Golmaal again; Director: Rohit Shetty; Cast: Ajay Devgn, Arshad Warsi, Tabu, Parineeti Chopra, Prakash Raj
Here’s to another Rohit Shetty disaster. Golmaal Again reunites the old guard of Devgn, Warsi, Kapoor, and Talpade, to add a fourth film to the shoddy franchise. Joining them for part 4 are Kunal Khemu, Tabu, and Parineeti Chopra. It’s no secret that Shetty has much fondness for over-the-top filmmaking; blowing up cars, ridiculously stylised action sequences, flashy colours to top off equally flashy dance numbers. Golmaal Again takes the same route sans the random blowing up of unsuspecting vehicles.
The humour, if one were to even dignify it by calling it that, is so puerile that there isn’t a single moment’s worth of laughter in the whole 151 minutes. Long, convoluted, unintelligent, and lacking in basic sense—these are just some of the words that can be used to describe the plot. I must think very hard to conjure up even a single redeemable moment from Golmaal Again. Right from the outset, Shetty’s nonsensical vision takes shape on screen with a raucous dance number featuring all the leads. And that sad excuse for a beginning sets the tone for all the terrible stuff to follow.
Part 4 goes back to childhood, and the orphanage in which the friends spent their formative years. Gopal and Laxman Number 1 are as thick as thieves, and share a rivalry with Madhav, Lucky, and Laxman Number 2. The opposing factions are adored by a girl (Khushi) who was abandoned at the ashram many years ago. The boys are often reprimanded for their aggressive behaviour by their benevolent founder. When things get out of hand one evening, the boys decide to leave the anaath ashram and head their separate ways. Decades later, the groups have remained pretty much the same.
Gopal is still afraid of ghosts and the dark, and Laxman Number 1 continues to have a significant lisp. Lucky, Madhav, and Laxman Number 2, have remained best friends, with the former being as indecipherable as ever. The only commonality between the two groups is the regard for their old orphanage. As they return to their childhood home, the group is reunited with the establishment’s librarian, Anna. But between all the memories and nostalgia, a mysterious presence slowly makes itself felt.
Slapstick sequences abound at every conceivable corner of Golmaal Again. They fail on two fronts: they make you cringe, and they make little sense in the overall scheme of things. Even the whole ‘Nana Patekar’s ghost gag’ left much to be desired. Perhaps it was Shetty’s intention to fill the film with enough laughs so that it would veer one’s attention away from the otherwise hollow sections of the storyline. Those supposedly funny scenes only succeed in alienating you further.
A comedy/mystery with neither humour nor intrigue ceases to be anything at all, let alone a watchable piece of cinema. Many holes can be poked at Golmaal Again, but one seemingly insignificant bit made me think long and hard at the crassness of it all. What kind of anaath ashram overflows with so much opulence as the one seen time and again on screen? The answer lies in Rohit Shetty’s limited view of the world.
With this much going against it, it is a wonder how such projects make the money they do. All a discerning viewer can hope for is that a totally unnecessary sequel isn’t made in the footsteps of this one. Four parts of pure torture are bad enough, if you ask me.