Gone are the days where Ramsay Productions would jut out movies with scary bhoots and zombie-like monsters. Looking back, those movies seem humorous rather than horrific. Cut to the 21st century, and horror is a genre that has not been taped by Indian filmmakers. In the last decade or so we have seen a few flicks that did manage to make our hair stand and make us shudder in our chairs. Ram Gopal Varma’s Bhoot takes the crown with last year’s Phoonk and 1920 following close behind. Raaz starring sultry Bipasha Basu and hunky Dino Morea attempted successfully to cause some frights but more attention was definitely paid to the onscreen chemistry of then lovers Basu and Morea. So when the Bhatt’s decided to make a second installment to the Raaz series, audiences expected some serious chills. Did this awaited sequel manage live up to its creepy hype?
Nandita (Kangana Ranaut) is a supermodel – where have we seen that before – in love with atheist television host of a reality show, Yash (Adhyayan Suman). All is well until one day she is cornered by a psychic painter Prithvi (Emraan Hashmi) who claims that he can predict her future in his art. At first she thinks he is nothing but a psychotic stalker but slowly sees that his artwork with there premonitions coming true. When painter boy finally tells her that his painting speaks of her dying, she realizes that the only way to save her life is to solve the mystery. Boyfriend Yash is not happy with her decision, tells her she needs to see a doctor and says Prithvi is a hoax. When she asks for his support, he quickly dismisses her and she decides to take on the responsibility of saving her own life herself. Painter babu and supermodel set out to unravel the mystery in the outskirts of the country encountering some scary and freaky moments.
The movie deals with believers and non-believers of Divinity and God as well as the contradiction of the globalization of India and its deep spiritual history. Director Mohit Suri, who is only a few movies old, has managed to keep the scare factor very much alive and kicking, causing quite a few screams. Most of the moments which are meant to be terrifying manage to do just that as well as seeming dauntingly realistic. The movie could have gone incredibly wrong and looked incredibly fake, if not handled with the maturity and style Suri has used in his directing techniques. The script has some holes but that can really be ignored for the most part. In terms of flaws, the climax is a let down to the buildup that Suri incorporates up until the conclusion of the movie. Add to that a more flat and yawn-worthy second half, which really causes you to head for some popcorn — extra butter. On the music side ‘Soniyo’ and ‘O Jaana’ are the two tracks to watch out for.
Casting of the movie was quite literally perfect. Kangana Ranuat, repeating a Fashion in her avatar of supermodel, has taken the possessed role and performed it to the T. At no point in her performance did it seem unnatural or overdone. Emraan Hashmi, shedding the Casanova stereotype too is one to watch out for in his enactment of a future-seeing painter. Together, once again, the duo adds some extra screams as the painter and his muse. Adhyayan Suman is a surprise and his confidence is really impressive. The real-life romance between Ranaut and Suman is obvious and has been used for the films benefit.
Similarities between Raaz and Raaz 2 are inevitable, and there are some parallels between the two. For starters, both movies starred real life couples: Bipasha and Dino in the first; Kangana and Adhyayan in the latter. Both movies deal with spirits and their need to take revenge on mankind. The USP for both flicks, especially Raaz 2 is that they intend to cause fear and they do so with great