Film: "Golmaal Again"; Director: Rohit Shetty; Cast: Ajay Devgn, Arshad Warsi, Tabu, Kunal Kemmu, Shreyas Talpade, Tusshar Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Johnny Lever, Sanjay Mishra, Sachin Khedekar, Mukesh Tiwari, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Prakash Raj, Rating: ***
When you go to watch a Rohit Shetty film, especially the "Golmaal" series, you expect magic on screen, not logic. The magic of entertainment, albeit, sans rationality.
"Golmaal Again", the fourth of the series, is a laugh-a-minute comedy about five orphans who are brought up in the Jamnadas Orphanage in Ooty. Madhav (Arshad Warsi), Lucky (Tusshar Kapoor), Laxman (Kunal Kemmu), are constantly at loggerheads with Gopal (Ajay Devgn) and Laxman (Shreyas Talpade), as Gopal is petrified of darkness and ghosts and the three of them love to take advantage of his fears and annoy him.
He, in turn, is hot-headed and gets angry easily leading him getting involved in scuffles.
Fed up, he along with his devoted friend Laxman decide to leave the orphanage. They become two rival gangs when they grow up as they have parted ways in childhood. However, owing to a common cause of avenging the wrong done to a fellow inmate, Khushi (Parineeti Chopra) whom they are all fond of, they all get together once again. This essentially forms the crux of this two and a half hour roller-coaster ride of comedy, adventure, thrills and drama.
Narrated from the point of view of Anna Mathew (Tabu), a librarian who can see ghosts and knows these five orphans and their friend Khushi from their orphanage days, the film is revealed in a non-linear manner.
Over-the top comedy, fast-paced action sequences, colourful locales, witty dialogues replete with puns and innuendoes, spontaneous performances, are what really engage you in this over-stretched film. There is entertainment galore and the situations, though devoid of reality, evoke constant laughter.
Director Rohit Shetty succeeds in creating a make-believe fantasy world with candy floss, lots of gloss and imaginary characters once again and engages you completely.
Ajay Devgn as Gopal is his usual self and has moments when he shines, but is not outstanding. One has seen him do better. It is Shreyas Talpade as Laxman who steals the thunder from the gang with his lisp and consistently funny demeanour.
Arshad Warsi as Madhav is expectedly competent but adds nothing to his character. Kunal Kemmu as the other Laxman is a treat to watch and his energy brings alive his character on screen. Tusshar Kapoor as Lucky stands out in the scene where he is infused with Nana Patekar's spirit, else with his typical "aaaye ae ae aii ou," he is in his oft-seen avatar.
Tabu as Anna Mathew is staid and restrained, and her character does not do justice to her as an actor. Parineeti Chopra as Khushi looks pretty and fits well into the film, although she has nothing much to offer by way of histrionics. Again, it is the script perhaps which limits her.
Johnny Lever as always, is his talented and versatile self and even Vrajesh Hirjee as Cobra is an extension of his earlier character in the "Golmaal" editions.
The camaraderie and comic-timing of the actors apart, it is the writing that stands out. Whether it is punning on words, films, songs or even Nana Patekar's mimicry, the script keeps you tickled sufficiently, even though some of the situations seem trite and gimmicky. Particularly worth mentioning is the lullaby "Jamnalal Ka Nandlala, Laxman ka Gopala hai" sung by Laxman (Shreyas Talpade), which is hilarious.
The music is not extraordinary as there are lots of remixes and it is merely a deliberate attempt at giving the viewer a musical break.
Cinematographer Jomon T. John's lens capture Ooty as well as the candy floss sets with accuracy and precision, making the viewer long to be there.
The background score has been effectively used to enhance the eerie and thrilling moments in the film.
Overall, "Golmaal Again" is one of the better editions of the series. It definitely revives your interest in the franchise.