She is in a red polka dotted dress, a matching polka dotted fat hair clip, huge flower shaped earrings, eating with a flashy, coloured fork when we first see her. Authoritatively, she asks her husband, how is the food. He quietly eats it and doesn’t say much. His mother calls to ask if he has eaten. The wife makes fun of her. He ignores it.
She changes from loud attire to a flashier, tackier one from the latest Femina or Vogue magazine. He comments on it. She laughs it off and defends her garish style, calling it fashionable. At one point, she dons red horns, fish nets, a small, fake guitar, high heels and stands atop the bed with unabashed, horny flamboyance, a veritable delight to watch.
With all their quirks, they are like any husband (Emraan Hashmi) and wife (Vidya Balan) who bicker a little. The wife has an upper hand but is an adorable, loud mouthed Punjabi. The husband is a simple and obedient man who loves to watch TV and sip red wine.
Only he is not that simple. He is a skilled thief required for one last bank robbery. The wife is not any housewife fussing over food either. She wants the big moolah. So she does what she knows best. She throws a loud fit and turns over and sleeps. And of course, he goes and robs a bank.
Three months later, he has met with an accident, forgotten he has robbed a bank and where he has hidden the money.
He is still the simple husband who dare not offend his wife at the dining table when she asks him about the food. She is still the domineering wife who refuses to leave her fashion magazine even when she is kidnapped.
Yet, while the hilarious chase for the money and the husband’s memory continues, the screenplay very subtly plays with dynamics between the husband and the wife. Slowly, doubts and jealousy creep in and before you know it, you are witness to the best screaming match between a couple in a train across two compartments.
Few moments like these and a delightful characterization saves Ghanchakkar from its weak ending. The director, Rajkumar Gupta, has made Aamir and No one killed Jessica, both thrillers based on true events. Ghanchakkar displays his mastery over setting a certain tone and giving it a great build up, retaining lightness even in some serious moments.
Emraan Hashmi as the henpecked husband losing his memory, is most endearing in his innocent expressions and mild manners even when he constantly takes beatings at the hands of goons. Vidya Balan makes up for her weak accent just by having fun, making fat look cute and wearing her over the top Punjabi look with elan.
The second half makes up for a slow beginning marred by the most irritatingly bad acting by the two supporting goon characters (Rajesh Sharma and Namit Das) unfortunately present throughout the film.
Those waiting for the high point of the film- “Lazy Lad” song, a wonderful Amit Trivedi composition,written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, are in for a disappointment. It is purely for the promos.
Despite the flaws, Ghanchakkar is watchable for a good plot and the adorable Emraan and Vidya . Vidya’s hilarious costumes, a banana and a fork in the end, get a delicious brownie point each.