Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nicki's view - Memento vs Ghajini (Tamil) vs Ghajini (Hindi)

First of all, I would like to tell those who were waiting on a post from me that I've been extremely busy at work. Gosh, I started this post two days ago!! Urgh. It's the busiest time of the year. Working at a payroll company, I get no time off for the months of December and January.

Well, let's talk about Memento, the film that both the Tamil and Hindi versions of Ghajini has taken inspiration from. I still say inspiration because I honestly don't see as being a "remake." Yes, I will say it again -- Ghajini has taken the main plot of Memento and used it, making it more suitable for the Indian audiences.

If you go in watching Ghajini, either versions, having too much expectations and finding so many faults in it because it isn't realistic, then forget watching Ghajini. For me, the Indian cinema industry has always had a lot of masala movies - mixture of many genres with a bunch of WTF moments. How do you expect a Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, or even Fanaa to do so well? Aren't there too many loose ends as well? Although there isn't much violence in those movies compared to Ghajini, isn't it the same thing - "unrealistic"? You want to talk about realistic but a movie is a movie unless it's a documentary then that's another story. That's why I love Indian cinema. I feel I can escape into my own world and jump into a dreamland when watching the films. If I wanted to watch something more serious, then I'll watch an "art" film, as many would call it. There's many types of movies catered towards everyone. For me personally, I don't feel the need to always criticize a movie. Sometimes I may just make fun of the movie despite how much I love it but still nothing to be taken too serious and get all upset about. Or call the stars names for doing a movie which the formulas have been overplayed many times. No way am I am expert on analyzing films, I mainly watch films to be entertained. If in the end, I'm satisfied, than that's all that matters.

You can read both my reviews on Ghajini with no spoilers - Ghajini (Tamil) with Surya and Ghajini (Hindi) with Aamir Khan.



Read at your own risk about Memento since I am going to spoil the whole film, on why I don't think Ghajini has been remade

I started off giving spoilers of what Memento is all about. Then it got too long... I still had to write about Ghajini!! Therefore this is how I did it.

- Some flashbacks are shown
- Main character's signifant other gets killed
- Main character suffers from short-term memory loss due to severe head trauma
- Main character write notes, takes Polaroids, has tattoos body to remind him of the incident
- Main character is looking for killer

Some differences
- Leonard is an insurance agent fraud investigator
- Movie is told in both reverse and choronological order
- Movie shown from Leonard's perspectives
- Flashbacks and black & white film is used
- Cop manipulates Leonard and uses Leonard's condition to help him
- Leonard was married and lost his wife to two burglars trying to invade his home
- Audience is guessing who the villian is
Ghajini (Tamil & Hindi)
- Sanjay is a rich businessman
- Flashbook are mostly narrated with documentation
- Several crooked cops are in the film but doesn't know much about Sanjay's condition
- Sanjay lost his love to goons who wanted her dead because of her knowledge of them
- Villian is revealed

Memento is definitely a brilliant movie. Interesting, filming Memento took less than a month. One reason why it's really a good film is the how the story was told and unfolded. The film is definitely a thriller that keeps you guessing what happened, why it happened, who it's happening to. Many of the scenes are re-played again to ensure and remind you to pay attention and stay focus on what's really happening. While watching the film, you see it told in two different forms. One is reverse chronological order, in other words, backwards -- it is shown in black and white. The other one is in chronological order and shown in color.

When watching Memento, you have a case of why did he just kill that guy? What's up with the killing? So the way Memento was filmed, I didn't see any of that in Ghajini. Plus, you don't feel pity for Leonard at the end. Everyone is manipulating each other for his or her own selfish gains. When the film ends (actually it begins because it's backwards), you are in confusion because you can't believe all that's happened. For me, I loved how confused I was. What I mean by that is, I love a film that makes me think even more about hat happened. So I watched it the second time around, I understood it a bit more. However, the film is still unclear. It never really let you have a good feeling of who actually is the bad guy -- what I mean by that is there is no sense of truth there. Natalie, the woman who you felt sorry for, you end up disliking because she starts to manipulate Leonard as well. She takes advantage of his condition and uses him. Just when you thought Leonard actually had someone to confine in, even Teddy, a cop, who was helping him in finding the killer, manipulates Leonard for his personal gains as well. You can't even say Leonard is the"good" guy either because once the movie ends (it actually begins) - Leonard manipulates even himself -- it unfolds how Leonard knows he will not remember things so he purposely leaves himself clues so he can have a detective game and solve it.

