When an acclaimed director teams up with actors who have had a terrific track record at box office and are known for strong performances, the expectations are sure to be running high. In Ghanchakkar, the director adds spice to his thriller by adding generous dose of humor in the proceedings. The result is a fascinating yet patchy film which holds your attention sporadically.
As soon as the film begins and the bank heist takes place, you know Rajkumar Gupta has a flair for comedy. An ordinary sequence like that is also made highly entertaining just by the addition of a few smartly used masks. The humour present in the film is not the run of the mill, in your face kind. There is certain cheekiness to the gags and the quirkiness and craziness of the characters and the situations instantly appeal to you.
The film operates on a simple yet clever plot and the director does a great job of setting up the premise at the very start and then throwing one crazy sequence after another in the first half. The first half is embellished with some great moments and there are plenty of humorous scenes. This half sails smoothly succeeding in generating right amount of curiosity in the lives of these zany characters.
You expect nothing short of the second half but to blow you away. Unfortunately, here you stand to be disappointed. The focus shifts from comedy to the thriller and jokes slowly start to dry up. It seems that the director has just added many sequences to the film to stall the proceedings to make a decent time for a feature length movie.
Rajkumar Gupta leaves you guessing till the very end. He builds up the tension and suspense beautifully and the characters are drawn in such a maze that you can trust no one. The indulgent pacing though dampens his effort greatly and kills your curiosity.
The last fifteen minutes are the backbone of any thriller. Here the climax is handled with dexterity and you cannot guess a thing until the director actually wants you to. It feels a tad too long and the effect starts to recede after a point. The culmination also leaves you unsatisfied, though nothing wrong technically but as soon as the cat’s out of the bag you feel cheated as you were expecting so much more. It seems that the director took the easiest way out to end the tale and is truly non innovative and unimaginative. Not something you would expect from the director of this caliber. Many would also not like the open ended nature of the culmination.
Everyone pitches in an outstanding performance. Emraan Hashmi does well as the guy who cannot remember a thing. His expression say so much more and he manages to keep us all confused as to if he really has lost his memory or not. Vidya Balan is dependable as the louthmouthed, over the top Punjabi. Her flashy fashion style and some daring dialogues instantly catch your attention. Rajesh Sharma and Namit Das give a strong account of them and are the highlights of the film. They supply most of the laughs and keep you entertained thoroughly.
Ghanchakkar is no doubt a daring attempt. Unfortunately, the film only works in parts. It is worth your time only if you can get over the blemishes and concentrate on the fun it has to offer. Otherwise, it would not be a terrible idea to give it a miss.