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Ghajini is a 2008 Indian Hindi-language action thriller film written and directed by A. R. Murugadoss, jointly produced by Allu Aravind, Tagore Madhu and Madhu Mantena. A remake of Murugadoss’s own 2005 Tamil film of the same name which in turn is inspired by the 2000 film Memento and 1951 British film Happy Go Lovely. It stars Aamir Khan, Asin reprising her original role in her Hindi film debut, Jiah Khan and Pradeep Rawat, co-starring Tinnu Anand, Sunil Grover, Khalid Siddiqui and Riyaz Khan. The score and soundtrack were composed by A. R. Rahman, while Aamir co-wrote an altered climax. Murugadoss, had written half of the film’s story when he watched Memento, and claimed to merely use the character due to his short term memory loss condition. In the film, a businessman suffering from anterograde amnesia sets out to avenge his girlfriend with the aid of photographs from a Polaroid Instant camera and permanent tattoos on his body.
Released theatrically on 25 December 2008, Ghajini became the highest-grossing Indian film of the year, and the first Bollywood film to cross the ₹100 crore mark domestically, creating the 100 Crore Club. Ghajini’s paid preview collections were ₹ 27 million. It went on to become the highest-grossing Indian film of all time, until it was surpassed by Aamir’s next, 3 idiots (2009), the following year and then by Shah Rukh Khan’s Chennai Express (2013). Aamir’s character was featured in a 3D video game titled Ghajini – The Game, which is based on the film. Suriya, who played the protagonist in the Tamil original, lauded the film and found it an overall better version.
Khan found a force of his own kind with Ghajini, as he followed it up with back to back record grossers and helped the industry touch new business benchmarks with films like 3 Idiots (2009), Dhoom 3 (2013), PK (2014) & Dangal (2016).
Aamir Khan as Sanjay Singhania / Sachin Chauhan, a rich businessman; the chairman of a mobile phone company, Air Voice; who later suffers from short-term memory loss after a tragic incident caused by Ghajini, being solely motivated, thus, to kill him and his cohorts
Asin as Kalpana Shetty, a model who gains publicity by falsely proclaiming herself to be the girlfriend of Sanjay Singhania, but soon becomes his love interest, later getting killed by Ghajini
Khalid Siddiqui as Pankaj Shroff, Sanjay’s private assistant and an Air Voice manager
Jiah Khan as Sunita, a medical student, who tries to study the case of Sanjay Singhania and his amnesiac problem, even though she is forbidden to do so
Pradeep Rawat as Ghajini Dharmatma, a gang honcho and the mastermind of many illegal and criminal ventures who is targeted by Sanjay
Riyaz Khan as Inspector Arjun Yadav, a police inspector who is investigating the murders Sanjay committed (voiceover by Rajesh Khattar)
Tinnu Anand as Satveer Kohli, Kalpana’s boss
Sai Tamhankar as Sunita’s friend
Supreeth Reddy as Ghajini’s Henchman
Vibha Chibber as Havaldar Vijyanti
Sunil Grover as Sampat, a model who is being trained as the fake Sanjay Singhania
Rajendran as Ghajini’s henchman
Firdausi Jussawalla as Dr. Peston Wadia
Rahul Pendkalkar as Rahul (cameo)
Diya Sonecha as Pooja (cameo)
Sonal Sehgal as ad model
Anjum Rajabali in a cameo appearance as Dr. Debkumar Mitra, Sunita’s professor
It was rumoured earlier that the film was titled Kajri. It is a remake of the Tamil film, Ghajini (2005). Aamir Khan, who had never before made a remake film in his career, was initially hesitant to do the film, but was convinced by Suriya, the original star of the Tamil Ghajini, who told him he was “the only one who could do justice to the character.” Suriya was a fan of Khan, and had some involvement in the film’s development, discussing minute details with Khan for two years during the film’s development. Priyanka Chopra was offered a lead role in the film, but turned down the part because of scheduling conflicts.
Khan was involved in the film’s creative writing process, deciding what should remain from the original Tamil Ghajini and what changes should be made. Murugadoss revealed that the altered climax of the film was rewritten by Khan. According to Murugadoss:
We didn’t make too many changes in the rest of the film. Every time I’d suggest a change in Ghajini from the original, Aamir would firmly cut it down, saying we should stick to the Tamil script. But he decided we should rewrite the climax. The entire location, incidents and dialogue for the climax were re-written by Aamir. I think the Hindi version is far better than the Tamil Ghajini because of the changes Aamir made.