Mumbai, 20 Oct 2017 14:53 IST
With its horror angle, the fourth instalment of Rohit Shetty's Golmaal franchise stands apart from the earlier three films.
Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal: Fun Unlimited (2006), the first film in the Golmaal franchise, was a fun entertainer. The laugh-riot became larger-than-life and more madcap as the franchise expanded with Golmaal Returns (2008) and Golmaal 3 (2010).
Given this, one would have expected Golmaal Again to have a similar comic temper, being the fourth film in the series. Though this does hold true, the horror angle makes this film stand apart from its sibling features. The film was released on Diwali, but did it make the festival any happier? It surely does in the first half but falters after the interval.
Gopal (Ajay Devgn), Madhav (Arshad Warsi), Laxman 1 (Shreyas Talpade), Laxman 2 (Kunal Khemu) and Lucky (Tusshar Kapoor) grew up in an orphanage owned by Jamnadas (Uday Tikekar). As kids, Gopal and Laxman 1 would constantly get into tussles with the other three. All of them run away from the orphanage to live a life of freedom. Jamnadas passes away after 25 years in a car accident. While the five return for the condolence meeting, their enmity still rages.
On their visit, they meet Anne (Tabu), librarian of a nearby library, whom they have always considered an elder sister. Anne is endowed with the strange gift of being able to see and speak with ghosts and tries to help them complete their unfinished tasks.
Gopal meets Damini (Parineeti Chopra), daughter of Jamnadas’s close friend, and falls for her. But mysterious incidents start taking place at Jamnadas’s bungalow, which stands in the orphanage premises. Anne knows something about the secret behind the incidents. What could that be?
The basic criterion while judging a film of this genre is to ask whether it makes you laugh your guts out. Golmaal Again achieves that in plenty in the first half. The situational and character-related humour will have you in splits regularly, if you are okay with loud, mindless films. Nana Patekar's voiceover is the highlight here; you enjoy it even when it is all absurd. If that’s not enough, Patekar also makes an appearance later. Surprisingly, Golmaal Again has a well-knit and developed storyline.
Unfortunately, the film suffers from the most common ailment in cinema — the second-half syndrome. The writers reveal too much in the first half, and thus have nothing substantial to say in the second. So, once the main story (which we realize has a flaw in the latter half) is revealed straightaway after the interval, there is nothing much left to say or show till the climax. Hence, to fill time, a series of antics ensue that aren’t as funny as the ones in the first half. The climax, too, is simplistic, bland, and doesn’t go with the genre.
The unequal distribution of both halves is to be blamed here. While the first half is 90 minutes long, the latter runs for only around an hour. If the interval had arrived earlier, the second half could have been more interesting.
Golmaal Again scores well in the technical aspects. The editing is slick while the music used in the background serves the purpose of a horror comedy.
Cinematographer Jomon T John, who has a long filmography in Malayalam, has done a good job of capturing the slow-motion scenes that were aimed at creating a sense of horror.
As with most Rohit Shetty films, the music is average. By the way, this is a rare film where the filmmaker has destroyed only one car. Budget constraints?
The performances are as per the requirement, as far as the five main guys are concerned. Ajay Devgn switches with ease from tough guy to frightened cat. Arshad Warsi, Shreyas Talpade and Kunal Khemu offer decent support with their comic timing. There is a slight change in the nature of Tusshar Kapoor’s character. The earlier films had him intone only sounds; here he has been given the chance to blurt out understandable words. His performance is adequate.
Though she doesn't get much chance to display her abundant talent in the film, Tabu fits the character of a sensible librarian who can interact with ghosts.
Parineeti Chopra, another new entrant in the franchise, makes good use of the opportunity. It is a pleasure to see Johnny Lever do what he does best. Uday Tikekar shows maturity in the role of Jamnadas.
Prakash Raj as the villain is too over-the-top. He is also getting stereotyped in such characters. Neil Nitin Mukesh is more like a caricature. His performance isn't bad, but there is just no depth in such an important character. Sanjai Mishra and Mukesh Tiwari are funny in patches. Vrajesh Hirjee brings the right energy in the chaos.
Overall, Golmaal Again works well in the first half but goes downhill in the second.