Leave Us a Review
  • Ghajini
  • 183 minutes  -  Drama
  • Original title: Ghajini
  • Director:A. R. Murugadoss
  • Language: Hindi
  • Country: India

In this unofficial Bollywood remake of Christopher Nolan's Memento, a man named Sanjay, who loses his memory every 15 minutes, takes photos, writes notes, and tattoos his body in order to constantly remind himself of his ultimate mission in life: to avenge his lover's death.

Watch the trailer
Review posted: 28/11/2013

People in Bollywood call it inspiration. The rest of the world calls it a rip-off or blatant plagiarism. Either way, Bollywood has a long history of illegally adapting foreign films to suit the Indian market. Even actors who claim to stand on the more “artistic” side of things are guilty of participating in these cinematic copies. Aamir Khan is an example. He starred in Ghajini, which is basically Christopher Nolan’s Memento with an Indian twist. Khan plays Sanjay, a man who loses his memory every 15 minutes. He takes photos and writes notes and tattoos on his body to remind himself of his ultimate mission in life: to avenge the death of Kalpana, his lover. The film is named after the villain, Ghajini, a socialite and human trafficker. Alongside Sunita, a med student who is studying the human brain, Sanjay tries to take him down. This unofficial remake earned about four times its budget at the box office. It was a big hit among Indian audiences, and part of this success was due to Aamir Khan’s presence. However, another part of it was that the Indian masses had not even heard of Memento, so the story seemed unique and original.

"Ghajini is basically Christopher Nolan’s Memento with an Indian twist."

At one point in the film, Sanjay says, “Vishvas aur ghamund mein bahut kum farak hai… main kar sakta hoon, yeh mera vishvas hai… sirf main hi kar sakta hoon, yeh mera ghamund.” “Vishvas” means “faith,” “ghamund” means “pride,” “Bahut kum” translates as “very little,” and “farak” is Hindi for “difference.” Thus, the first part of the line might be written in English as: “There is very little difference between faith and pride.” As for the rest of the quote, “main kar sakta hoon” means “I can do it,” while “sirf” translates as “only.” So, the second half of the line means: “I can do it, is my faith… only I can do it, is my pride.”

A. R. Rahman, one of the greatest composers in Indian cinema, was responsible for popularizing the “Indian sound” around the world with his work for the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire. In Ghajini, among his most popular tracks is the love ballad “Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gayi” (How Did You Become Mine?). The second stanza reads, “Main to ye sochta tha ke aaj kal, Upar wale ko fursat nahin” (I used to think that nowadays, God has no free time). Interestingly, “Aaj kal” literally translates as “today and tomorrow/yesterday,” since “aaj” means “today” and “kal” means both “tomorrow” and “yesterday.” How confusing! Also, “Upar” means “up” and “wale” is used to identify someone as a “person.” Put together, “up person” refers to “God” or a “higher being.” The stanza ends with the following line: “Phir bhi tumhe banake who, meri nazar mein chadh gaya, rutbe mein who aur badh gaya” (But having created you, he has risen in my eyes, his status has become higher). If readers want to know whether or not the man with the fifteen-minute memory will be able to avenge the death of Kalpana, or if he will simply forget about her altogether and hook up with Sunita, then they will have to check out Ghajini.