Ghayal Once Again
Cast: Sunny Deol, Soha Ali Khan, Narendra Jha, Om Puri
Director: Sunny Deol
Sunny Deol’s Ajay Mehra hasn’t been healthy off-late (read mentally). Well, he never was. Who kills so many people in one go? Still, we loved him in Rajkumar Santoshi’s Ghayal (1990) for taking Balwant Rai and his dogs to task. We knew only he could do this, but what we didn’t know was that he would be returning with a sequel 26 years later. He does so with a hangover which refuses to go before thrashing at least 500 people. What we finally have is a film still stuck in the ‘90s.
Tell us, what’s more amusing: A badly animated helicopter destroying a mansion or foreign bodyguards creating mayhem in Mumbai because they have access to the city’s CCTV system? There is a third option, one that I found more hilarious: Om Puri calling Sunny Deol ‘beta’.
So Mehra is still coping with the loss of his wife and child in an accident. Dr Riya (Soha Ali Khan), his neurologist, loves to flaunt him to other potential patients with a candid: “Ab aap Ajay ko hi dekhiye, pehle isse bhi nightmares aate the lekin ab ye bilkul theek hai, kyon hain na Ajay? (Ajay used to have nightmares, but he is fine now).” Mehra’s expressions are even more entertaining. Whatever happened to medical ethics!
But Mehra is also a fearless journalist, and also into ethical hacking.
Watch: Ghayal Once Again review
Deol’s hero is idolized by four college kids who make a formidable enemy in Raj Bansal (Narendra Jha) and his son Kabir (Abhilash Kumar). Of course, the only person standing in between the hot-headed teens and the Bansals is Mehra.
The rest of the films unfolds from there, and what a nightmare!
Ghayal Once Again is a film that actually has potential but wanes out. Modelled on the Jason Bourne series, there is the thrill quotient in the action – two long chase sequences are worth watching. A lot of screaming and torture happens too, but we’re hooked somehow. And that’s the only good part.
Everytime Sunny Deol becomes silent for more than two seconds, we know what to expect. And he obliges by screaming on top of his lungs. Meanwhile, foreigners keep getting busted and beaten.
In the middle of all this madness, the most sensible performer of the film turns out to be Narendra Jha. To the extent that he seems out of sync with the rest of the film. Those of you who have seen Haider know him as Shahid Kapoor’s father. Jha’s dialogues are meaningful and break the run-of-the-mill tone. He looks like a man with a plan. Bad film choice Mr Jha, but you’ve been noticed, again.
For a movie whose sole sales pitch is ‘ghayal’ man himself, there’s no point in chaffing out logic here. And there is no one to stop him; Deol is also the director.
Watch: Sunny Deol, Soha Ali Khan in Ghayal Once Again trailer
He keeps throwing verbal volleys at us and we sit helpless, waiting for the ordeal to get over. But nobody respects our tolerance and the best comes right before it leaves you absolutely flummoxed: The CGI chopper in the climax. It looked so determined to ‘overact’ that I dived under the seat the moment it turned towards the camera.
Ghayal Once Again is a throwback to Sunny Deol’s angry common man persona made in the ‘90s. It’s a terribly made film with nothing much to offer except Narendra Jha’s performance as the suave villain. I have borne the pain so that you can live in peace. The ‘dhai kilo ka haath’ shows its age and gives you enough time to duck. So duck.
(Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/ @nawabjha)