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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

shows what a great actor amir khan is!

9/10
Author: reyes_arsenal49 from Pakistan
16 July 2006

i was not a big amir khan's fan before this movie but after watching "ghulam" it not only made me amir khan's fan but also at the same he stamped himself as the bollywood ace...

"Ghulam" shows the sudden change in the life of sidharth who first being non-serious in his life soon realise the reality of the life and when he becomes more loyal he has to pay for the changes.. emotional scenes are wonderfully executed by amir khan, the way he has tackled difficult scenes shows what a brilliant actor he's been for bollywood... whereas rani mukherjee looks gorgeous but have little to offer in a brief role.. all in all a very good movie with a good twist and a better second half... also the climax was very astonishing... the music is good to ear... highly recommended to all amir khan's fans!

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

excellent remake of On the Waterfront

10/10
Author: dhruvdude from U.S.A
3 April 2004

When I first saw Ghulam I said finally a good original film but a couple of years I got to see Marlon Brando's "On the Waterfront" and find out a movie's rip off. Still the movie is definitely a must see for people who like realistic, hard hitting films and not the loveyduvey smoochy films. Besides that aamir khan gives a brilliant performance as the confused brother trapped in underworld's tactics. Rani mukherjee is ok. Her voice is dubbed and one can clearly make out. Aamir Khan's aati kya khandala is a great highlight of the movie. The railway track race could have taken his life but he is still alive so have fun and watch this movie. This is an awesome film. My Rating 10/10

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

On the Khandala-front

7/10
Author: nomanali77 from United Arab Emirates
11 March 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I went through the list of Vikram Bhatt movies, and realized I had seen quite a few of them. And there isn't a single original storyline in any of them. Vikram Bhatt isn't happy in just getting inspired by Hollywood movies, he copies them totally. Sometimes, he does a bad job (Awara Paagal Deewana: The Whole Nine Yards, Deewane Hue Paagal: There's Something About Mary) but sometimes it isn't so bad (Raaz: What Lies Beneath and Ghulam: On the Waterfront).

The difference with Ghulam is its treatment. This treatment is very rustic and non-glamorous. What you get is a nice, realistic view of the situation, with Siddhu being a very real character. Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Rajit Kapoor, Sharat Saxena and Mita Vasisht all turn in pretty good performances. I remember when I first watched the movie and was impressed by Rani. Come to think of it, I have been a fan of Rani since then itself, so I'm pretty glad things are working out for her now.

Even being a copy, it is a rather good movie with a believable storyline and strong performances. Worth a peek.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Heroic

10/10
Author: Anup Viswanathan Thampi from India
16 March 2010

I have read the reviews given by different people and I am well versed with the version played by The Great Marlon Brando(On the Waterfront) which won him Oscar for best actor,Ella Kazan the best Director and 6 other categories. It took almost 44 years to bring out the remake using the finest actor in Indian History. The fact that remains in my mind is that I had watched the filmfare award ceremony and I was only 13 but still I remember Vikram Bhatt saying that "The Award was only possible due to Aamir Khan's effort.He had taken chance with his life by not duping the Train-race stunt.Even though the train was not running at full speed it had momentum to kill the person hitting it". The commitment from the side actors are as important as the film script.If this was shot nowadays it could have been more effective with several camera angling. Aamir knew that if he had to provide justice at least .1% to the original film he had to do this. These make it almost or equivalent to the "On The Waterfront".

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A nice romantic action film

8/10
Author: Angelus2 from United Kingdom
19 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ghulam is a story about a wannabe boxer who spends his time among gangsters and does their bidding. He begins to question his life of crime and meets a girl named Alisha who he falls in love with.

Watching it as a youngster I found it quite compelling and exciting; the scene where he plays against death running on train tracks, saving the girl. Aamir Khan provides a satisfactory performance and Rani Mukherjee sadly is dubbed in this movie...............Its not her voice!

