‘Ghoomketu’ movie review: Oddly lost in another time and world

Nawazuddin Siddiqui in ‘Ghoomketu’

Nawazuddin Siddiqui in ‘Ghoomketu’  

Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s film has taken too long to see the light of the day to have remained impactful

Ghoomketu, the film — much like the titular character — doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. Rather aims to bite more than it can actually chew. Is it a spoof of the film industry or a celebration of it? Or just uses many a starry cameo — Amitabh Bachchan, Ranveer Singh, Sonakshi Sinha, Nikkhil Advani, Chitrangada Singh — to somehow make itself stay afloat when there is little by way of imagination, inventiveness and exuberance to the script and the telling.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays Ghoomketu, a young writer from Mahona village in UP, who runs away to Mumbai with a screenwriting Bible in hand and gives himself 30 days to make it big in Bollywood. His Bua (Ila Arun) is the co-conspirator while father Dadda (Raghuvir Yadav) and Chacha (Swanand Kirkire) exert political pressure on the police to find him and have him sent back which creates a second strand involving a corrupt cop Badlani (Anurag Kashyap). Needless to say, the two keep criss-crossing. Now how did the family manage to exercise such clout? That question is still hanging in the air for me, as are many others. There is lot that feels utterly half-baked, like the Badlani track. And, the portions which show promise and potential — the village bits — get sidelined at the alter of Bollywood.

  • Director: Pushpendra Nath Misra
  • Starring: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Raghuvir Yadav, Ila Arun, Swanand Kirkire, Anurag Kashyap, Ragini Khanna
  • Storyline: A young writer from Mahona village in UP runs away to Mumbai and gives himself 30 days to make it big in Bollywood
  • Run time: 1 hour 42 minutes

Misra tries to go for the deliberately whimsical in trying to deal with the film industry but can’t quite pull it off and ends up using tired old tricks of the trade: star cameos, recreating popular film songs and scenes, split screen conversations between characters, simulating old black and white Hindi films for some scenes, using silent films-like inserts for others and caps it all with an inane item song, shot within a bioscope, that talks about speedbreakers and compares a woman’s body parts to a car’s heaving chassis. You can figure the rest.

Surrounded by innumerable caricatures for characters, Siddiqui is earnest and tries to make the most of being the centre of the film’s universe. However, if there is any life, liveliness and urgency to Ghoomketu, it’s in the triumvirate of Raghuvir Yadav, Swanand Kirkire and Ila Arun, specially Arun who is sense and sensibility, all heart, mind and fun. The loud, angry skirmishes of these siblings could have easily lapsed into a parody but feel real because of the performers’ lived in energy.

Completed in 2014, the film has taken six long years to see the light of the day and the hoariness and disconnect shows. Specially in the figure of Ranveer Singh who now hardly looks the way he used to. Not just the Indian cinema or its stars, but the polity, society, government and we the people have also changed by leaps and bounds since then. Ghoomketu is oddly lost in another time and world.

Ghoomketu is streaming on Zee 5

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 9:46:54 AM |

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