Ghanchakkar Movie Review by Taran Adarsh

After attempting the shockingly real AAMIR and fight-for-justice human drama NO ONE KILLED JESSICA, both grim and gritty celluloid offerings, Rajkumar Gupta now tiptoes into an unfamiliar terrain with GHANCHAKKAR, his first light-hearted entertainer with a twist in the end.

As a matter of fact, GHANCHAKKAR is one of those rare films that attempts to marry crime and humor. But the film, which does boast of a fascinating premise, goes awry after an attention-grabbing start. Reasons? The screenwriting lacks meat, the pacing is sluggish and the culmination, which should’ve been the icing on the cake, is an anti-climax.

In a nutshell, the winning combo — Gupta-Vidya [NO ONE KILLED JESSICA] and Emraan-Vidya [THE DIRTY PICTURE] — misfires this time!

Sanju [Emraan Hashmi] decides to team up with two criminals, Pandit [Rajesh Sharma] and Idris [Namit Das], to commit one last heist. A bank robbery that will ensure he doesn’t have to worry about money again. Everything goes according to plan. Sanju is entrusted with the responsibility of hiding the money till things cool down and the booty can be split. Two months later, Pandit and Idris return to collect their share of the loot, but Sanju refuses to recognize them. He claims to have lost his memory. Has he? Or is he lying?

With a plot that had the potential to transform into an engaging and outrageous entertainer, GHANCHAKKAR gets repetitive and tedious after Gupta introduces the four pivotal characters. Everything’s fine till Emraan, Rajesh and Namit pull off the heist, but the writers run out of ideas after this point actually. Ideally, the film should’ve sky-rocketed after the goons return to collect the loot, but what unravels seems repetitive and cyclic. To make matters worse, the episodes are unexciting, humdrum and monotonous.

The post-interval portions have their moments, but they are few and far between. The spectator gets immersed in the narrative, albeit briefly, when the finger of suspicion points towards Vidya. But the culmination to the tale throws a wet blanket. It would be unfair to reveal the twist in the tale, but all I can say is that the film should’ve ended on a terrific note, but it doesn’t.

Gupta carts the burden of over expectations on his shoulders, since his last two endeavors had met with critical commendation and commercial success. Will he outdo himself with GHANCHAKKAR, the vital question crosses your mind before the commencement of the film. But the writing lets him down and how! With a bland and lackluster screenplay on hand, there’s not much Gupta can do to salvage the show. The soundtrack [Amit Trivedi] too is below the mark. ‘Allah Meherbaan’ looks completely forced, while the title track [end credits] is functional. Cinematography is passable.

The four actors [Emraan, Vidya, Rajesh and Namit] put their best foot forward. Emraan makes an earnest effort to deviate from his on-screen image and he does exceptionally well. It’s indeed refreshing to see Emraan go full throttle to get the part right. Known for choosing qualitative films, Vidya delivers a knock-out performance yet again. Playing a Punjabi housewife, Vidya sure knows how to entertain. Frankly, it’s a new Vidya that you get to see in GHANCHAKKAR, who gets the comic timing spot on.

Rajesh Sharma, who impressed the audience in NO ONE KILLED JESSICA and LUV SHUV TEY CHICKEN KHURANA, is in super form. Namit Das has grown tremendously as an actor, since WAKE UP SID. He’s another talent to look forward to. Parvin Dabas is satisfactory in a cameo. The actor [who appears in the final stages of the film] lacks fervor.

On the whole, GHANCHAKKAR has splendid performances by its principal cast, but the bland and tedious narrative plays spoilsport. This one disheartens!

Rating: Two Stars.

  1. Author
    aryan 8 years ago

    Ghanchakkar Movie Review by Rajasen

    Ghanchakkar stops being funny somewhere through the second half, writes Raja Sen.

    The finest, most fascinating mysteries are the ones where we find the red herrings stashed away in plain sight all along. In Raj Kumar Gupta’s Ghanchakkar, the true clue to the proceedings is barely hidden.

    It’s in the song playing in every trailer, the song over the opening credits of the film: it’s fiendishly smart to say Lazy Lad and make us assume the filmmakers are talking about the protagonist when in reality they mean the screenwriter. For this is a confoundingly half-written film.
    Click here!

    What is exasperating is how good it is right up to the third act, right up to the point when the people plotting this clever and twisty story decided not to type out any more ideas and let the film remain an almighty mess.

