NEW DELHI

More to the mystery.... Cinema

Rana Siddiqui Zaman

RAAZ – THE MYSTERY CONTINUES

(At Delite Diamond and other theatres in Delhi and elsewhere)

The mystery continues with sudden extinguishing of lighted candles, blinking and beeping of bulbs, the thud of a falling book, smashing of glass frames, shrieking sounds of deforming objects, …and whatever spooky you can expect from a seemingly horror film.

It’s the story of an ambitious fashion model, Nandita (Kangna Ranaut). She stirs the confidence of her ordinary news reporter lover Yash (Adhyanan Suman) by asking him to rise above his status and become a rich man by “showing the truth and selling dreams”. Successful in her attempt, she gets perturbed when she finds a painter, Prithvi (Emraan Hashmi), who gets premonitions, chasing her. He tells her that she will die a tortuous death. His words turn real as she is frequently attacked and tormented by intangible forces. In the process of finding out the truth of the torture, she ends up unravelling mysteries that takes her to the past karmas of Yash, Prithvi, his inspector father (Jackie Shroff) and her own.

Spun in between are assorted social issues of multinational corporations polluting Indian waters, nexus of the law and the business of spirituality. The message of “evil within” is refreshing but not the method. Yawn!

The film disturbs but doesn’t scare.

Kangna impresses immensely with those longing eyes that speak a thousand words. Adhyayan after his debacle in his debut film Haal-e-Dil seems to have really worked hard to match up to her acting skills. Apart from the songs, what may pull you is the cinematography and special effects. Long shots spanning the inside view of a five-star hotel, and seascapes at Cape Town heal your headache. But that cannot be the excuse to watch a film that doesn’t thrill. Watch it if you are a diehard Kangna fan, or reserve your money for something better.

AASMA – Sky is the Limit

(At PVR/Europa Gurgaon and other theatres in NCR)

An ensemble cast of struggling actors and those who want to be a big fish in a small pond has together pulled up this film with a clichéd story of building a theatre group spun around the issue of AIDS. But the film nonetheless is successful in portraying the ground realities of struggling theatre actors in India.

Debutante Shubh, a theatre actor from Delhi, has reserved the responsibilities of concept, screenplay and dialogue to himself.

Director Rohit Nayyar, an assistant to Raj Kanwar, a veteran of Bollywood, makes his debut too.

Filled with barely seen actors like Hrishitaa Bhatt, Nauheed Cyrusi, Haamid Khan, Maansi Dhoval, Khushboo Grewal, Aditya Lakhia, Sachin Khedekar, Sunil Rege, Ravi Gossain and Joysen Gupta, the film is about a group of young struggling collegians. Meanwhile the protagonist (Shubh) finds he is infected with AIDS for no fault of his own. Some friends turn foes and some support him and they churn out successful productions to enter a competition.

Shubh is promising but Raghubir Yadav as a veteran playwright is not shown doing even one play! The film looks like a TV serial with amateur actors who have energy minus depth.

Music by Afsar and Sajid is the only saving grace of the film.

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