If anyone wants me to go into details what happened in Memento, please let me know. I will do that but it will be very detailed and descriptive. Just that I wanted to focus more on the Ghajinis on this post.

Now, let's compare both Ghajinis. The Tamil version with Surya released in 2005 and was a megahit. Even the Hindi version with Aamir that just released on December 25, 2008, is heading up to a sure hit and has been sold out in many places.

Again, you can read both my reviews on Ghajini with no spoilers - Ghajini (Tamil) with Surya and Ghajini (Hindi) with Aamir Khan.


Besides the Memento-ness that it took mentioned above -- Main character suffers from short-term memory loss due to severe head trama, main character write notes, takes Polaroids, has tattoos body to remind him of the incident, main character is looking for killer....

And what I've written above -- Sanjay is a rich businessman, flashbook are mostly narrated with documentation (diaries, newspaper, someone telling Nayantara and Jiah want happened to Asin & Surya/Aamir), several crooked cops are in the film but doesn't know much about Sanjay's condition, Sanjay lost his love to goons who wanted her dead because of her knowledge of them, villian is revealed....

What else is similar between the two Ghajinis?

- The beginning, especially before intermission is a copy frame-by-frame
- Most of the songs come in the same order
- There's a medical student who wants to study about Sanjay's condition
- Asin and Pradeep Rawat play in both the Tamil and Hindi versions

Why do I think the Hindi version better? First, Aamir changed the second half and changed what I didn't really like in the Tamil version.

Read with caution, I warn you, spoilers between the two Ghajinis below.

In the Tamil version, the medical student played Nayantara was so freaking annoying. Therefore, I enjoyed Jiah in the Hindi veresion and felt she did the best that she could.

In the Tamil version, Nayantara meets Surya later on in the film while in the Hindi version, Jiah meets Aamir earlier in the film.

In the Hindi version, both ladies - Asin & Jiah's songs were shorter. It's ashame since Jiah was pleasing to the eyes to do an item song and looked hot while it was cringe time when Nayantara was there.

There was a bloody fight scene in the Tamil version and was deleted from the Hindi version.

In the Hindi version, Aamir clicks a picture of Ghajini before Jiah's item number, "Lato." I wanted to point out (Thanks Darshit!!) for telling me it was Pradeep Rawat as Salman's friend in Baaghi. Nothing was like the for Tamil version.

In the Tamil version, there is a song sequence when Asin is in the train talking to Surya and they both can't wait to see each other again and image being with each other - the "Rangola" song. In the Hindi version, there is no breakout song like that. Aamir and Asin parts way -- there is background music - "Kaise Mujhe" song.

In the Tamil version, the scene when the villians were in Asin's apartment, it was Surya who calls Asin up to see where she was at and that lead the villians know where she was. In the Hindi version, none of that happened.

In the Hindi version, the villian's name is Ghajini. However, in the Tamil version, no one is named Ghajini.

In the Tamil version, the villian had a twin. Thank goodness that part was taken out in the Hindi version.

In the Hindi version, the climax fight scene was fought at the villian's location. Thank goodness it was changed in the Hindi version because in the Tamil version, it was fought at a girls' hostel where Nayantara stay. It was very violent and at least one girl got shot at that scene.

In the Hindi version, Aamir takes revenge on Ghajini by hitting him with the iron rod that was used on him. I loooove that because in the Tamil version, none of that happens. What comes around comes back around!

In the Tamil version, I didn't feel that the movie left me with closure, it wasn't complete. After Surya kills the villian, he is sitting in car staring a cute, little girl and smiles. That's it.

In the Hindi version, I felt there was closure. Jiah gives Aamir a gift and it was the footstone that Aamir and Asin had their footprints on when they entered their home together. In the Tamil version, we never see what happens to it. In addition, in the Hindi version, Aamir sees Asin again. I love that. I felt complete after watching the film. I love a happy ending.

Because of all these differences, these are the reasons why I prefer the Hindi version of Ghajini. Ghajini (Tamil) vs Ghajini (Hindi) is definitely a remake with some differences, not Memento vs Ghajini.


NidaMarie said...

Ahh I do remember "Memento" a bit more clearly now.

How would you compare Asin's performance to the original Tamil version?

I was going to pick up the Tamil version but will just wait for the Hindi version to come out on DVD now.

Lmao--thanks for the glaring red spoiler alerts!;)

Bollywood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicki said...

