wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?)
The age-old tug-of-war between blind faith and rationality continues. It horrifies, and gets you on the edge. But like all horror movies it also makes 140 minutes seem like much, much longer. Maybe I didn't enjoy it as much because I don't subscribe to the belief they endorse. But because there's some attempt to elaborate rather than skim, the watch wasn't a complete waste.Read more
NOT A REVIEW - Just waiting to see if the Bhatt camp manages to keep interest alive for 150 minutes...
The promos have very mundane text interspersed with whooshes and Kangna's screams and scary face appropriately. Looks like the average Joe-horror-thriller to me.
But, even if the Vishesh Films-Mohit Suri combination doesn't strike gold or even hit all the right chords with me, they are pretty fresh in the way the visuals are approached and the story is told. They generally stick to the dark side of life. Add horror to the mix and it could be very interesting indeed. Even if horror is not my favorite genre.
The official site for some reason is yelling at me - "tum ashudh ho, sudd chuke ho" (you are impure, you've rotted)...huh? why me? What did I do? :) So, there's some supernatural stuff involved. Going more into non-fan area.
Anyway, though the Bhatt family doesn't care too much for the masala formula, they have their own formula. So, I forecast - • An awesome opening sequence • one distraught species of the female kind, throughout • because she's the lady in distress, she needs to undress at least twice, and there's a bathtub involved somewhere • and not wanting to risk the audience losing interest, she'll be kept skimpily clad the rest of the time • aah...and since this is Kangna, her character will require her to catwalk and guzzle bottles of whiskey • she'll triple the size of her...eyes every once in a while to showcase her acting prowess • that's for the female lead - the male will follow her, sulk, try to help in random order • there'll be some awesome music to break the monotony • and a darkish climax
And believe me, as sarcastic as this all sounds, I do believe it has potential to be very interesting. Because what we are ready for, bothers us less. My real concern this time is its length - 2 and a half hours is a bit much these days - very difficult to be ready for...
- meeta, a part of the audience
God resides within us, we just need to check. OR
God is dead, it doesn't really matter how we behave. OR
God exists and he is happy/unhappy based on what we do/don't do. OR
God exists but won't help us unless we help ourselves. OR
Whatever!!? Who cares?
Each of the above value systems and more are represented by one or more characters in Raaz. Makes for interesting debate? Yes, but loses direction too, since it'd take some real skill to articulate things when you are taking on so many points of view.
Sure, there is a definite side that the movie ultimately takes, but some of the beliefs portrayed are scary. Not because of the appropriately used background music and sound design, or the jump-in-your-seat horrific visuals. But, because they are just so inhuman. I doubt all the makers subscribe to that way of life. But, I guess they do believe that the idea of inhumanity sells. And you know what the irony is? One of the characters is shown in bad light because he "sells" stories based on his campaign against superstition.
Anyway, getting out of all the theo-talk, so many types of characters ultimately leads to mega-confusion and also leaves each one of them pretty uni-dimensional. More so because pre-interval the characters and their situations take their own time to develop. And suddenly post-interval a host of new characters are introduced and obviously each one of them is vying for attention.
The plot that develops in the second half along with its sub-plots is interesting but the resolution is far from satisfactory. Usually unexplained issues increase the intrigue and I like them because they keep me thinking even after I've left the hall. But Raaz's climax feels like, "so much hoo-hah for this?" When they provide you with each line to join dots and leave one out so blatantly, it comes off more as a loophole than a 'point to ponder about'.
Mohit Suri, like always got me curious with the intense opening sequence. But it instantly infuriated me because of this piece I read a couple of days ago. How could they ask for any censor certificate other than 'A'?! I'd hate to see any child watching some of the visuals in the movie. Not to get very excited peoples, these are not X-rated visuals - these are just the kind that make you squirm and wait for the scene to get over.
However, there's Kangna Ranaut. So, there's enough skin-show too. She does well with her screaming scenes. What's interesting is that while I don't feel for her character, she does make me pray that I'm never in her position. I didn't identify with her character. But it made me go, "hell, I don't want to see the things she's seeing!" The director-actor duo seem to have done well together, because we've seen her do similar stuff earlier. She does look ravishing on the ramp too - but that too we've seen earlier.
Adhyayan needs to start at the basics - let's work on dialogue delivery to start with, get me interested as an audience. And till then DO NOT dance, please. Emraan Hashmi always makes a sincere effort. Since, the requirement for expressions is only bewilderment and care, he can't do much. But, at least he now has bagged the two.
An opening title card preaches Sant Kabir's doha asking us to look within ourselves before pointing fingers. The protagonist learns that the hard way. But the connection between what she goes through and why is very flimsy. Not to mention, what the movie tries to convey is the opposite of what I believe in. Yet, I also believe in respect for the opposite view. So, while I didn't agree with the stand taken, I didn't mind watching it and getting a wee bit terrified along with it too.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Sampurn, real bollywoood : ...Full marks to Mohit Suri for making that one kick-ass horror thriller which can easily put on par with Hollywood’s best in terms of plot, setting, technique and acting.... full review
So-So, by Sanjay Ram, Business of Cinema : ...RTMC is well crafted no doubt and kudos to Suri for that. The truth is that the film relies on the craftsmanship of Suri and the crew rather than having a strong story to tell... full review
So-So, by Aniruddha Guha, DNA : ...Having gripped you for half its screen time, the film falters towards the end. As the suspense unfolds, you start to lose connect with the characters and the finale leaves you completely unmoved.... full review
So-So, by Subhash K Jha, Now Running.com : ...Admittedly, the horror-fest in "Raaz" is created with more finesse than the other fear flicks that have invaded the large-screen in recent years.... full review
So-So, by aakash gandhi, Planet Bollywood : ...The execution lacks the edge-of-your-seat drive you look for in a thriller. Suri relies heavily on traditional scare tactics that appear wooden and ineffective.... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Nandita (Kangna Ranaut) has horrifying visions which look like some supernatural system is at play. Her boyfriend, Yash (Adhyayan Suman) won't hear of it because he doesn't believe in such mumbo-jumbo and actually has a reality TV show which exposes such blind faith. Blind faith Vs. rationality - let the game begin!