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Ghajini (2008)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 17,725 users  
Reviews: 193 user | 23 critic

A short-term memory loss patient sets on his journey to avenge the death of his beloved girl.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Sanjay Singhania / Sachin
...
...
Sunita
Tinnu Anand ...
Satveer Kohli
Pradeep Singh Rawat ...
Ghajini Dharmatma (as Pradeep Rawat)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Asif Ahmed
John Cardiel
Vibha Chhibber ...
Havaldar Vijyanti
Neville Dadachanji ...
Mr. Mehta
Mahendra Gole
Sunil Grover ...
Sampat / Sanjay Singhania
Simon Hewitt
Kiran Deep Jagi
Raj Jamdade
Firdausi Jussawalla ...
(as Firdaush Jussawala)
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Storyline

Medical student, Sunita, is driven by curiosity to study the case of Sanjay Singhania, who is afflicted with short-term memory loss. She runs into him, befriends him, and finds out that he is out to kill a seemingly benevolent citizen, Ghajini Dharmatma. After warning the latter of the impending danger, she subsequently comes across a number of diaries written by Sanjay and attempts to put together a jigsaw puzzle as to how a successful and wealthy businessman became a crazed recluse, who re-lives his past through tattoos on his body, notes and Polaroid photographs on the wall of his Hiranandani Complex flat, and his sole obsession of carrying out his deadly mission - little knowing that Ghajini and his goons are out to erase every bit of evidence he has gathered and thus ensure that he ends up remembering nothing. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Details

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Release Date:

25 December 2008 (India)  »

Box Office

Budget:

INR 200,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$288,075 (USA) (2 January 2009)

Gross:

$2,411,071 (USA) (16 January 2009)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director A.R. Murugadoss's debut movie in Hindi. See more »

Goofs

A goon talking on the iPhone is holding the phone upside down. The black strip of the phone can be seen held against his ears. See more »

Connections

References Dus (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Latoo
Written by Prasoon Joshi
Composed by A.R. Rahman
Performed by Shreya Ghoshal and Pravin Mani
Courtesy of Super Cassettes Industries Limited (T-Series)
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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Ghajini
27 December 2008 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

The tattoos on the body, the Polaroid snaps, the notes scattered around the house, and the smoking gun evidence? Short term memory loss, happening every 15 minutes. If this doesn't seem like Christopher Nolan's masterpiece Memento, then I don't know what does. Written and directed by A.R. Murugadoss, I don't see much of a nod of acknowledgement to Nolan's work, and in almost all literature, it only falls back on the fact that this is a Hindi remake of Murugadoss' own Tamil movie of the same name Ghajini, produced in 2005 (Nolan's was in 2000), which joins the ranks of films having their titles named after the chief villain.

In any case this isn't the first time that we see very obvious similarities in premise and characters being adopted for Bollywood's own productions, and the shot-in-Singapore Krrish comes to mind as well, as they had the entire setting of John Woo's Paycheck incorporated into that film. But of course in any version some merits could be found, but I believe some form of acknowledgement would be in order, other than, in this case, a quick flash of a very wordy disclaimer about Ghajini being gleaned from various short stories and material (and another paragraph which I missed given the fine print, and short duration on screen, but I'm pretty sure no mention of Memento).

Well, there are some reasons why I chose to watch this. First up, the music's by A.R. Rahman, and for all the good publicity he's getting for his work on Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, I just had to experience yet another piece of his musical magic on a film, besides one that I've watched much earlier this year in Jodhaa Akbar. One just cannot imagine how his musical talent will be put to good use in a film which looks and feels like Memento, and this being the next best thing. "Guzarish" is a track used in the trailer, and it is currently my new ear worm.

Another reason is of course, Aamir Khan. Yet another prolific actor with a penchant for perfection, it was interesting to see how his take on the protagonist's short term memory loss, would rival that of Guy Pearce's. I'm embarrassed to say I've only seen him in action in Lagaan, so this would be yet another opportunity to witness his ability which can be measured against a benchmark. But don't expect the same though, because Pearce's version was more of a thinking man who questions and second guesses himself, while Khan's version was in two parts to serve the story, one as a raging hulk monster who tears through his opponents with savage violence fueled by anger and hatred, coupled with the hurt he experienced and recalled (Hulk producers take note, in case Edward Norton decides against any more sequels, look in the direction of Aamir Khan), while the other as mild-mannered Sanjay Singhania, CEO of a telecommunications company in Mumbai.

Yes, Bollywood's version naturally comes with built-in song and dance, which for once I would have thought looked quite out of place in the movie, if not for A.R. Rahman's score and music. While half of the movie might be seen as a copy of Memento's premise and character, the other half served more to allow the audience to share the pain with Sanjay. Nolan's version had you experience the frustrating condition of the syndrome through its narrative presentation, but this one junks the reverse chronology, and plays it out flat and builds a rich back story for Sanjay, so much so that you'll root for him as he goes on his rampage of revenge. You'll find yourself entrenched in the romance between Sanjay and his lady love Kalpana (the stunning Asin, who reprises her role from the 2005 version as well), who's a model awaiting her big break, and a girl with a genuinely good heart. The plot never fails to give her numerous moments to showcase her good nature, and it's no surprise why anyone would not fall in love with her instantly. Factor in plenty of lovey-dovey moments of comedy and pursuit (under the guise of a different identity, like Shah Rukh Khan's Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi) which makes it perfect for a date movie, but with hindsight that you know this love is doomed from the moment it began, which actually makes it quite sad to watch the events unfold since you know what will eventually happen to her.

Ghajini doesn't adopt or try to adopt those very cerebral mind-f* moments from Memento, but as I mentioned plays it out more like a straight forward action thriller, with a handful of inevitable moments of watching our protagonist get taken advantaged of because of his condition. No other structural styles are used besides flashbacks, where the purpose of two characters in the movie are to read the diary of events so that it could be translated visually onto the screen. However you'll still be kept in the dark for some time as to why the designated thugs of Ghajini (Pradeep Rawat) would want to exact their mettle onto Sanjay and Kalpana, and you'll be held in suspense for almost 2 hours before the reasons get shown.

I can only imagine the flak that this film might receive because of having to adapt, and not properly acknowledge perhaps that it's not original material, save for the romantic spin on it. But if you would look past those ramifications and treat this like a re-imagining of Memento in more straight-forward terms, that this would still serve as an entertaining thriller done Bollywood style.


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Things I learned from Ghajini iffatall
Aamir did it for the money crappydoo
Can you recommend me other hindian movies danr-24
Song that plays in dramatic sorrow moments? leonthecleaner-1
Policeman enters Sanjay's apartment ..... ns045
ambiguity as to the form of amnesia... sn939
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