skipping this piece of stolen junk called Ghajini.
Many of the similarities we pointed out in the Tamil version between Ghajini and the Hollywood classic Memento are to be found in the Hindi version as well. We won’t refer to the similarities again here but you may see the list of copied scenes here.
The Hindi Ghajini’s story here hews mostly to the Tamil Ghajini, which Murugadoss stole from Memento.
A young man Sanjay Singhania (Aamir Khan) develops an unusual condition of being unable to form new memories for longer than 15 minutes because of a violent blow to his head in a brutal attack that also led to the death of his girlfriend Kalpana (Asin).
Like Leonard Shelby in Memento, the young man Sanjay is now consumed by revenge and uses an elaborate system of tattoos on his body, notes and photographs to go about his day-to-day life.
Aamir Khan Disappoints
While Ghajini is a crude piece of shit compared to the masterpiece Memento, the bigger disappointment here is Aamir Khan’s mediocre performance. Hey, we’ll go as far as saying that Surya did a superior job in the Tamil Ghajini.
With his torturous overacting in frame after frame, Aamir Khan left us in a fury of frustration and brought back unwelcome memories of yesteryear Tamil actor Sivaji Ganesan, who was guilty of the same offense in most of his movies.
Whether in the stunt scenes as he bashes up more than a dozen guys or the romantic song/dance scenes or when he first tells Kalpana in the bus that he loves her or when he screams in the hospital as he peruses his diary, Aamir Khan flounders and flounders and flounders.
In contrast, Surya in the Tamil version was far more effective in the pre-violent attack scenes with his bemused expression as Kalpana spins a big yarn about the big businessman Sanjay Ramasamy being smitten with her.
When Aamir Khan gets angry in Ghajini, it’s with the ugly intensity of a neanderthal; when he smiles in romantic scenes with his teeth showing and lower lips bent inwards, it’s with the deportment of a retard; when he sings/dances, he excites as much interest as the blind singer on Indian railway platforms.
In short, Aamir Khan is painful to behold in Ghajini; And even more painful when we consider that we are shelling out mucho moolah to see this kinda nonsense.
In not one scene did we see Aamir Khan do more than go through the motions of acting.
Asin – Same Tormentor
Asin is the same beastly tormentor in the Hindi version of Ghajini version. To waste any space on this bimbette would be a waste of our time and yours. If you are in a masochistic mood, you may see the lengthy list of her inadequacies here.
Compared to that hideous monster Nayantara in the Tamil version, Jiah Khan did a reasonable job as the medical student getting involved in the male protagonist’s life because of her interest in short-term memory issues.
Pradeep Rawat has done a better job as the villain in the Hindi version. Also, the final fight scene was not as horrendously crude as in the Tamil film with the twin villains.
With tighter editing, the 3-hour movie could have been cut short by about 20-25 minutes.
Although music in Ghajini is above average, the picturization of all the songs were below par. Our favorite songs were Behka and Hai Guzarish.
Safe to Skip Ghajini
As we said at the outset, in these hard economic times to waste money on a stolen stinker like Ghajini is a sin.
If you are looking for entertainment this holiday season, rent Memento from your local video library. Why watch bad stolen copies like Ghajini when you can watch the original (if you live in the U.S, we strongly recommend Slumdog Millionaire).