Directed by: Raj Kumar Gupta
Starring: Emraan Hashmi, Vidya Balan
All images courtesy of: http://www.glamsham.com
There is nothing more frustrating than a film that almost hits the mark which is how Ghanchakkar left me feeling. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad film by any means and has moments of brilliance that are unfortunately overshadowed by over egging the proverbial pudding. The premise of a bank robbery that has far reaching consequences in Bombay is a excellent premise for a dark comedy and pleasingly, the first half fully realises that potential.
But after the interval, Ghanchakkar meanders as it gets a little too clever for its own good – is Sanjay pretending? Is this a scheme cooked up by his wife? Or is there someone else pulling the strings? Sadly, once the denouement arrives (and for what it’s worth, it is a decent one) the audience are past caring and the ending, though unconventional, is unsatisfying. Inspite of this, Ghanchakkar does have its moments – the film references, the witty dialogue and the small details all have the hallmarks of a smart film.
The performances are also very good – this might be Emraan’s best work to date including his topless and wet kissing scenes – he plays the character quite simply and doesn’t embellish which is important as Sanjay needs that simplicity to make him likeable. I was unsure about Vidya’s performance – it did feel like a Punjabi version of her character in The Dirty Picture and whilst Vidya is a competent actress to make it feel different, I felt that she wasn’t challenged nor utilised to her maximum potential. But to her credit, Vidya plays to the gallery which saves the role from being unbearable. Rajesh Sharma and Namit Das have fun in their supporting roles, especially working well in the ensemble scenes.
Much like a Gone Goa Gone, Ghanchakkar is slighty ahead of the curve which is a shame as with a bit of fine tuning, this could have been the perfect counterfoil to all the mindless 100 crore comedies that clog up the box office. Having said that, Ghanchakkar does remain committed to its creative remit throughout which deserves applause and recognition. A shame then that this was an almost but Ghanchakkar is still worth a watch on telecast or DVD as alternative mainstream comedy in Hindi cinema continues to grow stronger and more determined with each release in the genre. Give it a try.