Ghajini (2008 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||A. R. Murugadoss|
|Story by||Christopher Nolan|
|Music by||A. R. Rahman|
|Cinematography||Ravi K. Chandran|
|Box office||₹1.90 billion|
Ghajini is a 2008 Indian film written and directed by A. R. Murugadoss and produced by Allu Aravind, Tagore Madhu and Madhu Mantena. The score and soundtrack are composed by A. R. Rahman. It is a remake of Murugadoss's own 2005 Tamil film of the same name starring Aamir Khan in the lead role along with Asin and it became the highest-grossing movie of that year and the first Hindi film to cross the ₹100 crore mark. It stars Aamir Khan, Asin and Jiah Khan in lead roles while Pradeep Rawat and Riyaz Khan essay supporting roles. The film's main plot was adapted from Christopher Nolan's Memento. and the comedy plot was inspired by the 1951 British movie Happy Go Lovely.
The film explores the life of a rich businessman who develops anterograde amnesia following a violent encounter in which his love interest, a model named Kalpana, was killed. He tries to avenge the killing with the aid of photographs from a Polaroid Instant camera and permanent tattoos on his body. Aamir Khan's character was featured in a 3D video game titled Ghajini – The Game, which is based on the movie. On release it became the highest-grossing movie of all time until it was beaten by another movie, 3 Idiots (also starring Khan) the following year. Ghajini's paid preview collections were ₹27 million (US$400,000). With this movie, Asin made her debut in Bollywood.
Sunita (Jiah Khan) is a medical student, working on a project about the human brain with her classmates. When she is denied access by her professor to the curious case of Sanjay Singhania (Aamir Khan), a man reported to have anterograde amnesia, because it is under criminal investigation, Sunita decides to investigate the matter herself.
It is later revealed that Sanjay loses his memory every 15 minutes. He uses a system of photographs, notes, and tattoos on his body to recover his memory after each cycle to remind himself of his mission: to avenge the death of his beloved Kalpana (Asin). He systematically kills the people who were tied to the murder. His main target is Ghajini Dharmatma (Pradeep Rawat), a notable social personality in the city, and the man directly responsible for Kalpana's death and Sanjay's condition.
Police inspector Arjun Yadav (Riyaz Khan) tracks Sanjay down to his apartment and knocks him unconscious. Yadav finds two diaries in which Sanjay has chronicled the events of 2005 and 2006. The film flashes back to 2005 as Yadav reads the diary. Sanjay Singhania is the chairman of the Air Voice mobile telephone company, one of the best mobile companies in the country and internationally. In the course of business, he sends his men to meet Kalpana, a struggling model of Mumbai, about putting up a billboard above her apartment. The owner of Kalpana's advertising firm eavesdrops on the conversation, misinterprets this as a romantic advance and, in view of a possible lucrative Air Voice ad campaign, encourages Kalpana to accept the overture. Kalpana thinks of it as an innocent prank that may fetch her better modelling work and decides to charade as Sanjay's girlfriend. Later on, Sanjay is constantly being disturbed by the uproar that is being caused because of Kalpana and he takes the opportunity to find and confront her. On the way there, Sanjay, while stopped at an intersection, sees a woman (who happens to be Kalpana) help a group of disabled children. He merely smiles to himself and continues on his way. Eventually, he confronts Kalpana (who he does not know at the time), but is shocked when he discovers that she is the same woman whom he saw earlier. He is instantly attracted to her, and hides his true identity, instead introducing himself as Sachin, and the two begin spending time together over the course of the next few months. The diary ends with Sanjay proposing to Kalpana on New Year's Eve and promising himself that he wants her to love him for who he is, and that he will reveal his actual identity if she accepts.
