Review: 'Ghost' offers absolute service to Shiva Rajkumar fans amid an overly complex storyline

Umpteen slo-mo sequences accentuating your leading man, background score in every scene possible, guns and bullets flying all around, invincible main guy and so on - The patent template Read on to know more.

- By "Team India Forums"
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 The South Indian film template for the masses seems to be rather straightforward these days. Umpteen slo-mo sequences accentuating your leading man (yes, it's always a man), background score in every scene possible, guns and bullets flying all around, invincible main guy and so on. In that context, Dr. Shiva Rajkumar's recent Kannada release Ghost offers nothing new. Same wine in not even a new bottle. But it does have several things going for itself as well. Having seen the Hindi dubbed version of Ghost, here's what we thought about it- 

Extreme Fan Service

There's absolutely no harm in making sure to cater to fan service because they are the reason for one's stardom in the first place. Ghost is another example of makers trying to make sure the quenching necessities of fans to watch their favorite superstar do banana stuff on-screen are fulfilled. Rajkumar is doing the impossible, thinking the impossible, and even planning the impossible. Considering it's a heist thriller, you will have instant flashes of the popular global show Money Heist and how the character of Professor pre-planned not only the heist itself but the actions that investigators would do and plan according to that. 

While in the series, you do see Professor faulting at places as it goes on, you cannot expect the same to happen with Rajkumar's Ghost. Each and everything is so laid out as an operation that it seems unthinkable, and it probably is, but that doesn't matter. In the end, fans want to see their leading man exhibit machismo and not be vulnerable (apparently). As mentioned above, it's as old a template of sever South Indian films as there can be.

The BGM, Twists & Turns

The rapid frame changes might just be too difficult to keep your hook on, but Ghost demands that sort of attention from you. The first half actually sets up things well with a plot that is going places but still keeps you intrigued. The long second half breaks down in shambles at several instances and then just becomes a case of shocking twists and turns to get you back in it. I kid you not. Literally, till the last frame of the film, which serves as a cliffhanger for a possible sequel, there are constant twists churning around. To some, this may be a treat; to some, it might throw them off.

The exhausting use of background score is now a certainty with these 'massy PAN-India' films, and hence, you have to make your peace with it. To its credit, this helps a lot, especially when you are losing interest in what's going on. A good thumping background score is one of the saving points, and shaking your head and humming the tune is a good solace to have. Nothing like some banger tracks to keep enjoying if not anything else.

The Extensive Plot & Mediocre Dubbing

Further credit where it's due, and kudos to the makers for actually churning out an incredibly complex yet rustic plot amid the fan service and massy moments. Yes, there's too much of it and too scattered, but there's still a genuine attempt to weave threads to the happenings from the first frame to the last. It isn't taken for granted, and that is a feat for a film like this.

But one of my biggest peeves for a long time with such South Indian films has been the mediocre dubbing in Hindi that seems to continue. A lot is spent on the film, the marketing and so on - better money needs to be spent on hiring better dubbing artists and some from down South, maybe who can speak in Hindi as well, thus maintaining some amount of authenticity. But alas! Even with Ghost, the dubbing is mediocre at key moments, which affects the viewing experience quite a bit.

The Takeway

Finishing a film like this might lead to having mixed feelings, not just about your opinion on whether you've liked it or not but also about what just happened in the film. There are reasons to go cliche and not question the logic and physics or any such thing, but that also becomes pivotal in a dense plot. There are reasons to applaud Dr. Shiva Rajkumar for being who he is and having a screen presence that basically led him to amass such a career, but there are also reasons to laugh but at the wrong places (especially the bizarre attempt of de-ageing). Your takeaway from the film wholly depends on your unparalleled love for the main man in the picture coupled with an affinity to watch those Hindi dubbed South-Indian films that are a constant on satellite TV.

The Verdict

In the end, Ghost is a film that needs two extremes of people to either love it or hate it. For neutral audiences to be doing either of the two would be difficult and, more so, to be enjoying the film as a film irrespective of the ifs and buts.

Rating - *** (3/5)