Golmaal Again Review

The "Golmaal Again" cast is seen in a still from the film. (photo provided)

Rohit Shetty Productions, Reliance Entertainment & Mangal Murti Films present “Golmaal Again”

Produced & directed by Rohit Shetty

Written by: Rohit Shetty, Yunus Sajawal & Farhad-Sajid

Music: Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Anu Malik, Raamlaxman, Amaal Mallik, S. Thaman, Amaal Mallik, DJ Chetas, Abhishek Arora & Nucleya

Starring: Ajay Devgn, Arshad Warsi, Tusshar, Shreyas Talpade, Kunal Khemu, Tabu, Parineeti Chopra, Mukesh Tiwari, Ashwini Kalsekar, Sanjay Mishra, Johny Lever, Sachin Khedekar, Prakash Raj, Vrajesh Hirjee, Vijay Patkar, Neil Nitin Mukesh & others

Rohit Shetty nails it after a good while.

Back with Ajay Devgn, he strums up the “Golmaal” franchise with both horror and an emotional storyline and maintains the entertainment high and unforgettable one-liners (like the reference to the ‘father figure” and the hilarious spoof on a popular lullaby). And that, by any standards, is a huge achievement as well as a lethal commercial combo for the festive season. Shetty proves, like David Dhawan less than a month earlier in “Judwaa 2,” that there is NOTHING quite like a classic mainstream Hindi movie when it comes to value-for-money film watching with family and friends.

This time, ingeniously, and granting licenses (the three earlier films saw the characters named the same and with identical characteristics, but for small changes in the character of the original Laxman, played by Shreyas Talpade), the story transports the gang to what is supposed to their roots – an orphanage started by a rich and retired businessman Jamnadas (Uday Tikekar) in Ooty.

Right now, the five men Gopal (Ajay Devgn) and Laxman (Talpade) are rivals to Madhav (Arshad Warsi), Lucky (Tusshar) and Laxman (Kunal Khemu) in being ‘recovery’ agents for Babli (Sanjay Mishra) and Vasuli (Mukesh Tiwari) respectively.

But now, we hear their backstory, which is that they were all reared in the orphanage wherein they as kids even discovered an abandoned orphan outside the gate, who they name Khushi, as she gives them a lot of happiness. Soon, due to some reasons, all five run away from the orphanage, split into two groups as mentioned, but still, send a portion of their earnings to the institute.

When they come to know that Jamnadas has passed away, they reconcile their differences to go for his 13th-day ritual. The bungalow next to the orphanage belongs to Jamnadas’ best friend (Sachin Khedekar), whose daughter has just died in a car accident.

A shrewd businessman, Vasu Reddy (Prakash Raj) is eyeing both properties and a nearby librarian Anna (Tabu), who can see and communicate with the dead, who has known the five ‘friends,’ tells them that Jamnadas was murdered. Meanwhile, Gopal falls for bungalow caretaker Damini (Parineeti Chopra), but there is a secret there too, that unfolds at interval point.

Blending horror with comedy is a tough act, and in Indian cinema, we have seen a successful “Bhool Bhulaiya” and a crass disaster named “Great Grand Masti.” Shetty goes beyond both comedy and horror to spell out a story of necessary vendetta and espouses a larger cause rather than a personal one for the resolution.

He then serves up his lovable and popular-with-auds “Golmaal” gang of five into this recipe. The standard side actors of this brand (Johny Lever, who is side-splitting in parts but loud in others, Sanjay Mishra, Mukesh Tiwari, Murli Sharma, Vijay Patkar, Vrajesh Hirjee – the only sore spot in this film – and Ashwini Kalsekar in a forgettable cameo) add to the flavor. Yes, some of them are shortchanged in terms of role quality and footage (including Tusshar), but that is compensated by the add-ons to the script.

What keeps the film going despite a stretched phase here and a double stretched portion there is the otherwise wonderfully racy script (Yunus Sajawal) and the dialogues by Farhad-Sajid. This trio of writing associates comes together yet again with brilliant results after the recent “Judwaa 2,” and that is commendable because the directors of these two highly diverse films are helmed by directors, who have completely different takes on humor.

The film’s background music (Amar Mohile) is surprisingly good and controlled for Mohile, but the only songs that register (as in “Judwaa 2”) are the original Laxmikant-Pyarelal “Hawa Hawaii” in a fragment, Anu Malik’s re-created “Neend Churayi Toone” and Raamlaxman’s “Aate Jaate” (again in parts) from “Maine Pyar Kiya” that was itself based on Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You.”

Jomon T. John’s camera captures the Coonoor and Ooty locations magnificently beside the eerie part of the indoor sequences. The fight sequences are designed by Shetty himself and are innovative. Shetty is in supreme command as director, his grip on the emotions vice-like, and his flair for innovation at its highest since his quartet of best films – “Golmaal Returns,” “Singham,” “All The Best” and “Bol Bachchan.”

Ajay Devgn is fabulous as the mercurial Gopal, and, especially, astoundingly good as the nervous man scared of the supernatural. Arshad Warsi is an element, and Shreyas Talpade and Kunal Khemu are in even better fettle. Parineeti Chopra has a role that is easy in some ways and difficult in others, but she blends into the ethos like a pro. Tabu is a complete surprise again – she is outstanding as Anna. Another surprise is Prakash Raj as Venu Reddy, who eschews his standard villainy to be an enjoyable baddie. Neil Nitin Mukesh, Khedekar and Tikekar have nothing to do.

Don’t miss this firecracker of an entertainer. You barely get to see them nowadays.

Rating: ****

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