Ghajini (pronounced [ɡədʒniː]) is a 2008 Indian Hindi-language action thriller film directed and co-written by A. R. Murugadoss in his Hindi film debut. It stars Aamir Khan, Asin (in her Hindi film debut, reprising her role from original) and Jiah Khan, with Pradeep Rawat as the titular antagonist. It is a remake of Murugadoss's directorial Tamil-language film of the same name. In the film, Sanjay Singhania (Khan) suffers from anterograde amnesia after a violent attack and sets out for revenge.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byA. R. Murugadoss
Presented byAllu Aravind
Screenplay by
Story byA. R. Murugadoss
Dialogues byPiyush Mishra
Based on
Produced by
CinematographyRavi K. Chandran
Edited byAnthony
Music byA. R. Rahman
Distributed by
Release date
  • 25 December 2008 (2008-12-25)
Running time
184 minutes[3]
Budget65 crore[4]
Box officeest. ₹232 crore[a]

The film's plot was inspired from two films: Memento (2000) and Happy Go Lovely (1951). Khan and Murugadoss co-wrote the film, with Khan suggesting changes to suit a Hindi-language audience. Allu Aravind, Madhu Mantena and Tagore Madhu jointly acted as the producers; the film was distributed by Geetha Arts. A. R. Rahman composed the film's music.

Released theatrically on 25 December 2008, Ghajini became the highest-grossing Indian film of the year, and the first Bollywood film to cross the 100 crore mark domestically, creating the 100 Crore Club.[7] Ghajini's paid preview collections were 2.7 crore.[8] It went on to become the highest-grossing Indian film of all time, until it was surpassed by Aamir's next, 3 Idiots (2009), the following year and then by Shah Rukh Khan's Chennai Express (2013). Aamir's character was featured in a 3D video game titled Ghajini – The Game, which is based on the film.[9]

Plot edit

Sunita, a medical student, is investigating the anterograde amnesia case of Sanjay Singhania, the chairman of Air Voice, a telecommunications company. She does so against her professor Dr. Debkumar Mitra's wishes, in spite of Sanjay being under criminal investigation. Sanjay, who loses his memory every 15 minutes, uses a system of photographs, notes, and tattoos on his body to recover his memory and remember his mission of avenging the murder of his fiancé Kalpana Shetty, who was killed by a criminal kingpin, Ghajini Dharmatma.

Police officer Arjun Yadav, who is investigating a murder that Sanjay committed, knocks Sanjay unconscious in a scuffle at his apartment and finds two diaries in his drawer. He learns that Sanjay who is a successful entrepreneur met Kalpana, a struggling model, after he planned on installing an advertising billboard above her apartment. When his agents arrive at Kalpana's shooting site to negotiate with her about it, Kalpana's boss, advertising veteran Satveer Kohli, misinterprets this as a romantic advance and, in a view of fame and fortune, encourages Kalpana to accept the overture. Kalpana decides to pose as Sanjay's girlfriend. As soon as Sanjay finds out about the false rumor, he plans to meet Kalpana to confront her but fails, as he starts to like her after seeing her altruistic nature. He poses as Sachin Chauhan, a newcomer model, and lies to Kalpana about himself. Soon, he falls deeper in love with her. At the end of the first diary, on 31 December, Sanjay, still playing Sachin, proposes to Kalpana who, taken aback by such a sudden gesture, asks for the night to think over it. He decides that if she would agree, then he would reveal his true identity to her, but, if not, then he would quietly walk away from her life as Sachin.

As Arjun starts reading the second diary, Sanjay attacks him and ties him up. Sunita locates the apartment, finds Arjun tied up and learns of Sanjay's murder plot in his absence. She steals his diaries and frees Arjun. Sanjay suddenly appears. As she and Arjun escape, Arjun is hit by a bus. Sunita then informs Ghajini about the fact that Sanjay is coming to him to kill him. Sanjay finds out about this and goes to attack her at her dormitory, where he is arrested and given a sedative. Ghajini is informed by the police about Sanjay's belongings and he poses as Sanjay's friend. Soon Sanjay's employees and doctor arrive and take him home. There, Ghajini and his men destroy his pictures and cover his tattoos, thus leaving him with no memory of the past.

After Sanjay gets arrested, Sunita reads the diaries. She finds out about Kalpana. In the second diary, Kalpana accepts the proposal, but on the condition that she marry only after she purchases three ambassador cars, due to a past commitment. One thing leads to another and Sanjay decides on telling her the truth about himself later. The diary ends abruptly when Sanjay has to go overseas for a few days.

