Ghayal Once Again: a revival of the 90s Sunny Deol show

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Ghayal Once Again: a revival of the 90s Sunny Deol show

For once, Bollywood has come out with a sequel which feels organically grown. The 1990 hit ‘Ghayal’, featuring Sunny Deol as the ordinary-guy-forced-into-taking-the-law-into-his-own-hands, gave the leading man a lasting edge in the snarling stakes. No one could do it better. ‘Ghayal Once Again’ picks up threads from where the original had left off (there are brief flashbacks to prove it), borrows a character from the previous film, and presents the same leading man as older and grizzled, but as filled with hurt and rage as before, doing what he did before: acting as a one-man army against the corrupt system.

The difference is in the director. Sunny Deol picks up the baton, and tries running with it. But he doesn’t go too far. Because the plot is a tired, tiresome cobbling together of bits and pieces of films we’ve seen before: the villains are familiar—a wealthy businessman (Jha), a complicit politician (Joshi), and their henchmen. Same old, yes, but with one more difference: many of the bad guy are foreigners!

And that’s the trouble with this ‘Ghayal’ redux. The foreign element is all over the place: parts of the film remind you of ‘Die Hard’, ‘Mission Impossible’, ‘True Lies’, and other Hollywood actioners, overlaying a bunch of youngsters being terrorized by hoodlums, a Mumbai over-run by goons belonging to a billionaire who lives in a distinctive shaped building, an RTI activist (Puri) who comes to a sorry pass, and Ajay Satyakam Mehra galloping to the rescue.

And that’s the trouble with this ‘Ghayal’ redux. The foreign element is all over the place: parts of the film remind you of ‘Die Hard’, ‘Mission Impossible’, ‘True Lies’, and other Hollywood actioners, overlaying a bunch of youngsters being terrorized by hoodlums, a Mumbai over-run by goons belonging to a billionaire.

Rating: 5/10 | 2.5 Stars

 

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