There are some films that you crave to watch on the big screen. Films that deserve your undivided attention, your money at the cinemas, and your dedicated time. Gumraah is not one of them. Directed by Vardhan Ketkar, Gumraah is a remake of the 2019 Tamil film Thadam and it stars not one but two versions of Aditya Roy Kapur in the lead. Just like a lot of meetings could just be emails or even text messages, Gumraah could have easily been a short digital release that gave us the freedom to fast-forward to the point of the film.
The story is simple — a murder has taken place and a suspect is spotted. He is taken into custody and questioned. However, the film takes a turn when the suspect’s identical twin is brought into the same police station and the question arises — who is the real murderer. The team of cops try their best to identify the real criminal but do they succeed? I’ll let you go watch the film and find out.
Gumraah, much like the title, misleads you into thinking it’s a mystery movie when all it’s trying to do is forcefully take you through a maze with obvious hints. The screenplay spoonfeeds you Easter eggs in the first half, robbing you of the experience of investing in the mystery. The first half is a hotchpotch, with the makers trying to intertwine the murder mystery with a love story but failing by the time the interval hits.
Fortunately for Gumraah, the film picks up in the second half, shedding more light on the identical twins, the murder case, and the unraveling of the mystery. The second half features several subplots that you are left to wonder why was the first half made in the first place. The second half was a decent movie in itself.
The saving grace of the film is undoubtedly Aditya Roy Kapur. The actor, playing two versions in the film, manages to develop two starkly different characters that stand out on their own. Despite the badly written screenplay, Aditya manages to hold your attention. Ronit Roy as ACP Dhiren Yadav also leaves a mark. Unfortunately, Mrunal Thakur did not work for me. Having seen Tabu play a police officer multiple times now in the past year alone, Mrunal wasn’t convincing enough as a strict cop. Meanwhile, despite the limited screen time, Vedika Pinto holds your attention in scenes she is sharing with Aditya.
Given that it is a remake of Thadam, Gumraah not only imbibes the story of the original but also its flaws. If the forceful spoonfeeding, unnecessary detailing of the love story, and the songs were removed, Gumraah could have come across as a better watch.
Bottom Line: Aditya Roy Kapur doubles up to shoulder a shoddily-made film but unfortunately, his efforts are not enough to keep you hooked from the start to the end.
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