    Like all of Gupta’s films, it starts brilliantly. Emraan Hashmi’s Sanju lives with his wife Neetu (Vidya Balan) who dresses like a backup dancer in an 80s music video and doesn’t have a knack for seasoning food.

    One evening, over a plateful of something too salted, a mysterious man calls with a very lucrative offer. Sanju, who insists they have enough saved up for a few years of idling, isn’t keen but Neetu nudges him towards that classic ‘one last job.’

    This leads to a hilarious bank robbery, one that makes dazzling use of celebrity masks that I would hate to ruin by telling you about, but it’s like a Hrishikesh Mukherjee version of Point Break. Each mask wears a different expression — a Grin, a Gasp and a Frown — and the way these famous faces fumble their way through the chaos is priceless.

    The film rollickingly (and with very impressive narrative economy) zips through its constantly compelling story, and in less than a half hour we know all our principal protagonists, have seen a great robbery, and are aware that one of them has lost his memory and thus forgotten, three months later — when the cash is meant to be divvied up — where the loot lies.

    So far so far-out, and Gupta and his fine ensemble cast fill in the details with wonderful whimsy. The reliably excellent Rajesh Sharma plays an unctuous baddie called Pandit, a great contrast to his profane and trigger-happy partner, Idris (Namit Das), while Hashmi looks appropriately befuddled and Balan, from amid a deluge of polka dots, sparkles in that way only she can.

    I think I smiled at the screen throughout the madcap first half, the lunacy of which echoed early Coen Brothers movies. (I was particularly reminded of Raising Arizona.)

    Balan, in particular, deserves to be singled out for applause simply because of her willingness as a leading lady to take on a role this farcical — that of a loud character not just overweight but mocked for her weight, through dialogue and ludicrous costume. There is a scene, I kid you not, where she wears giant earrings shaped like prisoners, as if The Beagle Boys were using her ears for clotheslines.

    But despite all the merry tomfoolery, a film like Ghanchakkar depends more on the meat of the story than on its execution. And somewhere through the second half, it stops being funny and becomes inane precisely at the time when it should have showed off its intelligence.

    We look for a big reveal and there is none. And a house of cards can’t be built on jokers alone.

    So despite the delicious nuances — the sabzee-buying commuter; the roadside apothecary with technicolor bottles; a chipmunk-like crook talking naughty on the phone before, without irony, straddling the film’s hero — Ghanchakkar builds up and builds up and builds up magnificently before collapsing in a bloody silly heap.

    I was loving this film till it turned the tables and cheated me.

    Maybe, like the television-addicted Sanju, we’re all better off watching these films on Zee Cinema. At least we can change channels or fall asleep midway.

    Rating: Two Stars.

  2. Author
    aryan 8 years ago

    Ghanchakkar Movie Review by Komal Nahta

    UTV Motion Pictrues’ Ghanchakkar (UA) is the story of a bank robbery and its aftermath. Sanjay Atre (Emraan Hashmi), married to Nitu (Vidya Balan), is in two minds about getting involved in a bank robbery. Ultimately, he gives in and helps Pandit (Rajesh Sharma) and Idrees (Namit Das) to loot Rs. 30 crore from a bank. It is decided to share the spoils after three months. Sanjay is given the responsibility of keeping the crores in safe custody for the three months. However, to the dismay of Pandit and Idrees, Sanjay has a memory loss in the intervening three months so that he can’t remember anything about Pandit and Idrees, about the bank robbery, and, therefore, about where he has kept the suitcase containing the cash.

    Ar first, Pandit and Idrees don’t believe that Sanjay has had a memory loss but once they are half-sure, they shift into his house so that they can monitor his every move. At times, they feel, he indeed can’t remember anything; at other times, they fear, he is fooling them. However, they have no other option but to wait for him to tell them about the missing suitcase.

    Even as Sanjay is trying his level best to remember where he has hidden the suitcase, he goes and meets his friend, Uttam Nagpal (Parvin Dabas). Uttam has just won a lottery, Sanjay learns, prompting him (Sanjay) to believe that he must’ve kept his money with Uttam who must’ve then spent it and hidden it from him after his memory loss. As if to confirm his worst fears, Uttam shifts to London without telling Sanjay. Why, Sanjay also starts believing that his own wife, Nitu, was having an affair with Uttam and she would soon join him in London to live with him there happily ever after.

