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Upperstall Review


Gang of Ghosts


Hindi, Comedy, Drama, 2014, Color

The grand old mansions and mills of South Mumbai are being razed to the ground to make way for swanky condominiums, malls and multiplexes. Some of these dilapidated disputed buildings were haunted by Ghosts who had taken shelter there over centuries. They were evicted and are homeless today. There is no rehabilitation package on offer. Politicians, media, intellectuals, civic society - no one gives a damn. After all, ghosts don't vote. Royal Mansion is one such heritage property which is rented out for film shootsto manage its maintenance. A heroine faints during a shooting allegedly sighting a ghost in a mirror. A filmmaker on a reconnaissance trip to the building gets to hear of a spooky story revolving around the house. But is it all just a tall tale or...

Gang Of Ghosts is the official remake of the acclaimed Bengali film Bhooter Bhabishyat and that's about the only acclaim one can associate with this trainwreck of a movie.

Directed by the veteran Satish Kaushik, the humour in this supposed 'satire' is about as subtle as a hammer banging away on a nail. Building up on the satirical premise of the original movie which deals with the issue of rapid urbanization of the cities with disregard to heritage and nature alike, the screenplay does little justice to the subject at hand. There are little sparks of genuine satire underlying the overtly loud presentation and gaudy characters but they are few and far in between. The ghostly puns are too many and quickly become overused over the course of the dragging journey that is Gang Of Ghosts.

The running time of almost two and a half hours tells on the film and how. Gang of Ghosts takes far too long for the setup and is thereafter let down by a totally ridiculous second half. The climax goes for the done-to-death emotional speech conclusion but the film takes way too long going through various unfunny setups to reach there. Consequently, the few good points the climax has to make about the premise are rendered absolutely ineffective and fall totally flat.

The cast boasts of a motley set of veterans and newcomers. Southern actress Meera Chopra (from the Chopra clan of good looking women) makes her Bollywood debut here but her performance is hardly anything to speak of. The talented Vijay Verma is wasted and the veterans Saurabh Shukla, Anupam Kher, Rajpal Yadav, Mahie Gill and Jackie Shroff in a sordid cameo, all seeming to be dancing atop a tanking ship. Parambrato Chatterjee and Sharman Joshi are away from the action as the story is told in flashbacks through their eyes and the movie does feel a bit sane in between their discussions. They try to carry the film on their shoulders and you get the feeling that somewhere they are let down by the overly David Dhawan-esque narrative and loud performances.

The only genuine spooky feeling you might get while watching this could be because you would be sitting alone in a large empty theater like I did.

- Shivam Sharma aka @GhantaGuy

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