Ghoomer Review: R Balki Skips His Intellect & Creates Magic With Abhishek Bachchan, Saiyami Kher's Survival Drama

Ghoomer Review: R Balki Skips His Intellect & Creates Magic With Abhishek Bachchan, Saiyami Kher's Survival Drama

From the first frame to the last, Abhishek Bachchan is a show stealer in Ghoomer

Rohit BhatnagarUpdated: Wednesday, August 16, 2023, 11:02 PM IST
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Director: R Balki

Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Saiyami Kher, Angad Bedi, Shabana Azmi, Ivanka Das, and others

Where: In theatres near you (August 18 onwards) 

Rating: 3.5 stars

Loosely inspired by the life story of a late athlete, who went on to win gold at the Olympics after experiencing a hand injury, R Balki brings a heartwarming tale which is highly unlike his recent works. Where his one-liners are catchy enough to generate intrigue, his screenplay, especially in the second half, derails too often. But, Ghoomer is poles apart from what he stands for. 

With Ghoomer, Balki experiments to flow his narrative midway, although fictional yet powerful in every sense. Anina (Saiyami Kher), an aspiring cricketer desires to play the sport for India someday but her life takes an unexpected turn when she learns that her right arm has been cut off. It leaves her grandmother Shabana Azmi and childhood sweetheart Jeet (Angad Bedi) shattered. Paddy (Abhishek Bachchan), an Indian ex-bowler turned alcoholic enters Anina’s life only to discover her hidden potential. 

If we look back, one of Balki’s most commercial films was Padman (2018) — mainly because it was laced with the ‘national’ sentiment and a larger-than-life image of the ‘messiah’ Akshay Kumar was away with his intellectual storytelling. His artsy films — Shamitabh (2015) and Chup: Revenge of the Artist (2022) were box office failures but Cheeni Kum (2007), Paa (2009) and Ki & Ka (2016) did fairly well; the reason being his creative juices were in sync with the multiplex audiences.

With Ghoomer, the case is different. It’s a safer film since cricket is an emotion in India. The story of a disabled girl is well touted to raise eyebrows. It could have gone wrong, but Balki is a genius technically. He beautifully weaves his own style into the entire chronicle. Though there are a couple of things that are flawed, they still can be overlooked since his intent is crystal clear. The film also raises a question against a religious belief which logically is imperfect but again, Balki gives a reasonable closure to it.

Saiyami plays an underdog so well. Her transition from a girl who is full of life to a helpless one is quite remarkable. While her breakdowns are disturbing, her portrayal of coming out triumphant is so pleasing to the eyes. Angad Bedi does his job aptly. Shabana Azmi is loveable, she is responsible to bring humour throughout and does it in full swing.

From the first frame to the last, Abhishek is a show stealer. With each film, he proves how talented and sincere he is with his craft. His monologue narrating his life story to his caretaker Rasika (Ivanka Das) is painful and compels one to get teary-eyed. Ivanka is noticeable.

With jam-packed theatrical releases in the current week, Ghoomer might get lost but it is certainly more of an OTT-friendly film. Balki did make an unbelievable film but, in the most believable and dramatic manner. And yes, Mr Amitabh Bachchan’s match commentary is the highlight of the film. His cameo is far better than those coming-of-age actresses, who wear skimpy clothes and dance around men.

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