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28 Jun, 2013
2 hrs 18 mins
225 votes
5 96
4 24
3 15
2 18
1 64
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When Sanju (Emraan Hashmi), an ace safe cracker wants to retire from a career in crime he decides to team up with two dangerous criminals to commit one last heist - A bank robbery that will ensure that he never has to worry about money again. The robbery is successful and everything works out. Sanju is given the task of hiding the money till things cool down and the booty can be split. Three months later, the associates return to collect their share of the booty but Sanju simply refuses to even recognize them! What dangerous game is Sanju playing?

`Ghanchakkar` is a quirky, unconventional film that aims to surprise, shock and entertain the audience at every turn.
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Director Raj Kumar Gupta is an `inspired` writer/filmmaker. He draws liberally either from other cinematic material or from headlines. His first film Aamir had many similarities to the Filipino film Cavite. His No One Killed Jessica was quite obviously taken from the Jessica Lal murder case. In his third movie outing, Ghanchakkar, the director is `inspired` by innumerable Hollywood and UK black humour flicks. The film has an interesting premise. Sanjay Atre ( Emraan Hashmi) and his Punjabi wife Neetu ( Vidya Balan) have a humdrum existence. The colour in their lives comes from the loud clothes Vidya wears. Life promises change for them when Sanjay, who is an expert lock-picker, hooks up with small-time crooks Pandit ( Rajesh Sharma) and Idris ( Namit Das). The trio rob a bank. However, they cannot spend the money till the heat is off. So, they give it to Emraan for safe-keeping. Three months later, when it`s time to enjoy their loot, they find themselves stranded because Emraan has suffered a partial memory loss. For the viewer, part of the fun begins here. The constant sparring between Emraan and Vidya and the bickering between the three thieves is funny. But the pace is slow and when the situations and jokes start getting repetitive, you want to pull your hair. There is an unusual climax to look forward to. Yet, the ground rule for thrillers is that they cannot unfold at such a languid pace. ...Read full review
Ghanchakkar stops being funny somewhere through the second half, writes Raja Sen. The finest, most fascinating mysteries are the ones where we find the red herrings stashed away in plain sight all along. In Raj Kumar Gupta`s Ghanchakkar, the true clue to the proceedings is barely hidden. It`s in the song playing in every trailer, the song over the opening credits of the film: it`s fiendishly smart to say Lazy Lad and make us assume the filmmakers are talking about the protagonist when in reality they mean the screenwriter. For this is a confoundingly half-written film. What is exasperating is how good it is right up to the third act, right up to the point when the people plotting this clever and twisty story decided not to type out any more ideas and let the film remain an almighty mess. Like all of Gupta`s films, it starts brilliantly. Emraan Hashmi`s Sanju lives with his wife Neetu (Vidya Balan) who dresses like a backup dancer in an 80s music video and doesn`t have a knack for seasoning food. One evening, over a plateful of something too salted, a mysterious man calls with a very lucrative offer. Sanju, who insists they have enough saved up for a few years of idling, isn`t keen but Neetu nudges him towards that classic `one last job.` This leads to a hilarious bank robbery, one that makes dazzling use of celebrity masks that I would hate to ruin by telling you about, but it`s like a Hrishikesh Mukherjee version of Point Break. Each mask wears a different expression - a Grin, a Gasp and a Frown - and the way these famous faces fumble their way through the chaos is priceless. The film rollickingly (and with very impressive narrative economy) zips through its constantly compelling story, and in less than a half hour we know all our principal protagonists, have seen a great robbery, and are aware that one of them has lost his memory and thus forgotten, three months later - when the cash is meant to be divvied up - where the loot lies. So far so far-out, and Gupta and his fine ensemble cast fill in the details with wonderful whimsy. The reliably excellent Rajesh Sharma plays an unctuous baddie called Pandit, a great contrast to his profane and trigger-happy partner, Idris (Namit Das), while Hashmi looks appropriately befuddled and Balan, from amid a deluge of polka dots, sparkles in that way only she can. I think I smiled at the screen throughout the madcap first half, the lunacy of which echoed early Coen Brothers movies. (I was particularly reminded of Raising Arizona.) Balan, in particular, deserves to be singled out for applause simply because of her willingness as a leading lady to take on a role this farcical - that of a loud character not just overweight but mocked for her weight, through dialogue and ludicrous costume. There is a scene, I kid you not, where she wears giant earrings shaped like prisoners, as if The Beagle Boys were using her ears for clotheslines. ...Read full review
The mystery in Ghanchakkar involves the whereabouts of a suitcase containing stolen cash. Yet, a harder puzzle to crack is figuring out just how so many talented people could make such a disappointing film.No One Killed Jessica director Raj Kumar Gupta recruits a competent cast, but flounders with a half-cooked script that doesn`t know where to go after setting up its delicious premise. Sanju (Emran Hashmi) is a retired cat burglar-turned-full time couch potato who`s goaded by his pushy wife Neetu (Vidya Balan) into participating in one last job. What follows is a terrific bank robbery scene involving a security guard and a matka kulfi, the inventive use of movie-star masks, and the unscheduled arrival of a cop who almost foils the plan.Nevertheless, Sanju and his two accomplices Pandit (Rajesh Sharma) and Idrees (Namit Das) make off with Rs 35 crores in loot. The entire cash is left with Sanju for the next three months, until the heat from the crime dies down. But when the two goons return to claim their share, they discover Sanju has lost his memory in an accident, and can`t remember either them or where he`s hidden the bounty.Ghanchakkar has all the ingredients for a dark comedy, yet shaken and stirred they blend like oil and water. The storytelling itself is inconsistent. The plot hits the ground running, never spoon-feeding you with background information you don`t need. Then, when the two goons move into the couple`s flat while Sanju struggles with his amnesia, you have a set-up ripe for laughs. But Gupta squanders this potential with one too many dinner table scenes banging on about the same joke involving Neetu`s cooking.Frustration sets in during the film`s flabby middle portion where nothing much really happens. The angry goons want their moneySanju can`t remember a thingHe chases clues that lead nowhereThey bash the living daylights out of him. This routine is repeated over and over again till the line: ``Paise kahan hain?`` becomes embedded in your brain like a pesky metal chip! And well before it`s ultimately revealed in the film`s climax, you`ve guessed the suspense already. ...Read full review
At one point of time in the film, Sanju (Emraan Hashmi) in exasperation starts asking everyone who they are and what they are doing. I wish someone had asked such pointed questions to the scriptwriter of this film as well. With a story that could easily fit into a one-half of an A4 size page, `Ghanchakkar` sadly struggles to find a personality or character for itself till the end. The hero of the film, Sanju is a master at breaking locks and his wife Neetu (Vidya Balan), keeps him humoured with her atrocious cooking and more atrocious dressing sense. Sanju wants to give up on his bad ways, but ambitious Neetu almost pushes him into doing his last big job that would fetch them Rs 10 crore. Three months and a nasty accident later, amnesia patient Sanju can`t remember where he has stashed the loot, thus inviting the ire of his two partners-in-crime (Rajesh Sharma and Namit Das). The partners decide to move in with the couple till he gets his memory back. Interesting concept yes, and fun watch too till now. However, the smile that the irreverence of the first half-an-hour brought soon starts fading as the film progressively gets more and more tedious. Emraan Hashmi is superb (and looks quite cool in a pony tail too), as he goes about groping his way through amnesia. Vidya Balan is convincing. While Vidya Balan`s talent is unquestionable, one wonders while playing a boisterous Punjaban, did she really have to burst out of her seams and the 70 mm screen? Rajesh Sharma and Namit Das put in good effort. ...Read full review