These days, Vidya Balan is considered the high queen of Bollywood cinema.
Her star is soaring high.
Barrels of ink have gone into extolling her talents and cataloging her every move.
Vidya’s presence on the Cannes film festival jury, her remarkable performances in Dirty Picture and No One Killed Jessica, her marriage, her weight, her ho-hum dress sense, blah blah blah have all attracted enormous attention.
So it’s a little surprising to find that Vidya’s new movie Ghanchakkar is being dismissed as a piece of junk by a gaggle of critics.
Here’s what Indian movie critics have to say about Ghanchakkar (Vidya Balan, Emran Hashmi), which released in America, India and a lot of other places today:
The screenwriting lacks meat, the pacing is sluggish and the culmination, which should’ve been the icing on the cake, is an anti-climax.
In a nutshell, the winning combo — Gupta-Vidya [No One Killed Jessica] and Emraan-Vidya [The Dirty Picture] — misfires this time!
With a plot that had the potential to transform into an engaging and outrageous entertainer, Ghanchakkar gets repetitive and tedious…
While the premise is interesting, Gupta could have spent more time doctoring the screenplay. The second half springs up many loopholes that are glaring in your face with discrepancies. Sanju and Neetu’s chemistry, especially their banter in the early first half seems forced.
….there is something amiss in its fabric. Ghanchakkar has a few memorable scenes, but on the whole it feels like a rushed effort.
[A] half-baked, self-indulgent comedy, which strives to sprinkle some dark film noir elements towards the finale. No point. You leave the auditorium utterly exhausted and quite confounded by the fact that the director-writer chose to serve this brain-scrambler after the firm-spined ‘Aamir’ and ‘No One Killed Jessica’. Truly, how the mighty have stumbled.
Pretty much like a running gag that starts out funny and ends up as an eye-glaze. And that leads me to a question: are four characters too few (there are a couple of others who show up for a scene or two, but it is with the foursome that all the action rests) for a two hour film?
The fundamental concept of Ghanchakkar is intriguing all right, but it simply isn’t sturdy enough to bear the weight of an entire two hour-plus film….
The pace of this black comedy is so somnolent that all the characters, and not just the ‘lazy lad’ of the film’s quirky opening song, appear to be sleepwalking through it all.
What makes the film worse is that none of the handful of players is a rounded figure that the audience can relate to.
But despite all the merry tomfoolery, a film like Ghanchakkar depends more on the meat of the story than on its execution. And somewhere through the second half, it stops being funny and becomes inane precisely at the time when it should have showed off its intelligence.
We look for a big reveal and there is none. And a house of cards can’t be built on jokers alone.
The flimsiness of the plot in the second half is made worse by a flagging of pace, giving you a feeling the story is being stretched beyond limit.
Times of India
..But the pace is slow and when the situations and jokes start getting repetitive, you want to pull your hair. There is an unusual climax to look forward to. Yet, the ground rule for thrillers is that they cannot unfold at such a languid pace.