Hey Nida - Memento is definitely a great film. I personally still don't think Ghajini is a remake of it, that's it.

Asin is great in both versions, honestly. However, she had more of the glamorous, sexy feel in the Hindi version. But I would say that she had more chemistry with Surya than with Aamir.

Hehehehe, I decided to put up the warning pics too. :D

theBollywoodFan - Aaaw, thanks. Sometimes I feel that I'm way too nice on analyzing movies so that's why I'm harder on myself.;)

Thanks to you, I actually decided to put a warning pic up. :) But not with skulls and bones, hehehe

dunkdaft said...

Great warnings. I skipped all, which was written about Memento. Cause still i have to get to watch the movie.

All I read was Tamil / Hindi comparison. And its fab. Really, I now think that Hindi movie is way better. But I cant understand much about twin of Pradeep Rawat. Details? [if it is gonna spoil the viewing, then leave it]And Thanks for giving me credit, which I do not deserve this much. So kind of u.

But can u tell me, whether Surya did sport same hairstyle or not? Cause I can see only 'Hairy' hairstyle in this pic. And I haven't read your Tamil Ghajini post, cause afraid of spoilers.

Nicki said...

Darshit - I had enough warning signs, didn't I? LOL My review of the Tamil version doesn't give any spoilers so you can read it. I don't think Surya had the similar hairstyle like Aamir at all.

Oh no, you told me about Pradeep so of course, I'm giving you credit. :)

Nicki said...

Darshit - I forgot to answer your question. The Twins in the Tamil one was only to confuse Surya. :)

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

Nicki that was a gr8 analysis. seriously. Really enjoyed reading ur post.

Nicki said...

Thanks shweta - that means a lot to me.

Trishna said...

personally i thought the romance scenes in the tamil one were a lot better than the one in the hindi one

Surya-Asin had great on-screen chemistry...and i feel that the movie is what it is because of the chemistry between these two

also, the fact that their love is uncomplete just gives you this weird feeling that lasts for ages, but i kinda like it, cuz it really leaves an impression

and for that reason i liked the Tamil one better

nayanthara is a pathetic actress, thats for sure, jiah was a bit better i must admit...

and also, the backgroud music was awesome, even the great ARR couldnt live up to it
same with the songs...oru maalai and suttum vizhi are unforgetable...hey guazarish and kaise mujhe were good, but come on, that oru maalai songs is awesome...

but good comparison anyways
just a bit differnt from what i think

Nicki said...

Trishna - thanks for coming by!

I agree with Surya's acting. Now, after re-watching. I do think Surya's acting is better than Aamir's and had more chemistry with Asin.

Kaitlyn said...

I liked Surya better as Sanjay (he seemed less likely to kill me even when he was killing people) but all the reasons you laid out are why I love the Hindi version more.

The bookend violence - all he remembers is the clang clang so some nice revenge!

The ending in the Hindi version made me tear up.

And WTF Twins?

As for no Ghajini in the Tamil version, Ghajini/Ghazini is a common name or something in Tamil that involves a man who keeps trying but doesn't succeed. So it's part of Tamilian culture. Which goes whoosh over the rest of India (calling the villain Ghajini was smart!) and the world.

I saw Aamir's first, then Surya's, then Memento. So I saw them Memento style, lol. Memento was supposed to leave you confused, and make you question *your* memory - how much does he really remember? How did his wife die?

No confusion in Ghajini!

One bothersome thing - Kalpana never discovered the truth, that he wasn't some shlub looking for roles in ads, he was SANJAY SINGHANIA/RAMASWAMY. (so fun when he pretended to be himself and wrote a check, freaking her out!)

Nicki said...

Kaitlyn - thanks for stopping by and putting in your thoughts. It's been a while since I've seen the film.

I totally agree with your last comment.......Kalpana never discovered the truth :(

Paul said...

I haven't seen the Tamil version but I have seen the Bollywood version and liked it a lot. I especially liked the Jiah Khan role of Sunita and found it rather deep and spicy the way she informed the gangster about Singhania's intent to kill him. In the Tamil version, does the Chitra actress do the same or is that just a plot in the bollywood version?

C Nikhil Reddy said...

both the films ( the tamil and hindi) still had loose ends but i preferred the tamil version. the ending was dumb but still surya's acting made up for all the flaws . on the other hand , amir's acting was pale. there was only one expression on his face and that was anger. surya had a confused look and showed more pain