Ghost ‘spirit’edly revisits every cliché

Nagarjuna plays an exterminator in Ghost. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

Cliché, cliché, here we come to take you all, into our movie’s banality mall!

This seems to be the buzzword for the film Ghost (the original Telugu title is The Ghost) as it cobbles up a ‘family’ drama that has Indian Interpol officers operating in Dubai, a tycoon operating also from Paris (a window backdrop shows the Eiffel Tower!), rave parties in Goa, implausible happenings, an absurd climax and combats with swords and knives instead of guns that gangsters and their chiefs must easily possess in this day and age.

We have lovers split by a silly tiff, a hero and heroine who are exterminators, a brat who overrules her mother and the entire staff of the school she attends (because it is owned by her family!!!), the traitor in the staff, coincidences, forest chases, predictable ‘dialogues’ and even a shrink and a fussy boss. We also have the remorseful family member, the clan-history-spouting family servant, feuds and rivalries in a business family going on to murder and action sequences where the Indian Interpol agents wipe the slate clean of desi and international criminals.

A bloodied flashback (where the 1984 riots in Delhi are shown as between Hindus and Muslims, instead of anti-Sikh, as happened in reality!) removes the last vestiges of seriousness in this story. Take this gallon-full of cliché, enjoy the scenic views from Ooty, Goa, Dubai et al, and savor the rather gory action if you wish, bear with Nagarjuna’s rather slow speech that is meant to be fiery but goes limp, listen to the inconsequential (dubbed in Hindi) songs and switch off your set when it all finally and happily ends, and you have The Ghost (termed Ghost in Hindi) in a nutshell.

Small hiccup: Why is Vikram called this? We never know, do we? I mean, just about any title would have done, anyway!

We know that such entertainers are meant to have wafer-thin storylines, but over here the plot makes wafers look thick. Two Interpol agents, Vikram (Nagarjuna) and Priya (Sonal Chauhan), have a field day wiping out criminals and also trying to rescue and Indian official’s son from his kidnappers. In the process, something happens that makes Vikram go into his own flashback. He is also said to need psychiatric treatment. None of these threads are logically followed as the action suddenly shifts to India five years later, where he goes and meets sister Anu (Gul Panag) who has, many years ago, broken ties with Vikram and their father, Col. Nagendra (Jayaprakash), who had actually adopted Vikram as a riot victim!

Anu is now a widow with a recalcitrant kid, Aditi (Anikha Surendran) and is getting threats for herself and daughter. They reside in Ooty, a small hill resort that seems absurd as she is a tycoon with global businesses, and Vikram decides to get to the root of the business and deal with the baddies.

Soon, Aditi is kidnapped and, later, Anu is murdered. Among the criminals is a drug-addict, and that justifies the return of Priya into Vikram’s life as she is now with India’s Narcotics’ Control Bureau. We also have this hardened criminal, Lala (Manish Chaudhari), who pampers and loves his gangster son, known as Scorpion (Bilaal Hoosein) because “you are all I have” , even though he thrashes him mercilessly, At an early point, I decided to switch off my brain and watch whatever was unfolding. Happily indeed, I was able to predict what would come next—lines, sequences or twists.

Among the actors, I only appreciated Anikha Surendran as the rest merely went through the motions.

And as said before, the film was visually and technically appealing. Nothing more than that.

Rating: *1/2

Netflix presents Sri Venkateswara Cinemas’ & North Star Entertainment’s Ghost (Dubbed in Hindi) Produced by: Suniel Narang, Puskur Ram Mohan Rao, Sharrath Marar & Manish Shah Written & Directed by: Praveen Sattaru Music: Bharatt-Saurabh Starring: Nagarjuna Akkineni, Sonal Chauhan, Gul Panag, Anikha Surendran, Ravi Varma, Srikanth Iyengar, Bilal Hossein, Anirudh Balaji, Dushyant Barot, Simmi Ghoshal,Vaishnavi Ganatra, Kalyani Natarajan, Jayaprakash & others



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