Film: Hisss (Hindi)

Cast: Mallika Sherawat, Irrfan Khan

Director: Jennifer Lynch

The only plus point of Hisss is that director Jennifer Lynch has managed to keep Mallika Sherawat silent. She lets her body do the talking. But the problem is that when you have a plot centred on ‘ichchadhari naagin', you can't even pretend to make a sensible film. You need a Nagina sort of mindset to make it work. Here Jennifer attempts to make a B-grade film with A-grade sensibilities but delivers a product that can neither keep the gentry interested nor the galleries panting.

She starts with a backgrounder on the existence of shape-shifting snakes and the lucrative naagmani. In the name of a story, she has a foreigner who uses local talent to capture the naag to get rid of his brain cancer. The local gangsters despite showing reverence for the snake god prefer to work for a dying man for money. As expected it irks the naagin and she gets into the city and goes on a rampage. There is no reference point for how an ‘ichchadhari naagin' dresses or speaks. So Lynch keeps it simple for Mallika. She doesn't speak, she doesn't wear anything. When she tries to cover up, it is always with bedsheets or tight cholis. A no-nonsense police officer (Irrfan Khan), who has his own ‘issues' at home, takes over the case and we expect some fun. Not to be, as Jennifer loses the plot.

Irrfan looks out of place, the special effects are tacky and the rubber snakes which are busy copulating whenever and wherever they get an opportunity fail to leave an impact.

A.K.

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