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      Directed by A.R. Murugadoss. Starring Aamir Khan and Asin. In Hindi with English subtitles. Rated 14A.

      Although it shares a number of plot elements with Christopher Nolan’s Memento, A. R. Murugadoss’s Ghajini is an altogether different film that gives audiences an intense but somewhat disjointed cinematic experience.

      Watch the theatrical trailer for Ghajini.

      Sanjay Singhania (Aamir Khan) is the survivor of a violent trauma that has left him with an amnesia that only allows him to retain memories for 15 minutes. Sanjay copes by meticulously recording clues in the form of notes, pictures, and his own heavily tattooed body, enabling him to systematically hunt down and kill those responsible for his injuries and for the murder of his fiancée, Kalpana (Asin).

      Through the investigations of a police officer (Mohit Ahlawat) and, later, a medical student (Jiah Khan), we’re hurled back in time to witness the romance between Sanjay and Kalpana. In the flashbacks, Sanjay is a rich businessman who falls in love with a struggling young actor. As their love story unfolds, we learn how she was killed.

      The two parts of the film are so different in tone the transitions are jarring. In one, Sanjay is soulful and devoted, while in the other he is violent and almost animal-like in his rage. The love story works, despite the tedium of watching yet another man in his 40s romance a woman in her 20s. The unrelenting violence of the second portion of the film, however, makes the psychological mystery less effective.

      This film will be seen primarily for the performance of Khan and for his much-hyped physique. He doesn’t disappoint. But it’s difficult to know what to make of the film’s message. Memento was about the futility of revenge; Ghajini seems to construct vengeance as a healing, noble resolution to trauma.