After some research, Sunita eventually learns Kalpana travelled to Goa, where she stumbled across and freed a group of girls from a sex trafficking ring racketeered by Ghajini. Back in Mumbai, Ghajini confronts Kalpana when she discovers two of the girls went missing and then she walks away in disgust. Later that night, a constable calls Kalpana and informs Ghajini is set out to kill her and his henchmen are hiding inside her house. Kalpana fails to save herself and Sanjay rushes to her home after she calls him and finds Kalpana stabbed. Ghajini hits Sanjay in the head with an iron rod which results in brain injury, before killing Kalpana with the same rod, in front of him. Feeling guilty of doubting him, Sunita reminds Sanjay of Kalpana's murder and helps him track Ghajini to his local area. Sanjay then kills his men but has a memory loss fit while searching for Ghajini, who takes advantage of the situation and stabs Sanjay using a rod. As he prepares to kill Sunita the same way he killed Kalpana, Sanjay recovers his memory, pulls the rod out and throws it at Ghajini’s face in the nick of time and finally kills Ghajini with the iron rod in the same way he did to Kalpana.

Six months later, Sanjay returns as the chairman of Air Voice and is volunteering at an orphanage named after Kalpana, helping everyone like she did, and trying to heal. Sunita gifts him the cement pad with Sanjay and Kalpana's foot impressions and he feels Kalpana beside him, as the screen pans out in a fading sunset.

Cast edit

  • Aamir Khan as Sanjay Singhania / Sachin Chauhan, a rich businessman; the chairman of a telecommunications company, Air Voice; who later suffers from short-term memory loss after a tragic incident caused by Ghajini, being solely motivated, thus, to kill him and his cohorts
  • Asin as Kalpana Shetty, a model who gains publicity by falsely proclaiming herself to be the girlfriend of Sanjay Singhania, but soon becomes his love interest, later getting killed by Ghajini
  • Jiah Khan as Sunita Kalantri, a medical student, who tries to study the case of Sanjay Singhania and his amnesiac problem, even though she is forbidden to do so
  • Pradeep Rawat as Ghajini Dharmatma, a gang honcho and the mastermind of many illegal and criminal ventures who is targeted by Sanjay
  • Riyaz Khan as Inspector Arjun Yadav, a police inspector who is investigating the murders Sanjay committed (voiceover by Rajesh Khattar)
  • Khalid Siddiqui as Pankaj Shroff, Sanjay's private assistant and an Air Voice manager
  • Tinnu Anand as Satveer Kohli, Kalpana's boss
  • Sai Tamhankar as Amrita Kashyap, Sunita's friend
  • Supreeth Reddy as Ghajini's henchman
  • Mahendra Ghule as Ghajini’s henchman
  • Vibha Chibber as Havaldar Vaijayanti
  • Sunil Grover as Sampat, a model who is being trained as the fake Sanjay Singhania
  • Rajendran as Ghajini's henchman
  • Firdausi Jussawalla as Dr. Peston Wadia
  • Sonal Sehgal as ad model

Cameo appearance

Production edit

It was rumoured earlier that the film was titled Kajri.[10] It is a remake of the Tamil film, Ghajini (2005). Aamir Khan, who had never before worked in a remake film in his career,[11] was initially hesitant to do the film, but was convinced by Suriya, the original star of the Tamil Ghajini, who told him he was "the only one who could do justice to the character."[12] Suriya was a fan of Khan, and had some involvement in the film's development, discussing minute details with Khan for two years during the film's development.[11] Priyanka Chopra was offered the role as Kalpana, but was later replaced by Asin, who reprised her role from the original Tamil film.[13]

Khan was involved in the film's creative writing process, deciding what should remain from the original Tamil Ghajini and what changes should be made. Murugadoss revealed that the altered climax of the film was rewritten by Khan. According to Murugadoss:[14]

We didn't make too many changes in the rest of the film. Every time I'd suggest a change in Ghajini from the original, Aamir would firmly cut it down, saying we should stick to the Tamil script. But he decided we should rewrite the climax. The entire location, incidents and dialogues for the climax were re-written by Aamir. I think the Hindi version is far better than the Tamil Ghajini because of the changes Aamir made.

