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Ghajinikanth Review: A Remake With No Distinct Personality


Cast: Arya, Sayyesha, Aadukalam Naren, Karunakaran, Sathish

Director: Santhosh P Jayakumar

Music: Balamurali Balu

Brash and irreverent, Ghajinikanth is much like its director Santhosh P Jayakumar. Having attained an infamy of sorts through his previous releases (the very adult Hara Hara Mahadevaki and Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu), the focus in the latest venture is to keep things above the belt. And, the director tries so hard but gets so lost (like that Linkin Park song).

Based on Nani’s Bhale Bhale Magadivoy, Santhosh stays true to the film’s conceit – the male lead (Arya, in the Tamil version) is very forgetful. This provides the filmmaker a way to stage sequences that milk hilarity out of the hero’s very troublesome trait. And the conceit also makes way for the film’s title. He might be called Rajinikanth in real life, but his forgetfulness makes him Ghajinikanth.

Along for the ride are actors Sathish and Karunakaran, the bros who are conscience keepers and memory holders. If at all Rajini forgets something, they’re around to remind him, while making fun of him.

It’s easy to be carried along as the affable Rajini gets into one scrape after another. His prospective father-in-law doesn’t like him, and along with his forgetfulness, this proves to be an impediment to his dreams of marrying Vandhana (Sayyeshaa).

Arya is outshined by the comedic efforts of Aadukalam Naren, who plays his dad. His love for the Superstar means that there’s only choice when it comes to naming his newborn son. And so, the boy grows up in the shadow cast by his name. His short-term memory issues mean that he can never really live upto it, though more than one person in the movie says that he looks the part.

In the Telugu original, Nani made the conceit believable. He is an actor who has banked on his ability to connect with the audience. The advantage is that he can play slightly complicated characters like this one well. Arya is affable and likeable, yes. But his good looks and physique make him too (perfect?) to be convincing enough to play a man like this onscreen. He tries. Valiantly. But every time he ‘forgets’, you know its play-acting.

Sayyeshaa, on her part, is as enthusiastic as she was in last week’s Junga. And, in Kadaikutty Singam before that. However, there’s not enough for her to do onscreen to give us an idea of the performer she is or what her character is all about. She can dance well. And, we all know that she can sleepwalk her way through these one-note girlfriend roles Tamil cinema likes to toss out now and then.

With a title such as this and a lead who forgets, its easy for the film to be saddled with labels such as ‘forgettable’. That’s true, to an extent. The movie, at large, is all show. There’s no substance to balance the extravagance on-screen. Everything looks like it’s been photoshopped, and there’s no personality to the proceedings.

The film chooses to not rise above its clever title. The Hola Hola song was apparently shot first, and it best describes the film itself. There are bright colours, pop music, and very photogenic people having the time of their lives.

Maybe, sometimes, this is enough.

The Ghajinikanth review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.


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