The film goes back to 2008, when Yadav is about to read the 2006 diary. Sanjay awakes and attacks him, tying him up. Ghajini realizes that someone is trying to kill him but is unable to figure out who. He eliminates everyone he has done business with but still is convinced that neither of are the culprits. Sunita infiltrates Sanjay's flat and discovers his plans to kill Ghajini. She takes both his diaries before finding Yadav, beaten and bound, and freeing him. Just then, Sanjay arrives, he remembers neither of them and chases them out. Yadav is hit by a bus as he flees in terror, and Sunita, believing Ghajini is the good guy in danger, informs him about Sanjay after escaping. Ghajini arrives at Sanjay's flat and destroys all of Sanjay's photographs and notes, as well as the tattoos on Sanjay's body, so that Sanjay is left with absolutely nothing to help him recover his memory.
Eventually, Sanjay discovers that Sunita was the one who had warned Ghajini. He goes to her dormitory to kill her, but Sunita calls the police and Sanjay is arrested. Back in her dormitory as Sunita reads the diaries, the film flashes back to 2006, where it is revealed that Kalpana had accepted Sanjay's proposal. She also tells him that she won't get married until she buys 3 Hindustan Ambassador cars, which had been lost to her father in a family feud. He decides to keep quiet, and eventually Kalpana buys 1 out of 3 Ambassador cars. Sanjay gets his personal manager to gift her a brand new apartment flat through an "Air Voice lucky contest". When Kalpana calls Sanjay over to see it, he tells her that he has to go to his village and sell land in order to get money to treat his ill mother. Kalpana gets upset over this and tells him to come back as soon as possible. In reality, Sanjay is actually going to London to secure a big business deal. Sanjay is later wrapping things up at 1AM shortly before he has to leave, when he suddenly gets a call from Kalpana. She tells him to meet him by her old house. When he gets there, she hands him a large sum of money and tells him not to sell his family land as it is an important symbol representing his family. When a surprised Sanjay asks where she got this money from, she tells him that she sold a few of her belongings and car to get the money so he could treat his mother. A shocked and frustrated Sanjay does not have any words when he hears this. She tells him to go and waves goodbye as he leaves. He holds the money the entire way and thinks about her as he continues writing in his diary. He realizes Kalpana's value and is head over heels for her. When this diary ends abruptly, Sunita digs further and discovers that Kalpana was also travelling to Goa for a modelling assignment when she came upon 25 innocent young girls being trafficked. She had saved the girls, who named Ghajini as the ringleader of the racket. A few days later, an outraged Ghajini finds and breaks into Kalpana's apartment with his goons to kill her. Sanjay, who had gotten back to Mumbai a few hours back, had decided to first pay a visit to Kalpana, and this time he decided he would tell her everything for sure. When he arrives, he eventually found Kalpana stabbed and barely able to walk. She collapses into Sanjay's arms, and proceeds to say the word "Ghajini." Ghajini and his goons then walk out into the light and Ghajini hit Sanjay over the head with an heavy iron rod. Sanjay's last sight before being knocked out by another swing by Ghajini was Kalpana being murdered with the same iron rod.
Sunita, now aware of the shocking truth, finds Sanjay in the hospital and tells him the truth. He flies into a heartbroken rage and tracks down Ghajini with Sunita's help. He enters the main area controlled by Ghajini's gang and fights off all of Ghajini's henchmen, killing some with a superior, anger-fueled strength. Ghajini, being confronted by Sanjay in a brutal fight, realizes he is no match for him, and flees. Sanjay's memory loss strikes again, and he forgets everything, this time with no means of any kind of recovery. Ghajini takes this opportunity to stab Sanjay with a bar and taunt him with the grisly tale of how he murdered Kalpana. As he is about to make Sanjay relive the experience by killing Sunita in the same exact way, Sanjay recovers the memory of Kalpana's murder, and overpowers Ghajini in a flash of strength. He finally kills Ghajini, in the same way Ghajini had killed Kalpana.
The film ends with a still-amnesiac Sanjay volunteering at an orphanage named after Kalpana. Sunita gives him a gift that reminds him of his bond with Kalpana, and Sanjay imagines Kalpana by his side, finally at peace with himself forever.
- Aamir Khan as Sanjay Singhania, a rich businessman; the chairman of a mobile phone company, Air Voice; who later suffers from short term memory loss after a brutal attack
- Asin as Kalpana Shetty, a model who gains publicity by falsely proclaiming herself to be the girlfriend of Sanjay Singhania
- Pradeep Rawat as Ghajini Dharmatma, a gang honcho and the mastermind of many illegal and criminal ventures.