    Meanwhile, Sanjay keeps getting a phone call, enquiring after the money. He doesn’t know who is calling him till the man appears in front of him.

    Who is the secret caller? What is his relationship with Pandit and Idrees? Where is the suitcase containing the Rs. 30 crore? Has Sanjay really had a memory loss or is it just a façade to not pay Pandit and Idrees their share in the loot? Does Nitu know where the money is? Is she really having an affair with Uttam? Has Uttam double-crossed Sanjay and made away with the money? Will Nitu and Uttam shift base to London? What does the secret caller do ultimately? What happens to Pandit, to Idrees, to Nitu and to Sanjay? And what happens to the secret caller?

    Parvez Sheikh’s story is childish. It rests on a weak premise. Also, it is a comedy which suddenly turns into a serious suspense drama with bloodshed and gore towards the end. The screenplay, written by Parvez Sheikh and Raj Kumar Gupta, is long-drawn and very slow, testing the audience’s patience. Even though the major part of the drama is a comedy, most of the scenes are so dull and lengthy that they fail to make the audience laugh. In fact, so drab is the comedy that it starts irritating the viewers after some time. It is when the audience does not laugh in the scenes meant to be funny that it starts questioning the intent of many scenes. For one, why, in the first place, did Pandit and Idrees allow the suitcase containing the cash to be in Sanjay’s control? Like they moved into his house after three months, the least they could have done was to have shifted into his house from the day of the bank robbery. Or, at least, the three could’ve jointly hidden the suitcase at a safe place and done something so that the access to it could be had by the three jointly only. Since the money involved was Rs. 30 crore, this is the bare minimum one would expect the masterminds to do. But the writers pretend that such a possibility never existed or such a thought did not even occur to Pandit and Idrees. Also, Sanjay’s attempts at trying to remember where he had hidden the suitcase look half-baked at times and genuine at other times. The behaviour of Nitu is so carefree even after Pandit and Idrees have threatened her husband that it does not seem believable at all. The writer must’ve realised this because there is a scene in which Sanjay asks Nitu why she is not bothered, and Nitu replies that at least one of them had to remain cool and composed, but that scene serves to underline the defective screenplay rather than answering the question which crops up in the audience’s minds – why is Nitu behaving the way she is? The writers have tried to add different humour at various places (for example, Idrees having phone sex with his girlfriend) but even that humour falls flat on its face. It embarrasses the viewers more than entertaining them. Nitu’s garish costumes may be funny but that hardly constitutes comedy on which the viewers would laugh their guts out. Her loud acting and her constant punctuation of her dialogues with ‘hain?’ is also not at all funny. Probably, the biggest shock for the audience is the climax which just doesn’t go with the rest of the film. It is like a train changing its track completely and unannounced. Even the dialogues, penned by Raj Kumar Gupta and Parvez Sheikh, are so routine that they do not have much of an impact. They are funny at a few places only.

    Emraan Hashmi does a fair job but his fans are bound to feel disappointed because this is definitely not the kind of roles they would like to see him doing. Vidya Balan is earnest about her ole and delivers a sincere performance but to not much avail because the acting fails to evoke laughter which is what exactly it is meant to do. Rajesh Sharma does well but again, the impact is nothing much. Namit Das performs reasonably well but is let down by the weak script. Parvin Dabas is ordinary in a special appearance, again due to lack of anything substantive to do. Prema Sakhardande is effective as the mother of Sanjay Atre. Sunil Sharad Vishrani is okay as the man on the train. Vishwanath Chatterjee (as real estate broker Mohan), Sarvinder S. (as the servant at Uttam Nagpal’s house) and Majinder Singh ‘Bunty’ (as the Sardar cabbie) are alright.

    Raj Kumar Gupta’s direction is weak. It seems, comedy is not his forte. Or maybe, the script is so poor that even an able director like Raj Kumar Gupta could not use it to advantage. The music (Amit Trivedi) is okay. The title track and the ‘Lazy lad’ song are interesting. Lyrics (Amitabh Bhattacharya) are alright but not outstanding. Song picturisations (choreographer: Uma Shankar Nair) are so-so. Amit Trivedi’s background music is fair. Camerawork (Setu) is quite good. Sets (Mayur Sharma and Helen Jones) are in keeping with the mood of the film. Action (Parvez-Feroz) are okay. Aarti Bajaj’s editing is not sharp enough.

