GOLMAAL AGAIN (2017)

I have been a Golmaal fanboy ever since the first film hit the blocks and redefined comedy in a certain way. The second installment, that wasn’t exactly a superhit, also worked for me. The third installment, however, is till date my favorite Golmaal film. Not only was the humor original, quirky and very situational, the film didn’t have to try too hard to make us smile. The comedy was so rip-roaring and genuine that we literally invested in the histrionics of the characters and loved every dialog that came out of their mouths no matter how improbable and over the top. This is where the latest film suffers. It has to try too hard to make us laugh and sadly enough, it is in a lot many ways unsuccessful in doing so.

Gopal (Ajay Devgn), Madhav (Arshad Warsi), Laxman1 (Shreyas Talpade), Laxman2 (Kunal Khemu) and Lucky (Tusshar Kapoor) grew up the same orphanage. While Gopal and Laxman1 are close friends and live together, the other three are their arch rivals in the business of vacating legally possessed illegal properties. A chain of events leads them to re-allocating to their old orphanage where Gopal falls for the caretaker of the orphanage and its adjoining bungalow, Damini, who is very young. As they spend time in the bungalow for their own reasons, a greater game is afoot in the house which will force the guys to forget their differences and come together to look at the bigger picture.

The film shows flashes of brilliance here and there. Rohit Shetty brings back some fond memories and his deft touches to some of the better done comic scenes are evident. I just loved the camaraderie between the principal characters. Their hatred for each other leads to some silly yet hilarious situations. As the story progresses and the characters are subsequently possessed by an unsatisfied spirit, some more comic scenes unfold that is good to have a laugh at. Arshad Warsi and Ajay Devgn have some great dialogs between them and the manner in which they play out these scenes is bound to make you laugh.

However, the problem with these scenes is that they are far apart and too little. For the first time in the Golmaal franchise they have tried to infuse a well laid out story that has a lot of meat, twists and turns and surprises but the execution of the story is really bad and while the director has sacrificed the comedy for some drama and thrills, these are the elements of the film that doesn’t work well. I cannot get into my complaints with the story without giving out some spoilers and hence I request you to stop reading the review here if you want to watch the film spoiler free.

Parineeti Chopra’s character is a ghost in the film. This is made clear to the audiences in the very first scene that she makes an appearance in. This fact is also referenced multiple times before the actual reveal is done and it is done in such a manner that anyone and everyone will get it. This I believe robbed the film of a great bit of potential. Also, without questioning the sanity of this insane film, I was totally disappointed by the amount of power, Parineeti’s character is shown to possess. If she was so powerful, there was no need for her to take the help of our protagonists. The manner in which the relation between them and Parineeti’s character is established is also a big ho ho.

My next major complaint with the film is with the caricature that it makes out of many of its characters that too unnecessarily. I am speaking about Johnny Lever and Prakash Raj mostly. They are supremely talented actors and they have the ability to make even a dead man smile. But here they have been made to enact loud, flimsy and unnecessarily over the top characters that could have easily been better written and conceived. The result is a loud and somewhat irritating comedy that doesn’t work. Not atleast for me. The film is too long and it doesn’t have the amount of laughs that could have made us sit through a film that long and still feel breezy.

Ajay Devgn tries really hard and it shows. He nearly singlehandedly elevates this film from being a bad one to an above ordinary material. That’s what a good performance could do to a film. I loved the parts where his fear of ghosts is used against him. I also liked the way they used the age difference between him and Parineeti’s character to let out some seriously good jokes particularly through Arshad Warsi. Tushar Kapoor brings back Lucky to life and this is one character that is made for him. Kunal Khemu as Laxman and Shreyas Talpade as Laxman are apt. However, I felt they wasted Tabu in a role that could have been done by anyone.

Overall, I was disappointed by this installment of Golmaal. It just isn’t able to extract the kind of laughter that almost all its predecessors did. It has a plot that is thicker than all its predecessors but which also turns out to be its biggest problem as it comes in the way of the flow of the film’s comedy. I had very high expectations from this film and that I believe is another reason which made it even more lackluster for me. I just wish it was better.

Rating : 2.5/5 (2.5 out of 5 Stars)

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