GANG OF GHOSTS
Venus Records & Tapes Pvt. Ltd. and The Satish Kaushik Entertainment’s Gang Of Ghosts (UA) is a story of benevolent ghosts who feel threatened by living humans. Gendamal (Anupam Kher) owns a huge mansion in which he ‘lives’ even after his death. A Britisher, Richmond Ramsay (J. Brandon Hill), also joins Gendamal in his mansion after his death. Staying in the same mansion after their deaths are the ghosts of Gendamal’s brother, Gulabchand (Chunkey Panday), and his beloved, yesteryear Bollywood actress Manoranjana Kumari (Mahie Gill).
Since a lot of other ghosts can be accommodated in the mansion, Gendamal and Ramsay start interviewing ghosts to decide who can be accepted and who should be rejected. In this way, the ghosts of Bhoothnath (Saurabh Shukla), Hoshiyar Singh (Yashpal Sharma), Atmaram (Asrani), Robinhooda (Vijay Verma), Tina (Meera Chopra) and Akbar Khwaja Khan (Rajpal Yadav) are admitted to the mansion and they start living there in harmony.
An occasional film shooting schedule in the mansion disturbs the ghosts who then drive the film unit away by scaring the daylights out of the unit members. Then, one day, calamity strikes when builder Bhooteria (Rajesh Khatter) strikes a deal and plans to demolish the mansion to build a shopping mall in its place. The ghosts panic as this would render them homeless. They seek the support of another ghost, Babu Haathkata (Jackie Shroff), who brings Bhooteria to the mansion and introduces him to the gang of ghosts including the ghost of his wife, Laxmi (Preeti Lad), whom he had murdered. This frightens Bhooteria enough to make him give up the idea of constructing a mall in place of the mansion.
This entire after-life story is actually a film plot scripted by struggling writer Raju (Sharman Joshi) and being narrated to film director Aditya (Parambrata Chatterjee). Aditya loves the script so much that he immediately decides to make a film based on it. Why, Raju manages to even arrange for the funds to make the movie. So who is this struggling writer, Raju, who can so easily arrange finance? And how does he know about the ghosts inhabiting the mansion?
The film is adapted from the Bengali cult classic, Bhooter Bhabishyat. Satish Kaushik and Amrish Shah’s screenplay, in addition to the screenplay of the original film, is not very engaging because although there is an attempt to make the audience laugh, the writers succeed only partially. The concept of a comedy about the life of ghosts is unique and it had the potential to be a laugh-riot but, unfortunately, the humour in this drama is not funny enough. In fact, the first half is very boring as characters get introduced one after the other. The drama in the second half is better and the pace also picks up but again, the film never turns into a laugh-riot which it was meant to be. More than entire scenes and sequences bringing the house down with laughter, they are dialogues which evoke laughter at places. And such dialogues also are not too many. Even a suspense revealed towards the end does not come as a pleasant surprise because the audience is not even aware that there is a suspense angle in the story. Dialogues, penned by Satish Kaushik (additional dialogues by Rajesh Chawla and Manoj Santoshi), are funny and laced with humour only at places.
Sharman Joshi is natural and acts with effortless ease. He is very earnest all through the film. Mahie Gill shines as Manoranjana Kumari and acts like a yesteryear film actress effectively. Saurabh Shukla does a terrific job and gives his cent per cent to the role. Anupam Kher is good. Jackie Shroff is lively in a brief role and makes his presence felt very well. Meera Chopra makes a fairly confident debut. Asrani is alright but his patent dialogue about being a poor man is rather funny. Yashpal Sharma is effective. Chunkey Panday is excellent in a brief role. Rajpal Yadav is quite good. Vijay Verma is not very impressive as rockstar Robinhooda. J. Brandon Hill acts ably. Parambrata Chatterjee is nice as film director Aditya. Rajesh Khatter does a fair job. Mansee Deshmukh, Harish Kumar, Sanjeev Wilson, Sonal Tanna, Sanjay Sharma, Sangeeta Khanayat, Amit Pathak, Jitendra Bohra, Pradeep Nagar, Sharad Ponkshe, Anil Saxena, Aloke Sengupta, Chintan Thakkar, Vibhuti Jaiswal, Rutwij Vaidya and Preeti Lad provide ordinary support. Pauli Dam’s dance is quite good.
Satish Kaushik’s direction is reasonably good but it must also be said that he has not been able to make the drama a hilarious piece of work, which is what it ought to have been. Dharam-Sandeep’s music is routine with no song really standing out. ‘Nahin doongi’, ‘Naach Madhubala’ and the parody of old Bollywood hits are the better songs of the lot. Lyrics (Satish Kaushik, Rashmi Singh, Vikas Kumar and Qateel Shifai) are functional. Himanshu Gadani and Uma-Gaiti’s choreography is so-so. Background music (Dharam-Sandeep) should’ve been far better. Mahendra Verma’s action scenes are average. S. Johny Lal’s camerawork is reasonably nice. Sets (Ratan Suryawanshi and Murlidhar J. Sabat) are appropriate. Hemal Kothari’s editing is okay.
On the whole, Gang Of Ghosts does not succeed in making the audience laugh too often or too much and will, therefore, not bring smiles on the faces of the people connected with the film. It will, in fact, entail heavy losses to all concerned.