She however looks stunning and very very sexy in the songs...Now the songs, the songs are all really good, catchy and romantic...Thats what bollywood does best.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Truly a masterpiece and Aamir Khan's best performance

10/10
Author: faris ahmad from Pakistan
13 January 2014

Ghulam is truly a masterpiece with an excellent theme by Vikram Bhatt.Definitely it is his best directorial venture.The plot of the movie taken from ON THE WATER FRONT fits very well to the culture of Subcontinent,beautifully reflects the hardships & attitude of the society in big cities and also shows the right way to fight against injustice & cruelty.The sole of the film is Aamir Khan's stunning performance.The way he has portrayed the character of Sidhu a confused,tipori is awesome.This performance has for sure declared Aamir Khan as the best actor in history of Indian cinema.Rani Mukherji looked very fresh and beautiful, the only flaw of the film is her dubbed voice which was needless.SharatSexana in the role of Ronak Singh is excellent.Music is very good.All the songs are good with "ab naam mohabbat ke ilzam " & "aati kya khandala" stand out.Overall it is an excellent film.I have seen this film 18 times till date and i recommend it to every movie lover.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

GHULAM - Guess whose the real hero ?

Author: Sheraz Sherwani from United Arab Emirates
28 February 2005

Amir plays the role of a confused, frustrated and sensitive "gunda" who lives with the evil but surprisingly knows the difference between right and wrong. His conscious is alive maybe because of something he saw happening to his dad when he was young. It casted a lasting effect on him and it stayed with him all his life. His brother also realizes the difference between the right and the wrong but readily accepts the wrong because he doesn't mind taking shortcuts in life. Excellent performances by Amir Khan and Rani both. The real hero, however, is Ronnie. He gave the best performance of his life. Every single dialog of his is nothing less than Gabbar's from Sholay. Not only does this movie have some great acting, but some excellent screenplay, dialogs, direction, storyline, and songs! One of my favorite Hindi movies of all time. Rating: ****

Poor * Average ** Good *** Excellent **** Masterpiece *****

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

On the Waterfront

6/10
Author: silvan-desouza from India
16 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Bhatts have known to remake Hollywood films from time memorial though they have given several great films. In 1990s Mahesh Bhatt directed many films, many worked like Aashiqui(1990), Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahin(1991) which were not that great, while Hum Hai Raahi Pyaar Ke(1993) was a superb film and worked well too, he gave flops too like Criminal(1995),Chaahat(1996), Duplicate(1998) and many more. Ghulam directed by Vikram Bhatt who earlier worked with Bhatts in films like Fareb, Jaanam, Bambai Ka Babu, got his first hit reportedly with this film. The film is a remake of On The Waterfront(1954) which was earlier remade by the Bhatts as Kabzaa(1988) and Vidhu Vinod Chopra too borrowed a chapter from it in Parinda(1989) and other films too. Ghulam starts off well, Aamir's character though may seem close to his Rangeela character is different, he plays the typical thug with a heart of gold who does dirty work as told by his brother and then changes his life. The film also has Aamir's most dangerous stunt, the train stunt which he did himself and missed the train by a second. The first half focuses more on establishment of characters and does waste a bit more time on romance but the twist in the tale is superb, The second half focuses more on how Munna changes and seeks revenge The ending may be a bit hard to digest but yet is well executed Comparing with On The Waterfront may be tough, the film does copy most of the film but adds it's own masala, love and all but yet it's watchable Direction by Vikram Bhatt is good Music by Jatin Lalit is superb, All songs are seeped in melody, be it Kumar/Alka's songs Aankhon se Tune and Jaadu Hai, or Udit Narayan's superb Ab Naam Mohabbat Ki or the crowd puller Aati Kya Khandala which was sung by Aamir for the first time

Aamir Khan portrayed a tapori earlier in Rangeela(1995) but he doesn't repeat himself, he does a superb job as always and brings in the difference, He conveys a lot through his expressions. Rani with a dubbed voice is okay though she doesn't get much to do Mita Vashisht is superb in her role, Rajit Kapoor is superb Sharat Saxena is effective, Akshay Anand who also starred in Mahesh Bhatt's ZAKHM in the same year is good in his role, Raju Kher is okay in a short role,Deepak Tijori has just 1 scene, perhaps to recreate the JJWS success Amongst rest Bhatts Favourite Ashutosh Rana and Dalip Tahil have cameos

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5 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

its not as bad as all that

Author: christina (miko@postmaster.co.uk) from kent, uk
11 December 2002

Sure, its formulaic, but personally I think there is an element of spoof in it. Look at some of the dance routines. Especially the one where they are in a log cabin. They are not taking themselves too seriously here. And it does have a charm about it. My favorite song in it is the one about going to Chandala. And the scene where he enters her window about 16 stories up - it is completely ludicrous but is hugely entertaining and I feel for the right reasons.

