Gumraah Movie Review
Genre: Hindi Thriller
Duration: 2 hours 9 minutes
Aditya Roy Kapur
Director: Vardhan Ketkar
Gumraah, a Hindi thriller, is a remake of the Tamil film Thadam released in 2019. The movie takes inspiration from the classic '70s potboilers where two individuals with strikingly similar appearances find themselves entangled in a complex web of deceit and mystery. One is somewhat virtuous, while the other leans towards the darker side. As the story unfolds, they eventually put aside their differences and unite against a common adversary. This formula has proven successful in the past, and the challenge lies in adding a fresh twist to entice the audience once again. The creators of Thadam accomplished this, and director Vardhan Ketkar aims to replicate their success.
Arjun Sehgal (played by Aditya Roy Kapur) becomes the prime suspect in a brutal murder case. ACP Dhiren Yadav (Ronit Roy), a senior police officer who holds a grudge against Arjun, sees this as an opportunity to strike a final blow before his retirement. However, Arjun's junior officer, Shivani Mathur (Mrunal Thakur), firmly believes in his innocence. As the police apprehend a drunkard named Sooraj Rana, also played by Aditya Roy Kapur, as another suspect in the case, it becomes evident that Ronnie, with his criminal tendencies, resembles Arjun uncannily. Dhiren, driven by his personal vendetta, chooses to focus on Arjun as the primary suspect, disregarding Ronnie's criminal background. The two officers, driven by conflicting agendas, embark on an investigation filled with ego clashes, inadvertently allowing the true culprit to slip away.
The film's first half lacks momentum, delving into Arjun's convoluted love story with Janhvi (Vedika Pinto) and showcasing Ronnie's adventures as a conman alongside his companion, Chaddi (Deepak Kalra). It feels like the narrative is heading nowhere until the second half picks up the pace. Numerous twists and turns keep the audience engaged. A climactic fight scene between Arjun and Ronnie reveals their motives and methods. While the police remain clueless until the end, viewers are granted closure through full confessions. The film's ending suggests the possibility of a sequel, although there is no news of Thadam 2 at this time.
One area where Gumraah falls short is in the development of Ronit Roy's character. The audience does not get a deeper understanding of his angst. Additionally, the reasons behind Shivani's deviation from official procedures and her determination to save Arjun, as well as her connection with Ronnie, remain unexplored. These unanswered questions hinder the film's progression as a genuine whodunit.
Ronit Roy delivers a competent performance as a biased cop, effectively conveying his intentions through body language and fits of anger. Mrunal Thakur manages to keep her half-written character afloat. However, the success of the film heavily relies on Aditya Roy Kapur's portrayal. Having established himself in roles of intoxicated characters, he excels as the antagonist, Ronnie. Unfortunately, his portrayal of Arjun lacks depth and fails to evoke strong emotions. The intentional lack of color in Arjun's character may have limited the actor's scope. In contrast, a more intense display of anger could have enhanced the role. One can envision actors like Sanjay Dutt or Sunny Deol from a bygone era, who would have unleashed their rage, captivating the audience with their explosive performances.
Overall, Gumraah, with its roots in a familiar formula, attempts to captivate viewers with its own spin on the narrative. While the film struggles to maintain a consistent pace in the first half, it gains momentum in the latter part through a series of surprising developments. However, unresolved character motivations and unexplored backstories hinder the film's potential as a compelling whodunit. The performances by Ronit Roy, Mrunal Thakur, and Aditya Roy Kapur contribute to the overall appeal, but the film falls short of its full potential.