Director Pushpendra Nath Misra tells a story that is typically Bollywoodish, but has its heart in place
Anurag Kasyap and Nawazuddin Siddiqui- the winning combination is here again. But this time, in a rather distinct manner. Not that you haven’t seen Kashyap acting before, but seeing him matching steps with one of the finest in Bollywood is truly a treat. Ghoomketu is a story of dreams, pure emotions, and how simple it is to remain grounded.
Ghoomketu (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is an aspiring Bollywood writer from Uttar Pradesh. He flees his home and goes to Mumbai for a month to struggle to his heart’s satisfaction. Back home, a missing complaint has been lodged and the case description reaches Mumbai. A good for nothing corrupt officer, Inspector Badlani (Anurag Kashyap) has been assigned the task of finding Ghoomketu, till the time Ghoomketu is in Mumbai.
Misra’s story is simple and straight forward. Talking of its viability, it is not something extraordinary. But what makes it fit for the cinematic experience is how the screenplay is written. This is a classic example of what a thoughtful screenplay can do to otherwise a very simple story.
What is interesting is how things play. Thinking of it in terms of flow, there is nothing after a point that you could have shown. But Misra effortlessly rows the boat. How Ghoomketu introduces members of his family or how Badlani’s ancestors are traced is enjoyable to watch, for it uses unconventional tricks.
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Also for the parts when Ghoomketu is shown struggling in his attempts of story writing, the makers resort to giving ode to all what has been used in Hindi cinema umpteen times. Right from the silent age of films where text appeared on screen to the typical Ramsay type horror or even the age old love story formula- it has all been shown colourfully. In a particular sequence, Arnold Schwarzenegger is also remembered.
However, the film does cater strictly to only one section. This section will enjoy the flamboyant filmmaking and the tropes it uses to convey a particular idea- like Ghoomketu breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience, or the songs that form a part of his stories and so on. The alternative section of audience may get alienated as they might be there finding logic and more substance in the journey of the protagonist. They would crave for some high end dramatic arc or for that matter a more concrete emotional closure.
Get it- the film is brave and doesn’t bind to boundaries. It takes its liberties in the way story is told.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui shines in every frame he is in. He plays a very different character from what you are used to seeing him as. He is outrightly hillarious, but at the same time, carries ingrained pathos. This quality of the character not only allows him to perform as an actor, but also gives the audience so much to cherish. These layers in him are what the audience root for. The film truly belongs to him and he shoulders the responsibility well.
Anurag Kashyap as an eccentric cop is very good and he comes across as a seasoned actor. He has a smaller role but he has a comic sense attached to him and there are scenes that make you laugh out loud.
Ila Arun is one actor who steals the show. She is just so good that whenever she appears on screen, you just can’t get enough of her mannerisms. She’s been given some of the best lines and how she delivers them is an incredible feat.
Raghubir Yadav, another legendary actor, is also on top of his game. He has a character very well etched and he also has a graph. You enjoy watching him. Similar is Swanand Kirkire who in a brief role makes a lasting impression in a role that he’s never played before. It’s a delight watching him.
Ragini Khanna in a very small role is just okay. She doesn’t have much to do. Razzak Khan has a brief guest appearance, and it is good to watch him, in what will be probably his last film. Brijendra Kala is amusingly good, bringing his signature style to the narrative- an air that only he can carry.
Amitabh Bachchan, Ranveer Singh, Sonakshi Sinha, Chirangada Singh, Nikhil Advani, Loren Gautileb, and Anvita Dutt in special appearances are just fine, adding to the surprise element though.
Music by Sneha Khanwalkar and Jasleen Royal hits the right notes. The songs don’t carry recall value. But they suit the film’s mood well. Background score by Zubin Balaporia however is very good giving the film the much needed nuances and depth.
Cinematography by Satya Rai Nagpaul with additional inputs ny Ravi K Chandran and Dhimant Vyas is decently satisfactory. There are moments where you feel he could have lifted the bar, especially when the film takes an emotional route. Production design by Sonali Bhatia is fantastic. She has crafted the entire set-up giving it a mix of fantasy and realism. The colours are tacky, working well for the situations.
Editing by Misra and Kratika Adhikari is marvellous. The film doesn’t have even one dull moment. The scenes are cut with impeccable intelligence, making the film crisp. It is majorly because of the sharp work done on editing table that you admire it’s class and unusual storytelling.
It’s a film that thoroughly entertains you. A good comedy in times when things are majorly crass and vulgar. It’s a film that stands strong on screenplay writing and polished performances. It’s for all those who look for entertainment from a film.