Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Memento this ain't - Ghajini.
Ghajini is a film I knew I had to see. When one of your absolute favourites (Aamir Khan) remakes a film with one of your other absolute favourites (Surya), there's no missing out on the original. But the circle of originality has one huge bump - Memento, an American film that I've also seen and loved, and that Ghajini is accused of ripping off quite royally.
I hate to confirm the rumors. While there are a lot of things in the film that are completely original, the similarities are so glaring they're impossible to ignore. Story of vengeance, short term memory loss, the Polaroids and the tattoos.. What Ghajini simply does is take some of the edge off Memento's narrative in order for it to make a more regular Tamil film. While the outcome will possibly surprise Indian audiences, for anybody who has seen Christopher Nolan's original, it falls far, far behind.
Aamir said in his blog that Ghajini is not a Memento rip-off. Suppose it depends on the definition, but to me there are movies that are inspired by genres, by conventions whilst not borrowing from any specific movie (Pyaar ke side effects would be one example I can think of). This sort of inspiration is fine in my books - it happens all over the world, always has, and often with fantastic results. But Ghajini borrows such specific things, that even if the story is Indianized, the narrative is Indianized, when you have some of the exact details from Memento, I'm sorry, I don't know what else to call it.
None of this necessarily means it's a bad movie. It's definitely an okay movie, partly fantastic even (the Asin-Surya love story told in flashback is awesome enough to make me want to buy the DVD), and Surya's performance is solid as usual. But I'm not feeling the biggest urge to rewatch, or purchase. It's also quite on the long side during second half. While it packs a ton of plot twists, the ending is predictable enough. A special mention to Asin, though, for her character was really lovely in this movie and she performed well. I didn't think much of her in the Vikram film Majaa but she shone in this one.
So, Aamir, do your best. I know my expectations are low enough right now.