White Guy Watches Bollywood

A random white guy engages with contemporary Indian cinema... one movie at a time

Amitabh Bachchan

Hindi Movie Review: Ganapath is an epic sci-fi failure that defies human logic

Tiger Shroff stars in "Ganapath," here reviewed by White Guy Watches Bollywood.

In a year that has seen the use of A.I. in film productions – at least those in Hollywood – consistently remain a hot topic in industry trade publications and union strike negotiations, it comes as something of a shock that actual living humans were responsible for writing and assembling Ganapath, even if it was made half a world away. The film represents perhaps the most haphazard cobbling-together of every science-fiction movie cliché to ever exist that one could have possibly imagined. Dystopian setting? Check. Epic strife between rich and poor? Check. “Chosen one” protagonist who is initially oblivious to his prophesized role? Check. Antagonist who speaks through a creepy voice-box for no apparent reason? Check. I could go on, but you could probably come up with the list yourself without even having seen the movie.

Putting aside writer/director Vikas Bahl’s insatiable appetite to rehash the familiar – so shameless it really feels like something a computer spit out – the actual execution of the script is so inept, it verges on unbelievable. This includes CGI effects so rudimentary, it appears as though the filmmakers looked at the VFX vendors’ previz renderings and told them, “This looks good enough and we’re short on cash, so we’ll consider it final.” But terrible visual effects are hardly the movie’s worst offense; from cinematography to editing to sound design, the production seems to lack any sense of proper “film language.” Which is to say, Ganapath doesn’t even feel like a real movie so much as a lot of shots that happen to be strung together – and this isn’t a case of filmmakers intentionally breaking the rules, it’s just pure incompetence.

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