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'Ghayal Once Again:' Much mellowed

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Ghayal Once Again can be termed as a true sequel as the film connects with Sunny Deol starrer Ghayalreleased in 1990. In that era, a suppressed common man’s outburst against a mighty criminal (Amrish Puri inGhayal) who has the politicians and the system at his command was palatable.

Sunny is back after serving 14 years in prison. He gets flashbacks of past which Soha Ali Khan, a doctor keeps in control with instant medication. Sunny has now turned a vigilante, runs a newspaper called Satyakam, which publishes real news sans sensationalism. He has a loyal team around him, which shares his spirit and purpose. Sunny is now a much admired person with a great following among youth.

Om Puri is now a retired cop who has become an RTI activist. Puri has come across some material, which can virtually destroy the tycoon, Narendra Jha, who accumulates wealth through illegal means. Jha has the local home minister and, through him, the entire police force in his pocket. Puri is called for a meeting where an argument ensues and Jha’s drug addict and violent son, Abhilash Kumar, shoots down Puri. This is made to look like a road accident. 

Unknown to Jha and company the whole shooting incident has been shot on a cell phone of a bunch of students out to take pictures and videos of some rare birds. But, the guardians of the kids know how powerful Jha is and handover the video to him.

However, one of the girls from this group of four, thought it prudent to make a copy of the video, which they plan to handover to Sunny. But, it seems Jha has the entire city under video surveillance as well as the phones taped of anybody who can harm him. As Sunny and the students decide to meet up, Jha lets loose his foreign mercenaries, no less, on the kids. There is a long chase through the city roads in cars and later through a shopping mall. All beamed live in Jha’s room. But, Sunny reaches in time and saves kid. 

A lot follows, the students are now kidnapped and kept under vigil at Jha’s fortress like mansion surrounded by Jha’s own army as well as the entire police force of the city. Now it is for Sunny to get them out. And, as Sunny is wont to do, he becomes a one man army, as usual, preferring hand to hand fight against multiple guns.

The problem with Ghayal Once Again is that it follows the same theme that worked in 1990 when a lot of anti-establish feelings prevailed. Also, Sunny was the leading action hero around as his contemporaries, Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff, did varied roles. Now, just about everybody does action films thanks to technology. The story is old-fashioned about one powerful man calling shots in a major metropolis like Mumbai; it does not convince anymore. 

From the moment film begins till the chase sequence the film holds only to become predictable thereafter. The action scenes become repetitive. Cinematography by veteran Ravi Yadav is competent. Editing wise, the film needed some sharp trimming. Music, having no scope, does not quite work. Performance wise, the Sunny - Soha pair is odd despite their love being silent. Sunny is his usual self doing Ghayal again while Soha has little scope. While the students all do well, Ramesh Deo, Manoj Joshi, Tisca Chopra, and Sachin Khedekar are okay. The villain duo, Jha and Abhilash, is effective. 

Ghayal Once Again hasn’t had an encouraging opening. It caters to single screen masses mainly of which not many are left.

Producer: Dharmendra

Director: Sunny Deol

Cast: Sunny Deol, Soha Ali Khan, Om Puri, narednra Jha, Manoj Joshi, Tisca Chopra, Sachin Khedekar, Nadira Babbar, Abhilash Kumar

‘Sanam Teri Kasam:’ Of unseen villain

An early cancer as a part of a love story was Dil Ek Mandir, a Meena Kumari, Rajendra Kumar, Rajkumar film. There it was a love triangle. However, the Hollywood hit, Love Story (1970), based on Erich Segal’s novel of the same name, set a trend for star-crossed romances where one of the protagonists is afflicted by cancer. Immediately thereafter in 1971, there followed a film with cancer as the main theme in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’sAnand, though this was not a love story or a triangle. Love Story finally inspired Rajshri’s musical hit, Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se in 1978.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s other foray in this theme, Mili, failed despite a memorable musical score and the reigning stars of the day, Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan, in the cast. There may have been a few more films on the theme but none made a mark. 

In Sanam Teri Kasam, Harshwardhan Rane inherits a flat from one Julie aunty in a building society occupied by creatures from era gone by. No explanation is offered for the deceased aunt’s largesse. Rane is projected as some sort of a stud for he has a new woman in his bed each night and they are Page 3 girls. How, why? 

Rane is like a 1950s romantic hero. He is never seen making a living. All he does is guzzle alcohol, chase romance and is busy suppressing his past tragedies. He has spent eight years in jail for being accused of a murder at the age of 14. Cinematic liberty allows you to consign a 14 year old to eight years in prison. 

Luckily for him, there lives a Tamil-Brahmin family in his society, the head of which also lives in 1950 or probably before that. The family has two daughters of which the older one, Mawra Hocane (Mawra Hussain originally) looks like what we call a geek today. She is bespectacled, with a figure like a walking stick, and her father adds to the unpalatable look by rubbing incense stick ash on her forehead. She works as a librarian. 

To cut a story short, Mawra’s younger sister can’t marry till Mawra does, but there are no takers for her. She promises her sister that she will clear her way and visits Rane at 4 am in the morning to seek his help to get her a makeover from one of his girls who figures as a top rated makeover artist. What follows is a scandal. Mawra is branded for being in a debauch’s house at an unearthly hour. She is disowned by her family! 

Rane now becomes her caretaker.

The rest of the film is like a silent movie since none of the characters say what they want to say but say everything else. It is hackneyed to say the list. Mawra is supposed to be a very intelligent girl, well read, but can’t read Rane’s feelings for her. Rane has been with numerous girls but can’t express his love for Hocane. He even works on getting her married to an IIT-IIM guy because that was what her family wanted! 

Finally, when they realize they are in love, cancer plays the villain. Mawra has limited time to live. Hence, in what has become traditional now, Rane marries her before she dies.

The script of the film is like a remix thing as is done with music albums. It borrows from a number of films from the past. This is not limited to just the script; direction also follows the beaten path, hugely clichéd. For this film with newcomers with little of known supporting cast, its 155 minute run is not justified and, what is more, makes it feel like never-ending. Dialogue is mundane except on two occasions. With limited locations, the cinematography is average. The one positive with the film is the musical score by Himesh Reshammiya if it can help at all. Editing is non-existent. 

While Mawra is a perpetual wronged crybaby in the film, Rane refuses to either cry or laugh; he prefers to carry one single expression throughout. Rest in the cast are incidental.

Sanam Teri Kasam is an insipid movie with scant appeal.

Producer: Deepak Mukut

Directors: Radhika Rao, Vinay Sapru

Cast: Harshvardhan Rane, Mawra Hocane, Murli Sharma, Vijay Raaz, Sudesh Berry

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