Amir Khan also appeared earlier in "andaaz apna apna" which was very much a comedy, allthough it did tend to veer to much towards farce at times.

Although there was some sort of an action story and a moral theme to it, i think much of it was meant to be a light comedy romance, and those parts of the film worked quite nicely.

Sure its not a particularly memorable film and isnt ground breaking cinema, but its not actually a bad film, as long as you arent expecting too much out of it. And its quite watchable.

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15 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Recipe - take `On the Waterfront' treat with Bollywood formula, take all meaning out of it, stretch it to 3 hours and stick in songs that don't fit with the film - et viola - Ghulam!

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
15 November 2002

Siddhu is a small time felon in Bombay who's morals can be summarised as `every man for himself'. His lawyer has faith he can change and is trying to help him by keeping him out of jail for petty offences. Siddhu's brother works for Ronny, an ex-boxer who now runs organised crime in the area. As a result Siddhu gets some muscle work for Ronny. One day Ronny's thugs are beating up some shopkeepers for money by Siddhu's house. Afterwards Siddhu meets the eldest, Hari, and befriends him. However Hari is responsible for causing Ronny trouble and hence Siddhu unwittingly helps Ronny to kill him.

I have only seen a handful of Bollywood films of these I have loved one (Lagaan) and been indifferent to the majority. I find that they have all the flaws of Hollywood exploitation movies without many of the production values. Ghulam (The Slave) is a fine example of the standard Bollywood formula - songs, pretty girls, manly heroes, hairy villains, overacting and dramatic music and direction. As such it is OK but I'm not a fan of these standard formulae. I'd rather have them with at least a bit of a new spin. However this film doesn't want to do that and gives it to us straight. The plot is a basic `do the right thing' film that borrows heavily from `On the Waterfront' in many different ways.

The action scenes suggest a Bollywood Jackie Chan but they lack any of his flair and imagination. The love interest is dropped into the film so heavily that it hits with a heavy clang - the first hour is basically just that, it isn't integrated into the film so much as just added on. It does allow about 5 songs to occur that don't fit with the tone of the film. I'm a little biased because I always struggle to tell one from the other with these things. I know that they films are meant to be whole adventures for an audience but it just felt pretty disjointed to me.

The direction is typically hilarious - rushing cameras etc that really play to the traditional Bollywood clichés. The sound effects sound too fake and don't match the action and the different in sound quality between dialogue and singing is so noticeable that it bothered me. I know that the singing is mostly done by other people in a studio but can't they at least try and match them up in terms of quality at least.

The acting is also very clichéd. Khan was a good hero in Lagaan but he was helped by the more professional feel of that film. Here he fits with the mood of the film in that he just overacts where needed - tears, anger, frustration etc, all emotions are on his sleeve for all to see. The villains are typically bad and gruff and overact like the best of them. Meanwhile love interest Mukherjee (Alisha) is suitably air brushed, pretty and shot with a constant breeze in her hair and soft focus lens!

Considering people make a big deal of Bollywood movies being a big culture. To me this just smacked of American influence. Chicago Bulls tee-shirts, T2 posters etc all clutter the sets. Meanwhile the plot borrows from lots of American films. Like I said the plot itself is just On the Waterfront without the subtext or drama. They take it and just throw out anything of value and add songs! Even the boxing scene sees the opponent being a mickey-take of BRITISH boxer Prince Naseem Hamed. Even the climax is a mix between a wild west stand-off and a Rocky movie! Does no one else see the influence of American culture in this film? It's not a bad thing but why pretend that Bollywood films are something exciting and new?

Overall this film will please those who happily accept the Bollywood film formula with all it's weaknesses. For me I view it on the same level as any other film - it's plot is weak, a basic good versus bad story, with average acting, misplaced songs and not very much to enjoy for an even slightly demanding audience.

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