Influences edit

Murdagoss's original 2005 Tamil version of Ghajini was inspired by the American film Memento (2000), which itself was adapted from the short story "Memento Mori". The film stars Guy Pearce as Leonard Shelby, a former insurance fraud investigator searching for the man he believes raped and killed his wife during a burglary. Leonard suffers from anterograde amnesia, which he contracted from severe head trauma during the attack on his wife. Certain concepts like writing notes behind instant Polaroid photographs and tattooing facts on his body are also similar. According to Khan, "Ghajini is not a remake or even slightly inspired by Memento, but rather a remake of the Tamil film, Ghajini".[15] However, he acknowledged that Murgadoss's original Tamil film was at least partly inspired by Memento, stating, "Murgadoss had heard about a film called Memento and the concept had really fascinated him. Without having seen the film he went ahead and wrote his own version of the script and screenplay. Having finished his script, he then saw Memento, found it very different from what he had written, and went ahead and made Ghajini."[16]

The CGI opening brain sequence was inspired by the 1999 film Fight Club by David Fincher. This sequence was also used in the Tamil version of the film.

The film's title is a reference to Mahmud of Ghazni, the tenth-century Sultan of Ghaznavid Empire whose name is pronounced "Ghajini" in Tamil.[17] Several comical scenes in the film are similar to Happy Go Lovely (1951). The scene where Kalpana (Asin Thottumkal) helps a blind man to cross the road is similar to the French film Amélie.[18]

Filming edit

Shooting started in Chennai in May 2007.[19] Climax was shot in Old City, Hyderabad. Other filming locations included Bangalore, Cape Town in South Africa, the Deadpan Desert in Namibia and Mumbai. Aamir Khan had spent a year working out at the gym, training for his role.[20] This film marked the Bollywood debut for Asin. The film's production budget was 65 crore (US$14.94 million).[4]

Release edit

Ghajini was released on 25 December 2008 with an estimated 1,500 prints worldwide,[21] including 1,200 prints (digital and analogue versions) in the domestic market,[5][22] making it the largest Bollywood release at that time. The domestic rights were sold to Geetha Arts for ₹530 million, while satellite, overseas and home media rights were sold at a total of ₹400 million, breaking the records of Shah Rukh Khan's film Om Shanti Om's ₹730 million.[23]

The overseas distributors, Reliance Entertainment released the film with 300 prints in 22 countries, including 112 prints in the US and Canada, 65 prints in the UK and 36 prints in the UAE. Ghajini was also released in Norway, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.[24] It had around 650 paid previews which fetched it around ₹70 million.[22]

Home media edit

The two-disc collector's edition DVD was manufactured by Big Home Video and distributed by international distributor, Adlabs Films Ltd (New name is Reliance MediaWorks) on 13 March 2009.[25]

Video games edit

A PC video game based on the film was manufactured and produced by FXLabs Studios Pvt Ltd and Geetha Arts, and marketed and distributed by Eros Home Entertainment: Ghajini – The Game. It is a third-person action game consisting of five levels of play; here the player controlled the protagonist Sanjay to accomplish missions using martial arts, weapons, and artefacts.[26] It was hailed as India's first true 3D PC game with an MSRP of US$14.99.[citation needed] Although never officially rated, the distributor recommends that 15+ year old players partake in the game.[27]

Mobile video games were also released by Indiagames based on the film including Ghajini The Game and Ghajini Ultimate Workout.[28][29]

Controversy edit

Director A. R. Murugadoss was arrested shortly before the film's completion. According to Salem Chandrasekhar, the producer of the Tamil original, he had not bought the rights to remake the film in Hindi.[30]

Anil Kapoor reveled that the director of the original film, Memento (2000) Christopher Nolan, from which Muugadoss ripped-off story, was very upset, he told Anil "I have heard that one of my films has been copied. I (Kapoor) said Ghajini. He was very upset about it. I told Aamir also. I told (Nolan) the film had just been released over there and is a big success. (He then said) Yeah, no money, no credit, no nothing.” [31]

Reception edit

50% of the reviews in review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes were positive.[32]

Critical response edit

Rajeev Masand of CNN IBN gave 3 stars writing, "Ghajini isn't a particularly good film, but entertainment it delivers by the bucketful."[33] Martin D'Souza of Bollywood Trade News Network gave 3.5 stars, noting the flaws in screenplay, while praising the action.[34] Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama remarked that the movie "is a winner all the way" and gave it 4.5 stars.[35] Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India praised the performance by Aamir Khan as its high point and awarded 3.5 stars.[36]

Zee News described Aamir's performance as his best to date.[37] Sukanya Verma of Rediff gave the movie 3.5 stars, while describing the film as "a sleek album of dark memories, which are terrifying to relive and shattering to experience".[38] Noyon Jyoti Parasara of AOL India said, "Most comparisons often point out that a remake is not as worthy.Ghajini however succeeds when it is compared to the Tamil version directed by the same director."[39] Anupama Chopra of NDTV said "Ghajini isn't a great film or even a very good one but I recommend that you see it. It is, as we used to say in the old days, paisa vasool.[40] Kaveree Bamzai of India Today said that "This is brutality, choreographed by a poet, and therefore that much more compelling." giving it 3.5 stars.[41]

