Star cast: Sharman Joshi, Mahie Gill, Anupam Kher, Saurabh Shukla, Jackie Shroff, Chunky Pandey, Parambrata Chatterjee, Meera Chopra, Rajpal Yadav
Director: Satish Kaushik
What’s Good: The story which has slashed off a Bengali film by the name Bhooter Bhobishyot.
What’s Bad: Satish Kaushik makes a muddled up mess out of a perfectly wonderfully scripted idea.
Loo break: Too many that you can simply avoid the film.
Watch or Not?: Ideally, there should have been a zero rating for the film because it is a scene by scene copy of the original and still it shocks me how did this one come off to be such a convoluted tale. Contrived, messy and loud, the film is shamefully lousy defying the law of remakes that expects the infusion of some new perspective in a borrowed premise. If you at all want to watch a film, grab a copy of Bhooter Bhobishyot with sub-titles. Anyday a better tale!
A leading lady called Ragini once fainted in middle of a shoot in an old dilapidated house. Rumors suggested she had seen a ghost there. A year later, a young filmmaker named Aditya (Parambrata Chatterjee) visits the same place to shoot for a film again. He bumps into a struggling writer named Raju (Sharman Joshi) whom he knows from before who narrates to him the script of a film he has written about the same house.
Picking up the fact that the house his haunted by the spirit of its owner Rai Bahadur Gendamal (Anupam Kher), the film tells the story of how excessive commercialization is creating a crisis for the ghosts in Mumbai who have nowhere to go because all the haunted houses are fast depleting and being converted into high rises and multiplexes. How is the crisis of ghosts a canvas for a Bollywood potboiler, is what Raju’s story is all about.
Gang Of Ghosts Review: Script Analysis
Ouch! Ideally I should have been as lazy as Kaushik and given this portion a miss. But since my team wouldn’t accept that as a valid review, I must ramble on. For a script, there is a tale which does have all the right and regular elements needed. What dampened me is the fact that the original is on my list of regular watch. The failure of the script to up itself to the level anticipated is what goes wrong in the film.
Right at the onset, the connect with Mumbai is far lower than what the original had portrayed with Kolkata. Perhaps Mumbai is indeed a more detached city or it is the script’s failure to invest wisely in getting the detailing of it right. What shocked me was how even the story was sloppily translated merely, failing to attach something interesting to the idea. Wasting itself completely in its endeavor of meticulously copying the original, that it lost out on even its tryst to come up with something even mildly original in its angle.
The film’s characters are shabbily etched out. While the layers of the original was rooted in fact that the script had spent heavily in defining every character, the same couldn’t be rendered here making it come off as shockingly dull and hastily done. The keenness and the curious element all suffered a massive beating because of the script’s inability to add any weightage to its distinctly different characters who all belonged to different periods.
Particularly, the film’s second half becomes a drag and though there is a genuine attempt to save the climax, the damage is too far done by then. It is the lazy writing or may we call it re-writing that dismisses the essentials as trivialities, missing quintessential cues which could have helped the film in coming off a little better than what it did.
Gang Of Ghosts Review: Star Performances
Anupam Kher was a disappointment in the film. While you expect a senior actor of his caliber to function as the film’s saving grace, quite contrarily he makes the tempo droop further by his uncalled for loudness.
Saurabh Shukla is great in his role of the deceased Bengali compounder. He woos with flair, fights with gusto and is quite charming in his little affair.
Mahie Gill too manages to hold on to her role. Playing an actress of the 50s, her expressions are rightly etched and she obviously has little space to flaunt her prowess. But she easily is the best thing to look at when on screen.
Jackie Shroff in his tiny cameo role woos you away. He is bombastic still and how!
Sharman Joshi is not his best in the film but he is adequate and doesn’t hamper anything too much.
Parambrata Chatterjee who was so stellar in Kahaani prefers working in the Bengali film industry. He isn’t giving his top notch performance either and looks clearly uncomfortable with the milieu and language, but is passably decent.
The rest from the ensemble cast do not manage to catch the eye be it Meera Chopra who is just an eye candy or even worse Rajesh Khakkar who needs to join an acting school at the earliest.
Gang of Ghosts Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
This film easily ranks amongst Satish Kaushik’s most miserable works. The best thing about the man’s films was his ability to bring in tenderness to his stories. But he clearly could not retain his midas touch anymore and with Gang of Ghosts which is a doom of sorts he has sealed his fate clearly. Making a scene-by-scene copy of a film that is already liked by many and to reduce it to levels lower than expected is horrifying. To his advantage, the people who love the film he has remade live on the other coast of the country and was in a language understandable to those only from the region, or else the fiasco at hand is not lesser than Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag.
Gang of Ghosts Review: The Last Word
Gang of Ghosts is a must-avoid film. It is garish, silly and often lame. It would be preferable if people do not tarnish the name of Bhooter Bhobishyot by calling this outlandish a remake of it. It is a mere copy, scene-by-scene, dialogue by dialogue but misses the spirit of the film overall. Quite a poor show. I am going with a generous 1/5.
Gang of Ghosts Trailer
Gang of Ghosts releases on 21st March, 2014.
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