Satish Kaushik’s Gang of Ghosts is a remake of the Bengali social satire, Bhooter Bhabishyat (2012). So as such, the plot that comments on how land-grabbing sharks in cities like Mumbai have torn down beautiful bungalows and breathing spaces to accommodate ugly malls and modern monstrosities is convincing.
The narrative in-film style is entertaining, told as it is by a budding scriptwriter (Sharman Joshi, always good) to an aspiring filmmaker (Parambrata Chatterjee, fresh). The ghosts — Anupam Kher, Jackie Shroff, Rajpal Yadav, Mahie Gill, Meera Chopra, Asrani and Saurabh Shukla — have some endearing (often irritating) character traits.
Yet, the ghosts’ attempts to mess with one another and even their need to serenade the alcoholic actress (Mahie) feels funny initially. If you’re feeling indulgent, you may even guffaw at filmi references to Ragini (MMS), Ram Gopal Varma and Makarand (pronounced Maa ka rand). But the jokes get too sidey and the jest is short-lived. In fact, when proceedings are interrupted with an unspirited item song by the dusky Paoli Dam, in a hotspot called Bhoot Bar, where only ghosts are invited, you want to shoot some more people dead.
Post-interval, the real plot of a tycoon (Rajesh Khattar) who has acquired the disputed property with the intention of turning it into a mall is introduced. And the ghosts vow to seek revenge. But their hare-brained plan to bring the tycoon down to his knees is so amateur, that it fails to amuse.
Clearly, makers like Kaushik, who had a formidable box office record in the ’90s remaking South Indian films, need to borrow modern-day technique and storytelling tactics to keep the ever-evolving viewer engaged. In the case of GOG, the only ones who seem to have had a blast are the actors – Mahie, Anupam, Saurabh and Jackie, all of who ham.
A dilapidated bungalow is home for a group of ghosts with their own idiosyncrasies. When a builder threatens to bring it down, the spirits turn mean.
The Times of India