    On the whole, Ghanchakkar is not half as funny as it ought to have been. Since it doesn’t make the audience laugh or even smile much, it will fail to make the distributors laugh all the way to the bank. In fact, it will find the going at the box-office tough and will entail losses to all concerned.

  3. ank_16n 8 years ago

    Ghanchakkar is really getting one of the worst reviews from Critics(both Class as well as mass liking Movies one)…

    its really sad 🙁

  4. Author
    aryan 8 years ago

    Ghanchakkar Movie Review by Saibal Chatterjee/NDTV


    The odd-couple pairing of Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan apart, this madcap whirligig has little on offer by way of innate allure.

    The fundamental concept of Ghanchakkar is intriguing all right, but it simply isn’t sturdy enough to bear the weight of an entire two hour-plus film.

    It presses a 1980s plot device into the service of what is meant to be a new age comic thriller and inevitably comes a cropper.
    Three guys pull off a bank heist, one of the robbers suffers a memory loss, and the booty goes missing.

    The pace of this black comedy is so somnolent that all the characters, and not just the ‘lazy lad’ of the film’s quirky opening song, appear to be sleepwalking through it all.

    What makes the film worse is that none of the handful of players is a rounded figure that the audience can relate to.

    This film about a man’s lost yaadasht and the complications that it sparks off seems destined to be quickly forgotten.

    Ghanchakkar, if it is remembered at all, will go down as an ill-advised change of pace for Raj Kumar Gupta, the maker of the memorable Aamir and No One Killed Jessica.

    At the heart of Ghanchakkar are a couch potato (Emraan Hashmi) who is an all but retired cat burglar and his garrulous wife (Vidya Balan) who has a fetish for strappy nightwear.

    The loquacious lady’s antics in the bedroom are only mildly diverting and the listless lumbering of the spaced-out man that she shares the apartment with does not help matters.

    The hubby, after much prodding, decides to accept the tempting offer of one final job from a duo of small-time goons.
    One is an avuncular and glib conspirator (Rajesh Sharma) and a jaunty young accomplice (Namit Das) given to brandishing his revolver at the slightest provocation.

    The trio plots the bank robbery in a midnight meeting in a compartment of a local train.

    At the appointed hour, the three men, wearing Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Utpal Dutt masks, raid and loot the bank. The safecracker is given the responsibility of hiding the stash of cash until the heat is off.

    Three months and an unspecified accident later, the male protagonist, struck by amnesia, has no remembrance of where he has kept the money.

    The rigmarole that ensues revolves around the hero’s struggle to recall exactly what he did that night and his two angry accomplice’s desperate attempts to get their share of the plunder.

    Despite its surprise ending, Ghanchakkar fails to engage. It is overstretched, flimsy and ineffectual. The screenplay (credited to Parveez Shaikh and director Raj Kumar Gupta) stutters along without much purpose.

    The characters are half-baked and aren’t given any context at all. Especially feckless is the figure of the hausfrau who reads Vogue and Cosmo for fashion inspiration and then goes and dons the most outlandish of outfits.

    Neither the husband nor the audience is inveigled. The lady is Punjabi, so she is cheerfully robust and adds a shrill haayn to the end of every sentence to convey a wide range of emotions, from bewilderment to indignation.

    And, needless to say, her ‘minute’ is ‘mint’, her bharosa is bhrosa, and her galat is galt. In the ultimate analysis, she is hardly worth the salt that she wastes on her inept cooking.

    The two criminals who drag the couple into trouble are no better. The screenplay provides no insight into where they have come from and what they are up to. Not that anybody cares.

    As for the hero, he has a valid excuse for making a fool of himself. He is after all out of his mind – and depth.

    Ghanchakkar tries very, very hard to raise a few laughs. You might hear a chuckle here and a giggle there, but the comic situations are far too laboured to leave a lasting impression.

    In a film about a man who has lost his memory, an allusion to Ghajini is inevitable.

    At the dinner table, where much of the film plays out, one guy declares that it is a Salman Khan film, another believes that it featured Shahrukh Khan, while a third passes it off as a Saif Ali Khan starrer. Would Aamir be amused?

