Dir: Rajeev Manoj Virani
Cast: Bobby Deol, Mugdha Godse, Shreyas Talpade
What's it about: 1990 -- A woman wastes away in a mental asylum in Mauritius. Her husband comes to meet her. She mumbles something about making it all stop and go away. Then she picks up a chair, smashes it into a mirror behind her, picks up a shard and slits her neck. Helpless hubby watches on.
Present Day: A star's wife isn't dealing too well with the rumours surrounding her man. They quarrel and he sleeps on the couch. He wakes up to a phone call. His father-in-law has suffered a heart attack. Star and wife head off to Mauritius to visit. They stay at the family mansion filled with huge, eerie paintings of the former inhabitants (they rarely come there). She tells him she's pregnant. Later, she tells him she sees her dead twin sister. The family's dog (who has been caring for it in their absence?) Tracy meets with a nasty end. Wife's behaviour changes. If she was frigid first, she's positively icy now. Next, it's the best friend's turn to die. Star wises up soon enough to dead best friend's fianc ©e's warning at the funeral: "Your wife needs help." How Bobby Deol (who plays Vic, the film star) goes about helping his wife, Pia (Mugdha Godse) exorcise her demons after nearly drowning her to death, is what the film is about. In the spirit of this film's repetitiveness, he gets help from the parapsychologist (Shreyas Talpade) who had issued the warning mentioned earlier.
What's hot: The film's biggest strength is that it's slickly shot. Full marks to director of photography Dhimant Vyas. Ashu's music is forgettable but his background score gets the job done. Rajeev Virani directs confidently and it shows but even he can't salvage a borrowed tale from an all-too predictable open ending. The effects don't appear tacky (and that is saying a lot) given the quality of horror films made these days. Mugdha Godse has precious little to do except get shot from top angles with zoom shots of her cleavage. It does help that she doesn't wear ugh outfits and gets to look pretty in most frames.
What's not: Deepak Pawar and Viddesh Malandkar disappoint. The story (borrowed in parts from Mirrors and The Unborn), screenplay and dialogue (biased against akhbaarwaale) seem contrived and tired. Some of the special effect are clear-cut ripoffs from The Grudge. The asylum scene in the beginning is too convenient. How come there are no orderlies around when the woman makes her final cut but there is one when Bobby visits the place, and who tells him that the woman in question was possessed? Despite having a special appearance, Shreyas Talpade's character is established as an independent, self-made man (it belies the usual image of being a handicapped person in B-Town). Which isn't a bad thing. Except you'd expect an expert in demonology to at least be able to make a quick exit, should the occasion arise. Think of it, the guy even drives a car.
It doesn't bode too well (Friday the 13th notwithstanding) that the film is mostly devoid of genuine scares. You are not drawn in even during the climax. The prosthetics and make-up for the demonic ghost seem borrowed from previous horror flicks.
What's that! Bobby Deol displays a fantastic range of emotions. Check out his "happy" reaction to the news of his wife's pregnancy. Also, marvel at the face he makes when he gives her bad news (her dad has had a heart attack).
What to do: God help you if you watch this (for you know not what you do). And if you see this film and think up positive adjectives to say you liked/loved it, I seriously think you need help.