GOLMAAL AGAIN | 21 October, 2017

Reliance Entertainment, Mangal Murti Films and Rohit Shetty Picturez’s Golmaal Again is a horror comedy.

Gopal (Ajay Devgan), Madhav (Arshad Warsi), Lucky (Tusshar Kapoor), Laxman (Shreyas Talpade) and Laxman (Kunal Kemmu) had been raised in their childhood, in an orphanage run by Jamnadas (Uday Tikekar) in Ooty. The five children had a dear friend in young Khushi (Anaya). Actually, Khushi had been found by young Gopal (Zubain) abandoned at the gate of the orphanage as a new-born. The five friends had run away from the orphanage even while they were kids but after growing up, they still had a soft corner for Jamnadas and his orphanage. While Gopal and Laxman (Shreyas) were together, Madhav, Lucky (who can’t speak) and the other Laxman (Kunal) stayed together.

Gopal is a he-man physically but is terribly scared of ghosts. As luck would have it, the five childhood friends meet in Ooty once again, on the thirteenth day ceremony of late Jamnadas. Gopal and Laxman are always at loggerheads with Madhav, Lucky and Laxman. The five meet Anna (Tabu) and Damini (Parineeti Chopra) in Ooty. Anna is the librarian and also looks after the orphanage, after Jamnadas’ demise. She has the rare ability of seeing and talking to ghosts.

By quirk of fate, Gopal and Laxman have to live in the bungalow owned by Colonel Chauhan (Sachin Khedekar), near the orphanage. The bungalow is known to be haunted but Anna convinces Gopal that she and Damini would take care of him and not let him be harmed.

Meanwhile, builder Vasu Reddy (Prakash Raj) and Dubai-based Nikhil (Neil Nitin Mukesh) have fraudulently acquired the orphanage as they want to construct a building on the huge plot of land by displacing the orphans and sending them to another city. Nikhil is Jamnadas’ nephew.

Vasu Reddy hires the services of Vasooli (Mukesh Tiwari) to have the inhabitants of Colonel’s bungalow vacated as he is also eyeing the bungalow. In turn, Vasooli asks Madhav, Lucky and Laxman to scare the daylights out of Gopal and Laxman so that they would run away from Colonel’s bungalow.

Even while the three friends are in the process of frightening away their two friends-turned-foes, Gopal has developed a fondness for Damini which is turning into love. Just on the day Gopal is set to express his love to Damini, the five friends learn about a horrific truth. They also learn that whom they think is Damini, is actually their childhood friend, Khushi. They are told that Khushi had, as a child, been adopted by Colonel Chauhan.

Anyway, the horrific truth prompts the five friends to unite and bring the truth in front of the world. What is the horrifying truth? Do the five friends succeed in bringing the truth in front of the world? What happens to the budding romance between Gopal and Damini/Khushi? Are Vasu Reddy and Nikhil successful in their evil plans of demolishing the orphanage and usurping Colonel Chauhan’s bungalow?

Rohit Shetty’s story is funny and cares little for logic – something he makes clear right at the beginning. Amidst all the funny characters in the story and all the fun and frolic, he brings in an emotional track when the five friends get hold of Khushi’s diary.

Yunus Sajawal’s screenplay is an interesting assemblage of funny incidents aimed at making the audience laugh. Of course, the lack of logic in the story and screenplay would irritate the class audience at times but the masses and families will be so completely taken in by the funny anecdotes that they would not question the lack of logic. In particular, a few of Sajawal’s sequences are simply hilarious and will bring the house down with laughter. For instance, the entire sequence where Gopal runs out of the Colonel’s bungalow but the other friends and Pappi (Johny Lever) are trapped inside and then, Babli (Sanjay Mishra) and Vasooli also join them is outstanding. Similarly, the sequence in which Pandu/Baba (Vrajesh Hirjee) scares Vasu Reddy, and the sequence in which Vasu Reddy addresses the orphans are hilarious. Equally hilarious are the scenes of Pappi blabbering nonsense when he has a memory loss. The sequence in which Anna pretends to be a tantrik who can ward off evil spirits is also very funny. The track of Nana Patekar is a masterstroke. However, the climax is not very effective and, in fact, leaves the audience a bit dissatisfied.

Farhad-Sajid’s dialogues complement Yunus Sajawal’s screenplay beautifully, adding greatly to the humour.

Ajay Devgan acts with effortless ease and delivers a fine performance as Gopal. He evokes a lot of laughter in the scenes in which he is shown to be scared and also when he is coy. Tabu is restrained as Anna. She looks pretty. Arshad Warsi is funny as Madhav. His sense of timing is good. Shreyas Talpade, as Laxman, entertains with his lisping. His sense of timing is also superb. Tusshar Kapoor is endearing in his mute avtaar. Kunal Kemmu is amply funny and stands out in some scenes. Parineeti Chopra is lovely as Damini/Khushi. Neil Nitin Mukesh lends able support as Nikhil. Prakash Raj is outstanding in the role of Vasu Reddy.  He deserves distinction marks for a job effortlessly done. Johny Lever, as Pappi, brings the house down with laughter whenever he comes on the scene. Sanjay Mishra, as Babli, provides fantastic comic support. Vrajesh Hirjee shines in a brief role as Pandu/Baba. Mukesh Tiwari is lovely as Vasooli. Murali Sharma (as police inspector Dande), Vijay Patkar (as Dande’s assistant), Uday Tikekar (as Jamnadas) and Sachin Khedekar (as Colonel Chauhan) lend able support. Ashwini Kalsekar hardly gets any scope to act. Zubain (as young Gopal), Lakshya (as young Madhav), Ganesh (as young Laxman), Tirth (as young Laxman), Saud (as young Lucky), Anaya (as young Khushi), Ishika (as teenage Khushi) and Diksha Sharma (as young Anna) are alright. Nana Patekar’s voice acting is wonderful. His performance in the scene in which he appears physically is very nice.

Rohit Shetty’s direction is very good. He succeeds in presenting a laugh riot to his target audience. His narration is fast-paced and gives the viewers no time to think. Music (Amaal Malik, Thaman S., Abhishek Arora, Nucleya, Lijo George and DJ Chetas) is fair. Hit songs could have made a big difference to the film. Kumaar’s lyrics are okay. Song picturisations (by Ganesh Acharya and Raju Khan) are fair. Amar Mohile’s background music is decent. Jomon T. John’s camerawork is excellent. Action scenes and stunts, designed by Rohit Shetty and choreographed by Sunil Rodrigues, are pretty exciting. Production design (by Swapnil Bhalerao, Tajamul Shaikh and Madhur Madhvan) is of a high standard. Bunty Nagi’s editing is sharp.

On the whole, Golmaal Again is an entertainer and it will do well at the ticket windows, keeping the audience happy. But a long run at the turnstiles may not be possible as the film’s second half is not too strong.

Released on 20-10-’17 at Regal (daily 3 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay by Phantom Films Pvt. Ltd. Publicity: very good. Opening: bumper. …….Also released all over. Opening was fantastic everywhere.