On another psycho trip
WITH A FINGER ON THE AUDIENCE PULSE: `Ghajini'
Director: A. R. Murugadas
Cast: Surya, Asin, Nayantara, Partap Singh Rawat.
Storyline: A business tycoon chases a criminal who injures him and kills his lover too.
Bottomline: If you want an adrenaline rush.
Writer-director A. R. Murugadas' intelligence in the choice of storyline and in the weaving of the screenplay, and his directorial skill come to the fore once again in Sri Saravana Creations' `Ghajini' (U/A). The young technician does away with the rigmarole of usual incidents such as the police investigation and has less important scenes sprint away in the Fast Forward mode. These are days when themes of the psyche rule the roost and Murugadas knows this well enough.
Oscillating between the past and the present of business tycoon Sanjay Ramasamy (Surya), `Ghajini' is an engrossing psychological thriller.
Sanjay, who loses his short-term memory and his lover Kalpana (Asin) at the brutal hands of a thug, Lakshman (Pratap Singh Rawat), is a fighter till the end. He is not going to allow the perpetrator to get away with the crime. He remembers his past till the moment of the gruesome incident, because his long-term memory is intact. But after the blood-curdling furore, whatever happens is filtered clean. Like a sieve, his brain drains his memory every 15 minutes. Yet, Sanjay doesn't give up easily. Armed with gizmos that help him through his handicap, he continues his manhunt without any let-up. He will not be able to nail the killer down easily, but Sanjay is not going to give up either. (That probably justifies the title.)
Surya's shifting eyes, restless demeanour and fidgety hands his striking body language (not at all an imitation of similar characters in films) is a portrayal that will be talked about.
As the suave, stylish Sanjay and the brain-affected young man with closely cropped hair and a long surgical scar running through it, Surya stuns.
Asin, as the bubbly, effervescent and beautiful model, is a ravishing foil for the quiet and romantic Surya. She catwalks her way into young hearts with ease. The two make a cute pair. Nayantara as Chitra, helps the proceedings reach their logical end.
But why does Murugadas have crucial sequences disrupted by fast paced duets with little finesse in dance movements? Most of the time, the footwork is more like a rigorous body exercise. The only melodious number is `Suttum Vizhi Sudarae.' Harris Jayaraj's reverberating re-recording hurts the ear in many a sequence.
R. D. Rajashekar's imaginative camerawork puts things in better perspective. Be it the backdrops in the dance sequences or the indoor props, you notice an aesthetic melding of Sunil's art and Rajashekar's camera. Antony's editing also warrants mention. As if one Pratap Singh isn't enough, you have the actor playing a dual role. Only Murugadas can explain what purpose it serves.
Those who have watched `Memento,' the Guy Pearce starrer directed by Christopher Nolan, will not miss the similarities between the English flick and `Ghajini.' Yet Murugadas's ingenuity lies in adapting the inspiration to suit the taste of the audience.
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Chennai and Tamil Nadu