The film received some mixed and negative reviews. Gaurav Malani of Indiatimes gave 2 stars, criticising its length while praising the performance of the cast.[42] Raja Sen of Rediff rated the movie 2.5/5 and criticised the performance of Asin while concluding, "overwhelming feeling is one of regret".[43] Shubhra Gupta of Express India concluded that Ghajini is too long, too violent, and criticised Jiah Khan's acting and dancing skills, but praised the performances of Aamir Khan and Asin.[44] Hindustan Times gave it 2 stars and said "You'd like to give Ghajini a long-term memory loss. Kya, kyon, kahan? Murugadoss.? Aamir? Asin? Who? Got to jog my memory... maybe after 15 minutes."[45]

Box office edit

Ghajini released worldwide on 25 December 2008, on Christmas Day. The film became the first-ever Bollywood film to open in double digits, collecting ₹102 million ($1.27 million) on its opening day, followed by ₹118 million ($1.47 million), ₹102.5 million ($1.28 million) and ₹87.5 million ($1.09 million), taking its four-day opening weekend collection to ₹410 million ($5.13 million). The film went past ₹1 billion ($12.5 million) domestically in its fourth week, thus becoming the first ever Bollywood film to cross ₹100 crore net domestically. It was the first Bollywood film to enter the 100 crore club.

Ghajini became the highest-grossing Indian film ever at the time,[46] and was declared an "All Time Blockbuster".[47][48] Its record was eventually surpassed a year later by another Aamir Khan film, 3 Idiots (2009).[46]

Soundtrack edit

Soundtrack album by
Released24 November 2008 (2008-11-24)
RecordedPanchathan Record Inn and AM Studios
GenreFeature film soundtrack
ProducerA. R. Rahman
A.R Rahman chronology
Slumdog Millionaire
Professional ratings
Review scores
Rediff     [49]
Bollywood Hungama     [50]

The film has six songs, including two remixes, composed by A. R. Rahman and with lyrics penned by Prasoon Joshi.

Track list
1."Aye Bacchu"Suzanne D'Mello3:48
3."Guzaarish"Javed Ali and Sonu Nigam (humming)5:29
4."Latoo"Shreya Ghoshal4:30
5."Kaise Mujhe"Benny Dayal and Shreya Ghoshal5:46
6."Behka (Remix by Dj A-Myth)"Karthik5:13
7."Guzaarish (Remix by Dj A-Myth)"Javed Ali and Sonu Nigam (humming)5:29
8."Kaise Mujhe"Instrumental4:01
Total length:34:00

Reception edit

Bollywood Hungama wrote, "The music of Ghajini is all set to make waves way into 2009 after the Christmas release of the film. When 'best of the best' list would be compiled at the year end, it would be hard to ignore Ghajini."[50] gave it the highest possible rating of five stars with the reviewer praising Rahman saying, "This could just be one of his finest albums ever. Not just are the tracks great, but each one segues into the next with perfect unpredictability."[49] According to the Indian trade website Box Office India, the soundtrack album sold about 1.9 million units, making it the year's best selling Bollywood music soundtrack album.[51]

Awards and nominations edit

Awards Category Recipients and Nominees Results
Screen Awards Most Promising Newcomer - Female Asin Won
Best Film Ghajini Nominated
Best Actor Aamir Khan
Best Actress Asin
Stardust Awards Superstar of Tomorrow - Female Won
Hottest New Filmmaker A. R. Murugadoss
Hottest New Film Ghajini Nominated
Filmfare Awards Best Female Debut Asin Won
Best Action Peter Hein
R. D. Burman Award for New Music Talent Benny Dayal for Ghajini, Yuvvraaj and Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na
Best Film A. R. Murugadoss Nominated
Best Director
Best Actor Aamir Khan
Best Actress Asin
Best Supporting Actress Jiah Khan
Best Music Director A. R. Rahman
International Indian Film Academy Awards Star Debut of the Year - Female Asin Won
Best Special Effects Prime Focus
Best Action Peter Hein, Stun Shiva
Best Sound Recording Resul Pookutty, Amrit Pritam Dutta
Best Film Madhu Mantena, Allu Aravind, Tagore Madhu Nominated
Best Director A. R. Murugadoss
Best Actor Aamir Khan
Best Actress Asin
Best Villain Pradeep Rawat
Best Music Director A. R. Rahman
Producers Guild Film Awards Best Director A. R. Murugadoss Won
Best Actor Aamir Khan Nominated
Best Cinematography Ravi K. Chandran

