There is no doubt that, inspite of so many flaws, Ghajini is a block buster hit. The box office response to Ghajini has been historical. Hats off to Ghajini. Amir Obama proves once again that he is an star actor almost in SRK’s league. Ghajini’s success is unique in many ways, for one, regardless of its flaws, we cannot lump the success of Ghajini along with Akshay’s (or Big B’s or Govinda’s) mindless comedies. While Askhay, or Govinda, or Big B in the two years of his Bollywood rein, made hay while the sun was shinning (basically the sun did all the work), Ghajini came at a time when the sun was unfavorable to action movies and yet it succeeded. Hence Ghajini is far better than all those crappy hits of Akshay or Govinda or Big B.
Nonetheless, let us analyze this a little. The success of Ghajini proves a few things.
1. Amir Obama is not the yard stick by which Bollywood measures quality. If Amir had been the measure of quality, than the critics would have penalized him for the obvious and numerous flaws in Ghajini. But, as we have seen, the critics overlooked all the flaws in Ghajini, which only means that they do not “really” expect ONLY quality from Amir Obama. One can argue that perhaps the genre of Ghajini allows cinematic liberty, but this argument falls short because critics have never taken into account cinematic liberties when evaluating SRK movies. Therefore in consideration of the fact that “What is good for the goose is good for the gander”, we have to accept that while quality is expected out of SRK and hence he is held upto that lofty standard, it is not equally expected out of Amir. Ghajini’s success destroys the Bachchanista perpetuated myth that Amir represents quality.
2. Amir is perhaps one of the most intelligent film maker is Bollywood. He like Raj Kapoor, is a better film maker than an actor (not that I am saying he is a bad actor). When faced with an hurdle called SRK, Amir invented a new paradigm, “less is more”. Perhaps, Amir was hoping that somewhere along the line SRK would fumble, and give him the opportunity to grab the ball and score a goal. Unfortunately for Amir, SRK is like the legendary horse Seabiscuit, SRK runs faster when he hears approaching footsteps. Amir’s “less is more” strategy just took him beyond the lame dilapidated horses like the Bachchans, but still left him trailing Seabiscuit. It was hence time for the intelligent Amir Obama to abandon the “less is more” strategy and adopt a new one. He figured, “if you cannot beat them, join them”. For a genuine respectable block buster (not the Akshay or Govinda or Big B kind), Amir realized that he needed SRK. Hence, the very gifted Amir decided to ride SRK’s coattails. Ghajini was therefore released along with SRK’s RNBDJ. The PR campaign of Ghajini was planned using SRK & RNBDJ as a platform. Paid journalist were placed amongst the crowd at Ghajini events to insert SRK into the discussion. Amir talked about SRK almost as if SRK was a part and parcel of Ghajini. At some events he talked less about Ghajini and more about SRK. The results of this new strategy is there for all to see. Ghajini’s success is therefore less of Amir’s success and more or SRK’s success. Mind you, it was SRK and RNBDJ which brought back the audience to the theaters after 26/11. The year 2008 has therefore proven that one needs SRK for a genuine block buster hit. If you cannot have SRK in your movies, atleast like Amir Obama and Vivek Vaswani, build him into your PR campaign.