Kangana reprises traumatised woman`s role in `Raaz`( IANS Film Review )
A new kind of cinematic heroine was born
with Kangana Ranaut in the underrated Gangster. Since then, she has
played the dark traumatized woman baring her soul for the camera so many times
that you fear her forte would burst open at the seams.
Make no mistake...Raaz belongs to her. As a woman possessed, she
carries on this past year`s horror tradition propagated by Vikram Bhatt`s
1920 and Ram Gopal Varma`s Phoonk.
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.
But you wonder if this kind of blind faith is not blinding filmmakers to the
larger picture regarding the raison d`etre of cinema - to enlighten and educate
Sorry to say but Raaz is neither entertaining nor enlightening. And
educational? Well to say that spirits exist, and not just in champagne glasses,
in this day and age is going a bit too far.
Raaz parades a posse of perverse horrors. Often it goes brazenly
overboard with faces made-up like over-boiled potatoes and ghouls attacking the
horrified heroine in a thick jungle where she, and the director, have no
If in Gangster, Woh Lamhe and Fashion,
Kangana was possessed by demons from within, here the demons appear to have
invaded her body from the outside, jumping at her from bathtubs and mirrors.
On the whole, the narrative relies too heavily on false scares...hands reaching
out and grabbing Kangana that turn out to be known comforting ones, door knobs
being wrenched from the outside with banshee-like music to create a frenzy of
suspense, satanic rites and occultist acts being performed in the dead of the
When it comes to expressing the wages of sin, Kangana remains unsurpassable. She
pulls out all stops to deliver yet another fearless performance that`s a
treatise on trauma. Unlike her last act in Fashion, in Raaz
she suffers from an ambiguously-written character although she occupies more
space than her two leading men. Till the end, we don`t know what her actual
involvement with the macabre goings-on is.
We suspect, neither does the screenwriter.
Emran Hashmi, as the sullen painter who paints harrowing scenes from Kangana`s
life before they happen, brings a kind of austere urgency to his part. Looking
anguished comes naturally to him. Adhyayan Suman as the reality-television
anchor, who carries his penchant for staged realism too far, communicates a
certain earnestness in his performance. But he has a long way to go.
Alas, Raaz isn`t the vehicle to take its actors too far. It`s all
about making the audience jump out of its seat in horror rather than with
aesthetic delight. Its cumbersome heebie-jeebies punctuated by special effects,
which can at best be described as slightly scary, do nothing for the horror
genre or for the actors who struggle in ill-written parts.
Director Mohit Suri has done better for himself in Kalyug and Woh
Lamhe, where he addressed himself to the trauma of a woman forced into a
life of reluctant disrepute. Perhaps a woman coerced is more Suri`s domain than
a woman possessed.
This sequel to Raaz is finally worth watching for Kangana`s portrait
of traumatized womanhood. An act she has mastered. But it`s time now to move on.
A brooking artist prithvi experiences mysterious & distressing visions
about Nandita a woman he has never met which he paints on canvas. Intrigued by
these visions, Prithvi tracks her down and warns her that these are not merely
paintings of her, but accidents waiting to happen! At first, Nandita refuses to
believe him as an accentric stalker. However, the striking resemblance between
Prithvi`s paintings and the near death incidents in her life is hard to ignore.
Haunted by a series of deathly and paranormal experiences, her reason crumbles
in the face of fear.
Now, one of Prithvi`s paintings has revealed her as a dead. The only way she
can change her fate is to unravel this mystery with his help at the risk of
alienating herself from her boyfriend, Yash a rational and logical man who
refuses to believe in Prithvi`s premonitions. Will Nandita risk her love and her
life to unravel this mystery? Is there no escape?
Are some mysteries better left unsolved, some secrets left unanswered?