I thought before I embark on the DVD edition of 3 Idiots starring Aamir Khan, the Indian blockbuster of 2009, that I go back one year to revisit his success of 2008 Ghajini on the 2-disc Region Free special edition DVD by BIG Home Video. You can read my review of the film here.
Disc One contains the film proper, presented in a gorgeous anamorphic widescreen transfer that did the film justice, because with dark visual tones used in many scenes it didn't all become one big blob of a dark mess. Colours still remain as vibrant as I remembered watching it on the big screen, although my only gripe in the presentation will be the unfortunate watermarking that peppers the top right hand corner each time the narrative breaks into song and dance. Only the original Hindi language track is available, with subtitles in English only. The near 3 hour film is split into 24 chapters.
The only standard feature in any Bollywood DVD is the inclusion of the Songs section from the menu. Here, you can listen to Aye Bachchu (2:49), Behka (4:57), Latoo (1:55), Guzarish (5:13) and Kaise Mujhe (4:08) which were lifted directly from the film itself. Which means Latoo is the most fragmented of the lot since there were narrative breaks in the film, and it's a song that got cut off halfway. Don't expect the soundtrack version of the songs of course (noticeably Guzarish was somehow sped up in the movie), and the presentation on the DVD was done right with each track flipping back to the menu when it ended rather than (with other DVDs) just continuing on with the narrative feature at the point. No Play All button or feature here though.
Disc Two is the Special Features disc, and comes with a full load of extras for the film fan. Presented in letterbox format, there are no English subtitles available here, do you'll have to make do for the rare occasion when English isn't used in the sections here.
Ghajini in the Making contains plenty in the usual mold of the making-of documentary. Aamir's Workout Bible (18:20) chronicles how Aamir no pain no gain attitude toward sculpting his body meant hours training under a personal trainer, and we observe how over the period of a few months each time, both his fitness and physique begin to improve, with the muscles showing and defined very clearly under a strict regiment of sleep, diet and training as the fats disappear and the muscle mass gained. The result? Some wickedly executed 25 continuous pull ups captured on screen.
Ghajini Look deals with the look of the characters and the influence Aamir has on the masses given a change more achievable than spending months in the gym. Look n Style of Ghajini (5:05) talks to the various principal cast members as well as with costume designer Arjun Bhasin, while Aamir Khan Style (7:07) deals primarily with Aamir's hairstyle in the film which became all the rage amongst fans seeking to adopt that scarred hairstyle look.
Action Sequences consists of a video montage of the major fight scenes in the film, and a behind the scenes look at how they're designed and shot. There's the Gali FIght (3:49), Tap Fight (2:40), Aamir and the Cop Fight (3:10) and Climax Fight (2:06), with Aamir Khan being very involved together with the director and fight choreographer in crafting these scenes. However, with that many intense action sequences, there's also Aamir's Injury (5:12), two actually from muscle tears, which were caught on camera and inevitably delayed production as what's left were the more physical scenes.
For those who enjoyed the song and dance portions in the film, then this section on Songs in the Making is a must to watch, since it has plenty of behind the scenes look at how dances get crafted, the meaning behind the songs, and of course, interviews with lyricist Prasoon Joshi, choreographer Ahmed Khan, director of photography Ravi K Chandran, director A.R. Murigadoss, as well as Aamir himself (yep, he's very much involved in the production process!). No interviews from A.R. Rahman though, but you'll see him nonetheless in his element at work in his studio. Choose from Guzarish (6:25), Bekha (7:43), Kaise Mujhe (9:26, fast becoming my favourite from the movie instead of Guzarish) and Latoo (6:03), which was the last song to emerge as a surprise contribution from Rahman that got included.
And if everything else mentioned isn't enough, In the Making (22:37) talks about how the project came about, and dwells more on the production process, though some with clips already seen earlier. Memento was also mentioned as a reference by the director, and hey Aamir Khan admits on camera he doesn't understand that Christopher Nolan film!
The Deleted Scenes section is a bit peculiar, because I don't recall any of these scenes being removed from the final film, however the presentation in what I suspect being the earlier cuts here are subtly different from what made it to the final film. Colour correction isn't completed here as well, and you can see some wire work in some action scenes being deployed. There are 4 scenes included, presented in letterbox format without subtitles, 2 of them being entirely action sequences with First Revenge Killing (2:41) and The Final Revenge (7:30) which features a hallucination with Kalpana's appearance, while Meeting the Watchman (0:26) and Kalpana Scolded Again (0:25) were too short for me to notice any difference.
Rounding off the disc is the Now Available section which features 15 seconds of promotional spots for BIG Home Video in their marketing for films like The Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Rock On!!, Singh is Kinng and Jodhaa Akbar. Comes with a play all function.