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HomeentertainmentGhost movie review: Shivanna shines but 'Ghost' sinks

Ghost movie review: Shivanna shines but 'Ghost' sinks

Ghost2023★★☆☆☆2/5Director:M G SrinivasCast:Shivarajkumar, Jayaram, Anupam Kher, Archana Jois

The success of Shivarajkumar’s previous release Jailer, where he played a short but important cameo, has left its impact — ‘Ghost’ is predominantly set in a jail. These films are similar to star-dependent commercials. However, one sincerely hopes the makers had gone back and instead sought inspiration from films like Mufti, Tagaru, Vedha — the actor’s major hits in recent years that focussed more on a strong story line.

The film opens to a gang led by an anonymous leader (Shivarajkumar) taking over a prison in search of a hidden fortune. The loot is revealed to be the pickings collected by a corrupt CBI official from a raid, years ago. The police and the gang perpetually try to outsmart each other and assume control. Things take a sharp turn when the gangster is believed to be Dalavayi, a notorious thug, presumed dead for years.

‘Ghost’ generated a lot of pre-release curiosity with its unconventionality for a commercial cinema — the absence of a heroine, songs, item dance and so on. However, the film lacks a strong point of focus and is borderline fantasy on several occasions. It over relies on the 61-year-old star’s mass appeal. But then, a glance at his recent performances reveal that strong plots have potent factors than mere action, with highly-anticipated releases such as Jogayya or Villain falling flat with similar flaws.

Anupam Kher’s cameo as a CBI official feels like a superimposition to serve a revenge angle with a vague mention of the Kashmiri Pandits’ persecution in early 1990s. One could wonder about the political motive of such a reference which is unrelated to the plot. A lot of questions are answered only at the end, just for the sake of it, making the entire ride quite a mental juggle.

Shivarajkumar stands out again in a Robin Hood style role and delivers a compelling performance stuffed with cheeky one-liners. “Kelavru muttodella chinna aagathe but naan muttodu chinna maatra” (Some people have Midas’ touch but I only touch gold) is one such. The typefied role also helps him dodge a few uncomfortable bullets related to dialogue-delivery. While the actor’s fans are sure to enjoy his de-aged cameo, it further complicates the already-muddled plot. Jayaram stars as an honest cop ready to run the extra mile but the dubbing could have been better for the Malayalam actor. Arjun Janya is back with intense music and strong BGM that adds spice to the sequences.

(Published 20 October 2023, 05:44 IST)

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