Anupam Kher vs. Boman Irani
By MovieTalkies.com, 23 September 2006
Anupam Kher vs. Boman Irani is what Khosla Ka Ghosla is all about. A novel concept in Indian cinema, it takes the property issue and ownership versus possession as its basic premise, with doses of humour and dollops of satire added to give an entertaining fair that outstays its welcome a bit till the end credits role.
Kher is K.K Khosla, a basic, middle-class working man who pours all his life’s earnings into a plot of land with the intention of setting up his “ghosla”. However a crooked land grabber, by the name of Khurana (Boman Irani), takes unlawful possession of Khosla’s land and demands ransom money for freeing the premise. This being the basic premise, the film takes digs at the legal system and the prevailing property laws of the country, emerging as a colourful satire.
Khosla’s family is an eclectic mix of Ranveer Shorey as the “bekaar” son delving in stocks, Parvin Dabas is the other son, a software engineer with designs on a job in America. They also have a dutiful sister for company who represents womankind in her fashionable way and of course Kiran Juneja as the sweet mother, torn between her duty towards a noble husband and her love for the rebellious son.
On the other side, pitted against Khosla, is Khurana, the conniving land-grabber who exploits the lacunae in the legal system to unfair advantage. Khosla’s trials and tribulations to get back his prized land with sons in tow is the heart of the film. While the first half has the acquisition of the land and its subsequent illegal possession outlined, the second half has the rebellious software engineer son turning defiant and deciding to be “one-up” on their conniving antagonist, playing a bigger on him than he ever envisaged. The film is funny in parts and the screenplay interesting, but a bit stretched. A small premise like this, without meandering subplots, is stretched across the length of the film.
The acting is extremely competent and Anupam Kher as Khosla versus Boman Irani as Khuran is reason enough for the film to be experienced on the big screen. Khosla’s family, especially Ranveer Shorey as the bekaar son who suddenly finds new cause for standing by his father, be it sharing a drink on his brother’s whimsical need to change his name from the rather absurd Chiraunjilal, christened by dadi dear herself, to sitting by the principled but meek father in the very first confrontation against Khurana are worthy of mention. As a respite, there is no respite with the occasional Bollywood song breaking the narrative, and the action flows seamlessly, once scene leading into another. The screenplay by Jaideep Sahni is eventful and interesting; its strength is the fact that it’s unpredictable and its weakness is the fact that it tries too hard to be unpredictable. The director, Dibakar Banerjee deftly puts together the proceedings, letting the veteran actors have a field day in their well fleshed out roles. The only flaw in this entertainer is the editing, which pauses at too many places to let the rather simple action sink into the viewer.
Khosla Ka Ghosla is a small film that tries to be ambitious owing to its novel nature, and goes beyond the demands of the genre in order to achieve either cult status or commercial success. In its attempt to draw the attention of the movie going audience a bit desperately, it plays to the galleries in moments where subtly was a better alternative in the directorial treatment. Even in the film’s commercial exploitation, the same holds true. As a result, Khosla Ka Ghosla emerges as a small ambitious film which that gets a bit over ambitious. Unlike an Iqbal or a Bend It Like Beckham, it doesn’t become the sweet winner that it could have been destined for. The closest parallel of this school of filmmaking would be Hrishkesh Mukherjee’s gems that took a slice of life and entertained audiences. While Hrishida’s films remained heartfelt and genuine to the core, refusing to press buttons at any stage of the goings on, Khosla Ka Ghosla makes the one mistake of desperately trying to press the humour button, in forced instances. As a result, this entertainer remains an average fair with a little heart; wish it would have all the heart and charm that Hrishida managed in his possibly smaller films. If comparisons were not the order of the day, then Khosla Ka Ghosla stands well on its own feet but unfortunately doesn’t stand as tall as it could possibly have.