- Jiah Khan as Sunita, a medical student, who tries to study the case of Sanjay Singhania and his amnesiac problem, even though she is forbidden to do so
- Sai Tamhankar as Sunita's friend
- Khalid Siddiqui as Air Voice manager
- Rajendran as Henchman
- Supreeth Reddy as Henchman
- Riyaz Khan as Inspector Arjun. A police inspector who is investigating the murders by Sanjay Singhania.
- Tinnu Anand as Satveer Kohli, Kalpana's boss
- Sunil Grover as Sampat
It was rumoured earlier that the film was titled Kajri. Shooting started in Chennai in May 2007. Other filming locations included Bangalore, Cape Town, Deadpan Desert and Mumbai. Aamir Khan had spent a year working out at the gym, training for his role. This film marked the Bollywood debut for Asin.
Ghajini (main villains named film)was released on 25 December 2008 with an estimated 1,500 prints worldwide, including 1,200 prints(digital and analogue versions) in the domestic market, making it the largest Bollywood release at that time. The domestic rights were sold to Geetha Arts for ₹530 million (US$7.9 million), while satellite, overseas and home media rights were sold at a total of ₹400 million (US$5.9 million), breaking the records of Shah Rukh Khan's film Om Shanti Om's ₹730 million (US$11 million).
The overseas distributors, Reliance Entertainment released the film with 300 prints in 22 countries, including 112 prints in the USA and Canada, 65 prints in the UK and 36 prints in the UAE. Ghajini was also released in Norway, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. It had around 650 paid previews which fetched it around ₹ 70 million.
The two-disc collector's edition DVD was manufactured by Big Home Video and distributed by international distributor, Adlabs Films Ltd on 13 March 2009 with a MSRP of US$19.99. It received a 15+ age rating by the British Board of Film Classification for persistent and excessive violence.
A PC video game based on the film was manufactured and produced by FXLabs Studios Pvt Ltd and Geetha Arts, and marketed and distributed by Eros Home Entertainment: Ghajini – The Game. It is a third-person action game consisting of five levels of play; here the player controlled the protagonist Sanjay to accomplish missions using martial arts, weapons, and artefacts. It was hailed as India's first true 3D PC game with an MSRP of US$14.99. Although never officially rated, the distributor recommends that 15+ year old players partake in the game. Ghajini has also reportedly earned ₹40 million (US$590,000) from gaming rights (a first for a Bollywood film), ₹210 million (US$3.1 million) for satellite rights for India and overseas and something to the tune of ₹100 million (US$1.5 million) for home video and music.
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Director A. R. Murugadoss was arrested shortly before the film's completion. According to Salem Chandrasekhar (producer of the Tamil original), he had not bought the rights to remake the film in Hindi.
Sonia Chopra of Sify gave the movie 3.5 stars and recommended watching it "For the four As—Aamir, Asin, AR Murgadoss and AR Rahman". Rajeev Masand of CNN IBN gave 3 stars writing, "Ghajini isn't a particularly good film, but entertainment it delivers by the bucketful." Martin D'Souza of Bollywood Trade News Network gave 3.5 stars, noting the flaws in screenplay, while praising the action. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama remarked that the movie "is a winner all the way" and gave it 4.5 stars. Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India praised the performance by Aamir Khan as its high point and awarded 3.5 stars.
Zee News described Aamir's performance as his best till date. Sukanya Verma of Rediff gave the movie 3.5 stars, while describing the film as "a sleek album of dark memories, which are terrifying to relive and shattering to experience". Noyon Jyoti Parasara of AOL India said, "Most comparisons often point out that a remake is not as worthy.Ghajini however succeeds when it is compared to the Tamil version directed by the same director." Anupama Chopra of NDTV said "Ghajini isn't a great film or even a very good one but I recommend that you see it. It is, as we used to say in the old days, paisa vasool. Kaveree Bamzai of India Today said that "This is brutality, choreographed by a poet, and therefore that much more compelling." giving it 3.5 stars.
