Friday, January 23, 2009

Raaz II – The Return of Horror


There are some things that just aren't done.

No matter how good it tastes, a Frenchman will never accept that anything from Napa is any good. And god forbid you gift him one, he will break the bottle on your head. That is, if you are lucky.

Ask a German what his favorite car is, and you will never hear the answer as a Ford or a Chevrolet. Because Detroit sucks at making anything that can go further than 5 miles on a tank full of gas - and I don't mean in a giant tank sort of way where you can sit pretty in the knowledge that if the traffic is bad, you could just driver over them.

If you ever get late for meeting a Japanese the chances are you will see a contorted painful expression which will make you wallow in self pity for being around 1.296 seconds late.

On the contrary, in Spain if you turn up for a 11pm party at 12, you will still have around 2 hrs to kill before the host shows up.

Being on time just isn't done.

In India however, we have no such issues. We are as frequently late as we are on time.

German cars are so overpriced that you can buy several houses for the price of 1. So we love Chevy and ford.

We really can't tell the difference between Napa and Bordeaux and we don't care.

In India, sab chalta hai.

Except, when you talk about horror movies.

We just don't make good ones. Directors, actors and audiences run away from any that actually get released and if you look at the stuff we have churned out so far, you wouldn't blame them one bit.

Who can forget the psyche altering rubbish churned out by the Ramsey brothers - the stalwarts of Bollywood Horror. Movies of such abject stupidity as “Do Gaj Zameen Ke Neeche”, “Shaitani Ilaaka” Puraana Mandir or… I could go on but the bottom line is, we just don’t know how to make a proper horror flick which is without the gore and funny makeup. We are awesome at doing song and dance sequences while jumping off buildings holding an umbrella, but when it comes to the horror genre, we suck. Horribly.

Which brings me to Raaz II – The Mystery Continues.

With a reasonably big budget and a star cast which is respectably A list, Raaz II is perhaps the first A grade India horror flick.

The story is the same old formula about a spirit possessing a pretty girl (a model no less!) who has a boyfriend who doesn’t believe in ghosts or spirits. In fact, his disbelief is so complete and bordering on the idiotic that he actually has his own TV show talking about the superstitions going on in the country.

Cut to an angry arrogant painter who paints the future but only about Kangana and the story revolves around of course how they beat the spirit that possesses her. And yes, true to the stereotype, the painter roams around with the Bhagvad Gita in his pocket.

As performances go, Kangna has proved my theory that the only roles she can do remarkably well are those where she has to be hysterical and crazy – bordering on the psychotic. Which she does with aplomb.

Adhyayaya..yaya..yaya..n (or however else its spelled) is a terrible actor. Completely botching up simple scenes like asking Kangana to go back to sleep while he is sleepy.

The dialogue writer needs to be shot in the head – twice.

I cannot believe someone was paid to come up with lines like:

Kangana to Adhyayan, explaining her slit wrist in the hospital -

K – “Tum sochte ho ye maine khud kiya hai? Tum jaante ho main apne aap se kitna pyaar karti hoon!”

On second thought, also shoot whoever approved this line’s use.

The story then meanders its way to various parties and scary scenes to reach the climax which seems inspired from The Ring – complete with black and white effects and a well for you to drown into. Ofcourse, our hero wins in the end and good triumphs over evil.

Sounds nothing new does it? It's not.

So then is this movie the Napa to a Frenchman and a Ford to a German?

No. Not even slightly. Infact, what it is, is excellent.

You see, despite the dialogue writer who should be shot (twice. remember.) and Adhyayan who cant act and parts and scenes inspired from a multitude of Hollywood films, the direction and camerawork is from a different planet. And its exceptional.

The story is superb, the plot is gripping and scenes will really make you pull that Red Lounge blanket up to your eyes.

The movie is genuinely scary in parts and is thrilling and exciting in its entirety.

Emraan Hashmi is just incredible. His acting is both intense and measured and to the point. None of the onscreen kissing business and no longer do you feel that he walks around thinking he is gods gift to womankind. He is smooth and carries his role off with ease.

The music is catchy and haunting at once and except for one song, the others are really not that out of place.

The movie doesn’t rely on past make up tricks of sticking painted vegetables on people’s faces and dirty yucky funny moving “Shaitaan” trying to kill. It relies on effects, anticipation and surprise and in that alone, we must give a presidential pardon to the script writer.

What this movie is, then, is that rare Ford that can make a German smile – a Mustang. It has its quirks and its kinks and its not perfect but its entertaining as hell and will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire 2hrs 45 minutes.

This movie is to our horror genre what Barack Obama is to the United States of America.

A movie inspiring hope and instilling in us - the "Yes We Can" of making horror movies!

Go watch! It is full paisa vasool!


  1. love the way you've written this post.

    and now im going to watch the movie, just for that one line :)

  2. thank you :)

    Now I'm nervous - I hope you like the movie :)