Praveen Sattaru’s action-drama, starring Nagarjuna, is a case of multiple misfires from point-blank range, and there’s very little to take back

Films that are solid on paper and bland in execution sometimes manage to leave a lingering aftertaste with all their ‘could-have-beens’ to ponder about. An hour into Nagarjuna’s festival release The Ghost, I was settling for a film that would end up doing just that, but it fails even in that respite.

raveen Sattaru’s action-drama is a case of multiple misfires from point-blank range, and there’s very little to take back. I say point-blank because it feels like The Ghost tries to be two different films at once; a rogue-cop-on-a-revenge-spree actioner, as well as a family drama about protecting a child, but it comes close to only getting one of them right.

The film begins by introducing us to Vikram (Nagarjuna) and Priya (Sonal Chauhan), Interpol officers who kill bad guys for dinner and make love for dessert; yes, every mission cuts away to cheery, romantic fun on a yacht.

We soon realise that not all is okay with Vikram and that, after chasing him for very long, the ghosts of his past are catching up to him. A case of collateral damage during a mission pushes him off the edge, and he vows to end all organised underworld criminals.

An extended two-hour cut of Vikram dealing with his past, and slicing gangsters with his katana sword could have been a fun outing, but that is not this film. The narrative then jumps five years after his vow when Vikram’s long-estranged sister Anu (Gul Panag) reconnects asking for his help.

An unknown gang threatens to kill Anu and her daughter Aditi (Anikha Surendran), and a whole new world of corporate politics opens up. Much of these portions seem like a rehash of tried-and-tested themes and therein begins a big dip in engagement.