The film received some mixed and negative reviews. Gaurav Malani of Indiatimes gave 2 stars, criticising its length while praising the performance of the cast. Raja Sen of Rediff rated the movie 2.5/5 and criticised the performance of Asin while concluding, "overwhelming feeling is one of regret". Shubhra Gupta of Express India concluded that Ghajini is too long, too violent, and criticised Jiah Khan's acting and dancing skills, but praised the performances of Aamir Khan and Asin. Hindustan Times gave it 2 stars and said "You'd like to give Ghajini a long-term memory loss. Kya, kyon, kahan? Murugadoss.? Aamir? Asin? Who? Got to jog my memory... maybe after 15 minutes."
Trade analyst Komal Nahta estimated the film's first week collections to be ₹62 crore (equivalent to ₹121 crore or US$18 million in 2016). According to Box Office India, Ghajini's box-office worldwide gross total was ₹190 crore (equivalent to ₹371 crore or US$55 million in 2016). It was declared an All Time Blockbuster. Some other independent sources have stated that Ghajini has grossed ₹200 crore (equivalent to ₹390 crore or US$58 million in 2016) in two weeks—totting up a domestic gross of ₹160 crore (equivalent to ₹312 crore or US$46 million in 2016) and an overseas collection of ₹40 crore (equivalent to ₹78 crore or US$12 million in 2016). A success party was organised to celebrate Ghajini's ₹200 crore (equivalent to ₹390 crore or US$58 million in 2016) worldwide celebration in January 2009. Before this,one more success party was organised in Mumbai's Taj Land's End hotel on 30 December 2008,for celebrating that Ghajini grossed ₹110 crore (equivalent to ₹215 crore or US$32 million in 2016) in five days.
The original Tamil version of Ghajini was inspired by the American film Memento, which itself was adapted from the short story Memento Mori. The film stars Guy Pearce as Leonard Shelby, a former insurance fraud investigator searching for the man he believes raped and killed his wife during a burglary. Leonard suffers from anterograde amnesia, which he contracted from severe head trauma during the attack on his wife. Certain concepts like writing notes behind instant Polaroid photographs and tattooing facts on his body were inspired by the film. According to Aamir Khan, "Ghajini is not a remake or even slightly inspired by Memento, but it's a remake of the Tamil film, Ghajini".
It was notable that Christopher Nolan was aware that an Indian film with a same kind of story similar to Memento was released though in a different story plot. As said by Anil Kapoor in an interview, when he met Nolan, he said Nolan was "upset" about the Hindi film and Nolan amusingly said that he was neither "credited" nor "compensated."
|Soundtrack album by A.R Rahman|
|Released||24 November 2008|
|Recorded||Panchathan Record Inn and AM Studios|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Producer||A. R. Rahman|
|A.R Rahman chronology|
|1.||"Guzaarish"||Javed Ali, Sonu Nigam||5:29|
|2.||"Guzaarish Remix"||Javed Ali, Sonu Nigam||5:29|
|3.||"Kaise Mujhe"||Benny Dayal, Shreya Ghoshal||5:46|
|8.||"Aye Bacchu"||Suzanne D'Mello||3:48|
Bollywood Hungama wrote, "The music of Ghajini is all set to make waves way into 2009 after the Christmas release of the film. When 'best of the best' list would be compiled at the year end, it would be hard to ignore Ghajini." Rediff.com gave it the highest possible rating of five stars with the reviewer praising Rahman saying, "This could just be one of his finest albums ever. Not just are the tracks great, but each one segues into the next with perfect unpredictability."
- Star Screen Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Female – Asin
- Stardust Superstar of Tomorrow – Female – Asin
- Stardust Hottest New Filmmaker – A.R. Murugadoss
- Stardust Hottest New Film Award
- Filmfare Best Female Debut Award – Asin
- Filmfare Best Action Award – Peter Hein
- IIFA Best Female Debut – Asin
- IIFA Best Villain Award – Pradeep Rawat
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