Star or no star, big screen or the mobile screen – it is strong content backed by good and compelling storylines that drew the audiences to watch a film or a series in the last couple of years. But Hindi cinema for decades has been known as a form of escapism. A majority of the middle class has to go through the daily struggles and deal with stress every day. So, Bollywood, primarily, with its song-and-dance and larger-than-life sequences, somehow has been a way to escape from the daily grind. And Govinda Naam Mera featuring Vicky Kaushal, Kiara Advani and Bhumi Pednekar, which is directed by Shashank Khaitan, is a perfect masala entertainer which brings back the formulaic larger-than-life entertainers of 80s and 90s.
Govinda Vaghmare (Vicky Kaushal), a small-time choreographer is in love with Sukku (Kiara Advani), who too aspires to become a famous choreographer. But he is already married to a demanding and nagging wife Gauri (Bhumi Pednekar). Amidst all of this, Govinda faces legal trouble when his step family claim the ancestral property. He is left shuttling between film sets where he dances behind the hero, and keeping up the spirits of his wheelchair-bound ‘aai’ (Renuka Shahane) fighting for his house along with lawyer pal (Amey Wagh). Amidst all this, he gets trapped in a mess of a murder which is impossible for him to escape.
This is a complete departure for filmmaker Khaitan who has also written the film and he fairly succeeds. Govinda Naam Mera’s intent is frivolity. It is dumbed down by design with an over the top plot and I guess the filmmaker would have no qualms in accepting it as that is what he wants to serve to the audience.
Watching Govinda Naam Mera is akin to having your favourite fast-food, which may not be high on nutrition (read content driven cinema), but you relish it with glee since it whets your appetite. Packed with just about every mass-friendly ingredient available on the shelf, Khaitan designs an entertainer that keeps you amused for most parts. Sure, there’s nothing you haven’t watched before, but the trick is to keep the viewer completely absorbed in the proceedings and the filmmaker succeeds in it.
But the film unravels in its final act, losing steam well before the finish line. At 2 hours and 11 minutes, it’s way too long; there’s just not enough plot to justify that running time. Also, my problem is that the frenzied plot didn’t deliver enough funny lines. The climax is your standard Priyadarshan-style chaos of multiple characters and complete madness. Also, it’s quite predictable how things will inevitably end, so there’s no real point in stretching the screenplay.
Kaushal steals the show with an act that’s sure to multiply his fan-following by heaps. He has abundant scope to play to the gallery, own every sequence he features in. His energy levels coupled with his self-assured act and striking looks fall wonderfully in place here. It is a departure from his recent outings which has been more of serious cinema. Advani pairs off very well with Kaushal. She is not just a glamourous girlfriend here and is in super form. Pedenkar has limited screen time but is simply outstanding. I wish she had more screen time.
Renuka Shahane, who spends most of her time in a wheelchair, is a delight. Influencer-turned-actor Viraj Ghelani manages to raise a few good laughs and seems confident in his first outing. So is Jeeva (son of veteran actor Ranjeet) who makes his debut and plays his part with sincerity. Amey Wagh and Trupti Khamkar have some of the funniest lines and they deliver it with ease.
Who isn’t guilty of enjoying a little extra cheese and corn in their movies? This is the kind of low-brow humour you enjoy without pretensions. I truly enjoyed the inspired lunacy, the nonsensical narrative. It’s not great cinema and definitely it is not perfect or extraordinary in any way. It is a good weekend watch with your family, partner or gang of friends with a paisa vasool feel.
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