Hindi film Gumraah review
The typical problem for remakes is, in a sense, could be the principal conundrum for any twins – how much remains the same and how much differs? This analogy makes for a meta reading of Gumraah which is a Double Jeopardy Hindi remake, the intriguing story of two lookalikes remade from the successful Tamil 2019 film Thadam. (As it happens, the movie was also reprised in Telugu as Red and did not taste much success).
You can see the existential quandary of the two protagonists as that of the filmmaker Vardhan Ketkar himself. But the latter has mostly stuck to the original. And that is where the problem may lie as the Tamil film, even if good, could have done with some tweaking and trimming. (To add to the confusion, this is not the first film that has come out with the title Gumraah. So its namesake twin, too, already exists).
The story of Thadam had a lot of interesting and serious potential but its impressive director Magizh Thirumeni plays it safe by opting for the instant massy thrills of mainstream masala cinema – which is not a bad thing. But when you ponder the film long after you exit the cinema hall, the ‘what if’ scenario strikes you. And you cannot escape the same feeling after watching Gumraah.
The story begins with a man being killed on a typical rainy night in a posh Delhi house. The police are at their wit’s end as there are no clear leads. But as luck would have it, the lady cop (Mrunal Thakur) investigating the case gets a lucky break.
A selfie snapped by a neighbour has a clear image of what seems to be the killer in the background. And the man in question, engineer Arjun (Aditya Roy Kapoor), is soon hauled up by the police. But Arjun has some alibis though not all of them add up. The ACP Yadav (Ronit Roy), already has a backstory with Arjun, and wants to nail him down in the case. But before the cops can make headway, a loud-talking man Sooraj (Aditya Roy Kapoor), is arrested. That the lookalike is a conman who needs money also makes him a suspect. But to add to the confusion, Sooraj insouciantly drops legal jargon and quotes cases. The twist here is the most interesting and the pivot on which the entire film rests.
Who is the real criminal? Is there a connection between Arjun and Sooraj? If so, what is that? There is also a love angle to both Sooraj and Arjun.
The flashback of Arjun and Sooraj characters was the weakest in Tamil. And so it is in Gumraah. Some uninspired acting further lets down the Hindi remake. Aditya Roy Kapoor in the double role looks splendid and is diligent. But the characters call for a certain spark that hides their inner demons. Somehow that doesn’t seem to have come out in his performance. He is more at ease as Arjun than Sooraj, who has a complex shade to his persona. Mrunal Thakur is too deadpan as a cop. Playing a tough and emotionless policewoman does not mean one has to look stony. Ronit Roy is efficient, but his role is limited. The rest of the cast ham their way around.
Gumraah may work for those who have not seen the original, as the plot has some interesting twists. But overall, the twins confuse more and convince less.
Director: Vardhan Ketkar
Date Created: 2023-04-07 21:48
An engineer-turned-journalist, K Balakumar’s career began in print publications as a sports writer. That also opened doors for other journalistic avenues like films, music, finance, technology and politics, which nobody can escape in India. After 30 yrs in mainstream journalism, now a freelancer for various digital publications.