Sonia, a student of Class V, is having nightmares after watching Ghajini, says her mother. Shruti, a student of Class X, thinks watching the film was a big mistake, because it “terrified” her. Aamir Khan’s latest blockbuster, one of the highest-grossing films in the history of Indian cinema, is scaring the wits out of kids, it seems. And since the film has a UA rating, it is open to them.
“I am a Bollywood fan, but I’ve never seen such a movie,” says Shruti. “I was terrified when she [Asin] was lying in a pool of blood after that brutal head blow.”
Parents and social activists are concerned. Activist Pratibha Naitthani has filed a case against Ghajini for its violence.
Manoj Das, a father of two – a 17-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy – says, “Had I known that such sickening violence would be shown, I wouldn’t have taken my kids along.”
Priyanka Khanna, a teacher and Sonia’s mother, is shocked. “After his moving role in Taare Zameen Par, I never expected his very next film would shatter the dreams of many kids.” Sonia, she says, wakes up at night sweating after watching it.
However, Pinky Pradhan, a media officer for the UN, thinks Ghajini is “brilliant”. What’s more, “it has two very important messages: on no smoking and on trafficking of girls”. As for the violence, even computer games have that, she points out.
Aakash Gupta, 11, thinks his video games are, in fact, “more negative” than Ghajini. But he did feel queasy watching such violence on “real people”. “Why can’t Aamir Khan make more films like TZP and Dil Chahta Hai?” he asks.