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Ghajini worldwide gross – ₹232 crore
    • Domestic – ₹162 crore (two weeks)[5]
    • Overseas – ₹70 crore (total)[6]

References edit

  1. ^ Frater, Patrick (15 January 2009). "TIFC under fire from Altima". Variety. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  2. ^ Jhunjhunwala, Udita (23 January 2009). "Financing - Box office - Stars fell to earth". Screen International. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Ghajini". British Board of Film Classification.
  4. ^ a b "10 of the Most Expensive Bollywood Films Ever Made". The Times of India. 17 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b Meena Iyer (8 January 2009). "'Ghajini' first Hindi movie to cross Rs 200cr mark". The Times of India. TNN. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  6. ^ "Ghajini collection details submitted to court". The Hindu. 28 January 2009.
  7. ^ "Aamir Khan's 10 BIGGEST Hits -".
  8. ^ "'3 Idiots' surpasses Aamir's last release 'Ghajini'". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 29 December 2009.
  9. ^ "The Ghajini Video Game Arrives!". 22 December 2008. Archived from the original on 1 February 2009.
  10. ^ Faridoon Shahryar (21 November 2006). "Aamir Wants Asin in Ghajini Remake". IndiaGlitz. Archived from the original on 6 December 2006.
  11. ^ a b "Exclusive: Suriya on Aamir's Ghajini". Rediff. 29 December 2008.
  12. ^ "Surya convinced me to do Ghajini: Aamir Khan". Sify. December 2008. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017.
  13. ^ "5 blockbuster movies Priyanka Chopra REJECTED! In 3 of them Deepika Padukone replaced her | Entertainment News". 17 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Aamir Khan rewrote Ghajini climax". Hindustan Times. 31 December 2008.
  15. ^ "Aamir, "Ghajini is not a remake... "". One India. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  16. ^ Aamir Khan (29 June 2007). "Ghajini". The Lagaan Blog. Archived from the original on 8 August 2007. Retrieved 2 March 2009.
  17. ^ Raveh, Daniel (2016). Sutras, Stories and Yoga Philosophy: Narrative and Transfiguration. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-63838-9.
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  27. ^ "Ghajini – The Game MSRP". Eros Entertainment. 29 July 2009. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
  28. ^ "Ghajini Java Game". Retrieved 30 September 2023.
  29. ^ "Ghajini UW". Retrieved 30 September 2023.
  30. ^ Vicky Nanjappa (1 March 2008). "Ghajini director Murugadoss arrested, released".
  31. ^ "When Christopher Nolan got upset with Ghajini filmmaker AR Murugadoss: 'Heard one of my films has been copied…'". The Indian Express. 25 September 2022. Retrieved 20 August 2023.
  32. ^ Ghajini, retrieved 27 December 2021
  33. ^ Masand, Rajeev (25 December 2008). "Masand's Verdict: Ghajini is dumb and celebrates it". CNN-IBN. Archived from the original on 26 December 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  34. ^ Martin D'Souza (25 December 2008). "Ghajini Movie Review". Bollywood Trade News Network. Archived from the original on 31 January 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  35. ^ Adarsh, Taran (25 December 2008). "Ghajini Review". Bollywood Hungama. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  36. ^ Nikhat Kazmi (24 December 2008). "Ghajini Critic's review". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  37. ^ "Review: 'Ghajini' is Aamir's career-best performance!". Zee News. 25 December 2008. Archived from the original on 16 August 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  38. ^ "Ghajini: A sleek album of dark memories". Rediff. 25 December 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
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  42. ^ Malini, Gaurav (26 December 2008). "Ghajini: Movie Review". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  43. ^ Raja Sen (24 December 2008). "Hum Do, Humaare (Memen)to". Rediff. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  44. ^ Shubhra Gupta (25 December 2008). "Ghajini (Movie Review)". Express India. Archived from the original on 29 December 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
  45. ^ "Ouch, call ambulance!". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  46. ^ a b "The other Khan: A marketing genius". Business Today. 21 February 2010.
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  49. ^ a b Sen, Raja (25 November 2008). "Rahman goes gloriously wild with Ghajini". Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  50. ^ a b Tuteja, Joginder (24 November 2008). "Ghajini music review". Bollywood Hungama. Archived from the original on 22 February 2008. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  51. ^ "Music Hits 2000–2009 (Figures in Units)". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 24 June 2010.

External links edit