Ghayal Once Again review: Sunny Deol’s Ghayal Once Again, which is a hackneyed tale of an anti-corruption crusader, reeks mostly of the past. Coming after a quarter of a century after the original, the film finds that things have changed much and the world is more open than the mostly black and white one that its template was cast in in the 1990s. Then it was a super hit, but here and now to reach that status will be an uphill climb.
It isn’t just Sunny Deol’s two-and-a-half kilogram fist that has long outlived its utility. Ghayal Once Again’s overly anachronistic feel is also accentuated by plot elements that simply do not belong in contemporary times.
While the corrupt politics-big industry nexus is still very much a live issue, it cannot be denied that large swathes of this youth-dominated nation has broken away from the moral shibboleths that 1980s Hindi cinema peddled.
The movie is based around a young female journalist in Ghayal Once Again kills herself after she is sexually assaulted by her boss. That there are other options open for rape victims seems to have eluded filmmakers.
Ghayal Once Again completely ignores that necessary reality – the film is produced, written and directed by Sunny Deol himself. As such, he seems to be out of touch with the times.
The once-popular star, in the guise of a fearless editor battling crime and subterfuge, goes hammer and tongs at an evil business empire presided over by a man who will leave no stone unturned to shield his murderous son.
In Ghayal Once Again, taking off from where he left in Ghayal, boxer-turned-crusader Ajay Mehra comes to the aid of a quartet of youngsters who stumble upon a cold-blooded homicide committed by the industrialist’s son.
The business tycoon, on his part, unleashes the might of the entire Mumbai law and order machinery in a bid to intimidate Ajay and his supporters into submission.
The male protagonist has his own neurological disorder to reckon with – he faces blackouts when assailed by memories of his dark and tragic past alluded to in the early portions of the film through the means of black and white flashes of scenes from 1990’s Ghayal.
The hero’s shrink (played by Soha Ali Khan) stands by him and gives him timely anti-depressants to ensure that he remains fighting fit.
The plot does not throw up any major surprises barring one relating to Ajay and the daughter that he has given up for dead.
As a result, Ghayal Once Again is a rather dreary film that despite some high-octane action scenes orchestrated by a Hollywood stunt coordinator does not deliver too many blows that could be regarded as effective.
With Sunny Deol given full play by the screenplay, the character actors in the film, Sachin Khedekar, Tisca Chopra, Nadira Babbar, Ramesh Deo and Om Puri among them, have little scope to make their presence felt.
As for the actors essaying the roles of the four youngsters on whose behalf the male protagonist takes up cudgels, they are no more than components of the backdrop and come to the fore all too rarely.
Ghayal Once Again, trapped in a time warp, is only for nostalgia freaks who are willing to risk having their brains addled by a cinematic concoction that has absolutely nothing new to offer.
Director: Sunny Deol; Cast: Sunny Deol, Soha Ali Khan, Om Puri, Aanchal Munjal, Narendra Jha, Tisca Chopra, Nadira Babbar, Ramesh Deo