Saturday, June 29, 2013


Case of the Missing Loot

So, someone decides Vidya Balan should wear bizarre outfits and play a loud Punjabi housewlfe with accent, and Emraan Hashmi should play a befuddled, TV-addict Maharashtrian without accent and small ponytail. That’s it... now find a story to fit these two characters.

Rajkumar Gupta whose short filmography includes Aamir and No One Killed Jessica, tries his hand at a comedy, but runs around a very small circle with a one-idea script.  The man who was entrusted with the loot, loses his memory and forgets where he stashed the suitcase. Funny...then?  Then nothing.  Ghanchakkar doesn’t strain its brain with logic or taking the plot to a credible end.

Sanju (Hashmi) is the “lazy lad” of the song, whose face breaks into a grin only when a bigger TV is mentioned. Otherwise he looks vaguely disgruntled with the wife Neetu (Balan), who dresses badly and cooks worse.  By Mumbai standards, they live in a very large apartment, in a building with just one neighbour and no domestic help, though it is revealed that Sanju, a retired safe cracker, has made enough to live on comfortably for some years.

He is approached by two particularly ragged crooks Pandit (Rajesh Sharma) and Idrees (Namit Das), with the offer of a big bank heist that will net him ten crores.  For a bank that keeps 35 crores in its locker, the security is amazingly lax.  The thieves wear masks with actors’ faces (funny, this), and cover the cameras, but leave finger prints all over the place. After the money is stolen, for some unfathomable reason, they decide to leave it with Sanju for three months, trusting him not to skip town with it all. No cops on the trail, no media attention, when such a large sum of money is stolen.

Three months later, when it’s time to dig out the booty, Sanju has no recollection of it. Pandit and Idrees camp at Sanju’s house, gulp down food cooked by “bhabhiji” and stare down her low-cut dress.  For no reason but silly humour, there is a phone sex scene with Idrees, who then proceeds to do the next few shots indoors and out in his underwear, which is okay because the neighbourhood is bereft of human habitation, but for that lone neighbour.

There are sporadic and little bursts of humour, some red herrings, but zero tension as a harried Sanju runs about trying to trace the money; when the climax to all this build up arrives, it is a big letdown. The two crooks have their “conferences” on the late night local train, and there is a running gag of Idrees bullying a simple man returning home with his bag of vegetables, and one can’t but flinch at the cruelty of it.

The actors rise way above the careless, half-baked script, and Ghanchakkar is at best a ‘timepass’ film which dithers between caper comedy and noir thriller, and somewhere down the line, gives up trying to be anything but a rush to reveal to an impatient audience just where the damned suitcase is hidden.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker