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IBTimes India Rating:1.5

“Ghayal Once Again” makes you want to run back in time, unleash weapons of mass destruction, blowing up every last bit of this world. One would ask why all the violence? To keep Sunny Deol from stumbling upon the idea of a sequel to his hit 1990 film “Ghayal”.

Ajay Satyakam Mehra (Deol) is “once again” a one-man-army taking on corruption head first. Raj Bansal (Narendra Jha) is the clichéd antagonist who scowls unnecessarily and thwarts every effort of his. In addition to this uninteresting clash is a bunch of idealistic college-going students who are pumped with impractical dreams of building a perfect society. End of story.

Sprinkle the script with some high-octane chase sequences and action scenes (thank God there were no hand pumps in the frame), some of which borrow heavily from Hollywood blockbusters, and the action-drama is served. There is also an elaborate garnish of dialogues that suffer from a serious 90s hangover, but support the narrative only because it reeks of over-the-top drama that decade was famous for.

Deol, the actor, is in his elements, but Deol the director is abysmal. Such crime-fighting, just, and righteous hero isn’t relatable anymore. Today’s leads come with personality defects and are emotionally fractured. The soul of the film sits 26 years away, which is why it may fail to click with many.

He throws in too much in those 128 minutes (women’s safety and drug addicted teens) making it a distasteful mish-mash of outmoded ideas. The sub-plots fail to draw attention as the screenplay isn’t taut enough, the tracks jump at random and come unannounced. It’s almost like watching a match highlight where you get to see only the high points, and rest are edited out.

The newcomers do an okay job but are overshadowed by Deol’s messianic role. Jha is hardly ever menacing, and is more of a terrible caricature of the Bollywood’s quintessential bad men.

In a nutshell, this film makes you wish you could, for a second, borrow Deol’s “dhai kilo ka haath” and use it on him.

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