When I first learned of a reboot of the widely loved and highly acclaimed Ivan Reitman’s 1984 ‘Ghostbusters’, the first thought that rang through my mind is will it consist of the original cast reprising their roles, I mean who can top the shenanigans of Bill Murray. Anything not coming at par with that would be just a waste of time. Then the trailer launched and it surprised move-goers all around when we learned that the remake was with a female-led cast. Yep the old concept came in new wrapping consisting of 4 impressive names which include Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, along with the witty cast member we know from Saturday Night Live (SNL)- ‘Kate McKinnon. The teaser gave a glimpse of what looked like a promising attempt but the pique that started to dominate social media within hours of the release of the trailer, pulled the movie down even before it had been able to showcase itself. See Ghostbusters is a childhood treasure, a beauty that brought together two genres that never mingled together-ghosts & comedy. It was a risk taken back then and it was a risk now. Alas, the public weren’t engaging and willing and many have remarked that giving ladies the spotlight, the production house made a major mistake. I completely disagree. Time and again, women have proven to be the most comedians in the world, giving us limitless ho-ha’s and a good light-hearted comedy to make the day so wondrous. And when powerhouses like Melissa and Kristen join forces again, after their ingenious act in ‘Bridesmaid’, I settled well into the cinema seat as waited for the curtains to draw.
Things started promisingly. Wiig’s tweedy NY professor Erin Gilbert is forced to seek out McCarthy’s renegade spirit Abby Yates, with whom she once wrote a book entitled “Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally and Figuratively”, a 460-page embarrassment for the now respected academic. Only by introducing Abby to the custodian of the allegedly haunted Aldridge Mansion can Erin gain assurance that the book will perform its own magic trick. But once inside the spook house, a spewing spectre relights Erin’s ghostly fire and ghost busting is the new boom business. The first look of a ghost levitating gave me the spooks, however the building of the story took way too much time as it should have followed the classic’s narration which ends in a swift to give in the ‘snobs vs slobs’ much screen time. Also another thing that didn’t make sense was how Leslie Jone’s character, a subway worker just leaps into the team, without any talent or need really, seems as forced to make it a group of four as some of the jokes, which just shows the cast members trying too hard to crack a laugh, especially when it comes to Kate’s character, whose script writers probably told her to be as witty as possible.
But with them together, it was working to some extent. It’s summer and this is the kind of summer movies people expect; it should be non-serious, easy on the eyes and funny and these women aren’t anything if not funny. Besides which the nostalgic effects given as we see vehicles of the original revisited in variously updated fashion and even appearances from an ever-hungry Slimer and an oversize Stay Puft marshmallow man, with of course the original tune keep the flow going. Stop labelling and watch the movie for what it is- busting ghosts, if not men, woman can do it too!