Direction: Raj Kumar Gupta
‘Ghanchakkar’ is an unusual film and needs a little patience because the pace is quite slow. In fact, it’s a little too long for a thriller and considering it hardly has any songs to break the monotony, it starts too feel a bit tedious in parts.
The director Raj Kumar Gupta and the lead cast Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi have a very flattering filmography at the moment. Raj Kumar Gupta’s previous films were ‘Aamir’ (2008) and ‘No One Killed Jessica’ (2011) and both received huge critical acclaim. After ‘The Dirty Picture’ and the ‘Kahaani’, it’s as if Vidya can do no wrong. And Emraan has had some of his career’s best roles in recent times, experimenting with unconventional characters in ‘Shanghai’ and ‘Ek Thi Daayan’. Needless to say the anticipation was quite high in ‘Ghanchakkar’.
‘Ghanchakkar’ is a comic suspense thriller and while the film has an interesting premise, it falters on the execution. The promos have made it abundantly clear that the film is about a heist after which Sanju (Emraan Hashmi), who has been entrusted with all the money, has an accident and subsequent memory loss means he has forgotten where he has kept the money. The other two accomplices obviously think that he is faking the amnesia and move in till they have reclaimed their share of the booty. Is Emraan feigning ignorance? If so, where can the money possibly go?
Emraan essays an understated performance that is commendable. His portrayal is well nuanced and while you might suspect his motives at times, you still feel for him and the ordeal he is going through. It’s a pleasant surprise to see the once over-the-top Emraan Hashmi to experiment with characters like this one.
Vidya is his feisty Punjaban wife, who has a super flashy sense of fashion that at most times hinges on the bizarre. While Vidya is totally sincere in her portrayal, we are so used to being overwhelmed by Vidya’s recent performances that this one just falls a little short of expectations.
There is no doubt that the film has some very strong performances and the suspense and subsequent payoff is worth the wait. The comic track however, isn’t as engaging. While the masked robbery is definitely the high point, the lovemaking scene and the scene with Idris (Namit Das) talking to a call girl come out as forced gags.
If you can overlook the minor flaws and the labored pace, ‘Ghanchakkar’ is definitely an interesting watch.
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