This movie was GREAT! Finally, a film I completely totally enjoyed in the theater. And in a packed theater too! All the stadium seating was sold out and some of the floor seats. I am sure everyone loved it as much as I did, because how could they not?
Lived up to my (fairly high) expectations. Ajay was great, dialogue was great, supporting cast was really great, directing and editing and script and all those other parts of the film, perfection.
It was the perfect mixture of realism and lack of realism. There were no over the top heroics, no over the top villainy either. Houses look like houses, apartments look like apartments.
The only thing that feels “filmi” is Ajay Devgn who CLEARLY was not willing to alter his look at all for his role. Subtle highlights, super fitted shirts, crazy muscular body, none of it really fitting with the “dedicated public servant of the 1980s” idea. But that’s fine, because the film needs a hero. We have to have one strong perfect central figure to say the one-liners and be generally awesome. And Ajay does the job just right, he is heroic but in a lowkey way, not completely wrong for the rest of the film.
Ajay is the necessary center, but it is the cast surrounding him that really makes the movie soar. Saurabh Shukla, one of those actors who I immediately recognized and wasn’t even sure from where. Sheeba Chabba who, as always, was effortlessly amazing. Amit Sial who started out uninteresting and slowly became the most interesting character of them all. And Pushpa Joshi, 85 years old and in her first movie, and steals the whole thing.
Most of all though it is the story and the direction. The scriptwriter, Ritesh Shah, might be the secret weapon of the Hindi industry? He wrote Kahaana, Pink, D-Day, Citylights, and this. Along with some other remakes and dialogue for hire stuff. But the other movies and this one, he did the whole thing, story screenplay and dialogues. And they are all BRILLIANT. Story, screenplay, and dialogue. I think I might want to watch more Ritesh Shah movies than anyone else involved in this.
And then there’s the director, Raj Kumar Gupta. I was wondering why he made this small tight movie after No One Killed Jessica, why not something more ambitious? But I forgot that between No One Killed Jessica and this was Ghanchakkar. A terrible disaster which put his career almost back to square 1.
I am sure that was a bit depressing for Raj Kumar Gupta, moving all the way back to a small script written by someone else and a tiny budget, but it was a huge bonus for the audience! We get a brilliant perfect script, and an experienced talented director, coming together with an extremely skilled actor/star who is going on his own journey of redemption (Shivaay was really not good).