Ghayal Once Again Movie Review

Saturday, February 6, 2016
In 2016, when the movie terrain has changed so drastically, Ghayal Once Again is a thing from the days of yore! Sunny Deol in his superman avatar (minus the underwear on his pants) is just as fantastic but the film is unbearably outdated. Here's the recipe - Scoop out the story from the past film, add hi-tech terms and gadgets, blend it into a paste and garnish with the iconic punches of Sunny paaji. It is a vanity project for Deol and he is earnest, but the film is a desperate attempt at reviving his stardom. 26 years later, Sunny should have spared us the horror of sitting through this vain film that dims the shine of Ghayal's grandeur.
 
Sunny Deol, his dhai kilo ka haath and Soha Ali Khan are in a relatively better space in life. The man is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is being treated by a neurologist. His bad thoughts pop up in cartoon bubbles which disappear when he consumes a magic pill. From the first frame, you begin groaning and mentally resisting the film. Novelty isn't much of concern in cases of films with such recall value but with this movie, our fondest memories are tainted. The star, however, has a fan following which can pull audiences but a logical, thinking mind can't bear to sit through it.
 
When rape survivors are making bold statements and acid attack victims are signed in for modelling, we have an intern who commits suicide after being raped by her editor, fearing ostracization. Now that mentality is something this generation cannot relate to? Stop propagating the idea of victim shaming in popular culture. The behen ka rape prop is peculiar to the 80s and its usage has been long abandoned in Bollywood. Spare us the horror of it now!
 
It is not so much Sunny's fault because he does his best to stay honest with the story. There are the usual gimmicks that come with a film like this - adarshwadi kids, protective papa, backstory references, bulky villains, spoilt brats. Sunny on his part doesn't miss a single element to win your over. It is all too familiar and you can spot the ending from a mile away. 
 
A bunch of young college kids who look up to Ajay (Sunny), who is now a moralistic journalist witness the death of renowned former cop and activist (Om Puri). The murderer is the son of the city's top industrialist who will bring the city to a halt to save his son. 
 
The roaring, raging Deol takes the spotlight on himself as he punches, somersaults and performs some unbelievable action. The scale of stunts has improved manifolds since his time and with the new set up, he is better than ever before. Even the action isn't so much Maa Tujhe Salam, neither the heavy duty dialogues so obnoxious. In places, the fan in you might just want to cheer him. Hold yourself because it is not so easy to let go the flaws. 
 
Indian cinema hasn't evolved because we are able to afford better, make more flambuoyant films or are able to be at par with Hollywood. The thought process are modernized, something that deserves to be acknowledged. Even small-budget movies are able to strike a chord, make a statement. In that scenario, when you are subjected to a Ghayal Once Again, your heart breaks. Deol is trying his best but fails to bring a younger, more nuanced thought process to the table. The message is still noble, but the route he takes to reach it is hardly relatable.
 
While the spy gadgets and gps tracking is all great, a single industrialist so openly defying the law and allowing teenagers to be killed is frankly stretching a tad much. It is commendable how Sunny Deol is more vulnerable and earthy compared to his previous avatars. 
 
As for laughs, there is plenty of unintentional humour. Some stunts are so bizarre that it runs down the seriousness of the drama. In a scene from the climax he lands a thunderous slap on the villain's face and someone from the crowd went - inka toh haath hi kaafi hai.
 
The bicep tales are restricted to please only a handful, just the fans. It is sad Ghayal Once Again has little regard for quality cinema. If you want to watch Sunny Deol beat people into pulp with his bulky haath, it has in plenty but every film is made for a certain age and time. Ghayal Once Again is a desperate cry from the 90s - a mediocre time we've thankfully come ahead of. Not a colossal disappointment but too dated to ring true and a damp squib that discredits the success it won in its prime. 
 
We rate this film 40% 

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