Ghost, without beating around the bush ,is disastrously bad. The anarchic script is designed to accommodate as many action sequences as possible. But these action sequences shot in gloomy interiors representing a prison in Karnataka, are so shoddily shot they seem like rehearsals for a muddy kabaddi match.

Ghost Review, Kannada Cinema Plummets To A New Low

Ghost(Kannada, streaming on Zee5)

Starring Shiva Rajkumar, Jayaram, Anupam Kher, Prashant Narayanan, Satya Prakash, Archana Jois

Directed by M G Sreenivas

Rating:* (one star)

Ghost, without beating around the bush ,is disastrously bad. The anarchic script is designed to accommodate as many action sequences as possible. But these action sequences shot in gloomy interiors representing a prison in Karnataka, are so shoddily shot they seem like rehearsals for a muddy kabaddi match.

There is a sequence early on depicting a jail riot. Junior artistes are asked to run shelter-skelter while the camera scampers after them like a ratcatcher. Indeed, the director Sreenivas and his cinematographer Mahendra Simha, seem to believe that filling up the frames with a feast of fury is akin to shooting  skilful stunts.

There is much more to an action film than crowds occupying every frame. Ghost seems to think otherwise. Every shot is a burst of energy, dissipated by the sheer foolishness of the script which pitches a nameless kingpin nicknamed , don’t laugh, Big Daddy(Shiva Rajkumar who presumably asserts his starpower in the juvenile name for his character) against a cop Chengappa(Jayaram).

Now, Jayaram is a fine actor known to light up the dingiest screenplay. But this one is beyond human rectification. It is not a screenplay, it’s a screamplay. Jayaram simply falls in line with the other actors who ham until the pigs come home from grazing.

The scenes written to spotlight the conflict between Chengappa and, giggle, Big Daddy(who is really not the baddie, but an imposter) are like shouting bouts at a watertap in a chawl. While the soundtrack grates on our ears(and the jumpy inclusion of songs smacks of clumsy editing) the visuals are mostly restricted to dimly lit dingy sets representing the interiors of a prison, most probably designed by someone who has never been to one.

There are no women characters except a television journalist whose prisoner daddy gives her scoops from prison. Here is devious way to get news. Plant your parent in the crime scene. While interrogating a wounded suspect, the cop tells the doctor, ‘What do I care whether he dies of a panic attack? I just need my information.’

I don’t know about my favourite film of 2023 as yet. But I have a fairly clear idea of my least favourite film of the year.