    In another scene, the hero orders red wine on the phone. The voice at the other end of the line wants to know where the bottle has to be delivered. The poor bloke is stumped.

    He steps out of the door to check the number of his flat, then goes all the way down to the main gate to read the name of the housing society, and finally walks a little further to ascertain what the street is called. Funny? Hardly.

    Ghanchakkar is strictly for those that are easy to tickle and shock. One character, the one with the gun, sums it up best: “I don’t know what is going on and who is taking whom for a ride.” Heed the warning!

    Rating: One and Half.

  5. Syed imran 8 years ago

    Watchd the movie last nyt… Tad disappointed… The movie really had the potential to be a complete laugh riot bt gets let down by sluggish pace nd poor screenplay.. The film has very few funny moments nd as told by taran the proceedings gets repetitive nd vry tiring.. Rajesh sharma nd namit are splendid in their respective roles.. In fact they are the ones who makes you laugh quite a little nd the movie watchable… Vidya i very loud nd emraan though in a unique doesnt leave much impact… Overall the movie lacks the punch nd can b missed out..

    Not recommended!!!

  6. sputnik 8 years ago

    Ghanchakkar Movie Review by Rajeev Masand

    Rating: 2

    June 28, 2013

    Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Vidya Balan, Rajesh Sharma, Namit Das

    Director: Raj Kumar Gupta

    The mystery in Ghanchakkar involves the whereabouts of a suitcase containing stolen cash. Yet, a harder puzzle to crack is figuring out just how so many talented people could make such a disappointing film.

    No One Killed Jessica director Raj Kumar Gupta recruits a competent cast, but flounders with a half-cooked script that doesn’t know where to go after setting up its delicious premise. Sanju (Emran Hashmi) is a retired cat burglar-turned-full time couch potato who’s goaded by his pushy wife Neetu (Vidya Balan) into participating in one last job. What follows is a terrific bank robbery scene involving a security guard and a matka kulfi, the inventive use of movie-star masks, and the unscheduled arrival of a cop who almost foils the plan.

    Nevertheless, Sanju and his two accomplices – Pandit (Rajesh Sharma) and Idrees (Namit Das) – make off with Rs 35 crores in loot. The entire cash is left with Sanju for the next three months, until the heat from the crime dies down. But when the two goons return to claim their share, they discover Sanju has lost his memory in an accident, and can’t remember either them or where he’s hidden the bounty.

    Ghanchakkar has all the ingredients for a dark comedy, yet shaken and stirred they blend like oil and water. The storytelling itself is inconsistent. The plot hits the ground running, never spoon-feeding you with background information you don’t need. Then, when the two goons move into the couple’s flat while Sanju struggles with his amnesia, you have a set-up ripe for laughs. But Gupta squanders this potential with one too many dinner table scenes banging on about the same joke involving Neetu’s cooking.

    Frustration sets in during the film’s flabby middle portion where nothing much really happens. The angry goons want their money…Sanju can’t remember a thing…He chases clues that lead nowhere…They bash the living daylights out of him. This routine is repeated over and over again till the line: “Paise kahan hain?” becomes embedded in your brain like a pesky metal chip! And well before it’s ultimately revealed in the film’s climax, you’ve guessed the suspense already.

    It’s all such a shame because some things work nicely. The local train becomes an unlikely ‘conference room’ where the goons hatch their plans, and a running joke about a vegetable-bearing commuter is genuinely funny. The cast too, hits all the right notes. Vidya Balan offers a particularly uninhibited performance as the garrulous, fashion-disaster of a housewife; the kind of part few leading ladies would venture near, or competently pull off. Emraan Hashmi is suitably befuddled, but struggles to shine under the limited scope of his role. The two leads slip easily into the shoes of a couple stuck in a humdrum marriage.

    As the desperate goons slowly losing their patience, Rajesh Sharma and Namit Das are first-rate. An unlikely team, Sharma’s manner is almost polite as the older Pandit, while Namit Das turns Idrees into a hot-headed, trigger-happy lout. In one scene that goes from icky to whacky, we watch as Idrees, midway through a raunchy phone call, ups and chases after Sanju in his underwear.

    These inspired moments then are few and far between in this lazily scripted film that leaves you bored and searching for the nearest exit. I’m going with two out of five for Ghanchakkar. The money is found in the end, but that’s 2 hours and 17 minutes of your life that you’ll never see again!


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