I must begin this review by stating that director Rajkumar Santoshi‘s stunning debut feature Ghayal is one of my all time favorites featuring one of the most explosive climax ever, that lasts for a good thirty minutes before Ajay Mehra (Sunny Deol) kills his nemesis Balwant Rai (Amrish Puri). I had seen this film on the first day at Metro talkies in Bombay and had paid almost double the amount in black compared what I paid today for the ticket of Ghayal Once Again. Indeed those were the days 🙂
Now 26 years and several delays later, Sunny Deol returns with a sequel to his vigilante classic and also dons the directorial responsibilities for the film.
Ghayal Once Again begins exactly where Ghayal ended. After completing his life sentence, Ajay starts a newspaper called Satyakam, making a credible name for himself in investigative journalism and earning a credible fan following in the process, especially among the youngsters. Four of his teenage fans, accidentally record a murder on camera whilst on an expedition, and it shows two of the city’s most powerful people involved in it. The kids get entangled in this mess and find themselves on the run from the most powerful man in the city. Whether Ajay is able to save these kids from the impending danger or not is what forms the crux of the film.
The movie starts with scenes of Ghayal playing in black and white and immediately grabs your attention. It unfolds slowly as a thriller, making the patronizing Ghayal fans glued to their seats in anticipation of another explosive and long climax. The film keeps moving briskly and before the interval, we are rewarded with a heart-pounding chase sequence, but that is no match to the climax chase or the fish market chase witnessed in the original.
One of the best characters in the prequel was that of the no nonsense serious cop ACP Joe D’Souza played by Om Puri, who provided the right balance in the mayhem that ensues in the climax. But here he returns as a retired funny officer, who loves eating butter chicken with his wife. The villain here is played by the suave Narendra Jha, who plays Raj Bansal – a powerful man having a strong nexus between media, politicians and police. One couldn’t help but notice uncanny similarities Raj Bansal and Mukesh Ambani. However with ‘Antilia’ doubling up for Bansal Mansion made me root for Ajay Mehra. 🙂
Sunny Deol chews up the scenes with his dangerous frown, flaring nostrils and the dhaai kilo ka haath. Honestly, I don’t remember when was the last time I enjoyed watching him with such glee, while destroying the villains.
The film tries being true and faithful to its original and is therefore engaging, though it may appear clichéd to the average viewer for this very reason. But for a diehard Ghayal fan, these cliches doesn’t matter and neither does it dampen their viewing experience.
But sadly, post interval, the ‘curse of second half’ continues. The film has a gripping start and then everything goes haywire. This happens very often in the movies now a days and now I wonder why.
Ghayal Once Again is very clichéd and silly, but honestly I feel in its current form, it would not have been possible even for Raj Kumar Santoshi to match the thrill of original.
We have always loved the Sunny of the JP Dutta, Santoshi and Rahul Rawail films and here we only get glimpse of it. Go, Watch the film in the hope that it may work for you and also for Sunny who badly needs a hit.
Rating – ***
Manish a very warm welcome to MAM.Like you even I love watching Sunny Deol in his action avatar & I still remember watching Ghayal in theatre (the now defunct Apsara Theatre in Coimbatore). Like you’ve mentioned in your review we just get flashes of the earlier film & the angry Ajay Mehra over here. While the first half by itself wasn’t bad,post interval it was expected that we would have an explosive 2nd half but it turns out to be disappointing.
It should have had a Die Hard -3 kind of climax. WIth the daughter telling the father on phone how many villains are still around to be killed
Agree with your thoughts on the film. I enjoyed watching the first Ghayal besides Ghatak and other such Sunny films of yesterday. And this barring a few instances was disappointing, though it had its heart in the right place. Bansal is not an outright bad guy and is concerned about his son’s wayward behaviour. But that never comes across effectively. Besides this there are other cliches that plague the film. And as Sethu said, one expects a rocking 2nd half, sadly that never happens. My biggest issue with the film was it leads to a great buildup and leads to expect that we will get to see some great action and the vintage Sunny will unleash his dhaai kilo ka haath in full force. But that never really happens. Which is why audiences were disappointed. Though the action scenes in the mall and the one on the busy streets of Mumbai that leads to a fight in a train were very good.
Like he did with Santoshi’s Ghayal, Sunny needs to give a new director a chance and maybe a change in sensibilities and a fresh script and an approach can give Sunny Deol a new lease of life. Because Ghayal Once Again proves that Sunny Deol can still rock and give all the so called action heroes a run for their money. There’s no one who punches with as much conviction as Sunny Deol does. Lastly a warm welcome to MAM. Hope to see you write more often. 🙂
Got me thinking that Sunny’s presence was limited in the film, because he had to direct the film as well