Saturday 17 September 2016

Raaz Reboot Review

Raaz Reboot

Has any good ever come out of a family moving to a new place in hopes of a new, rejuvenating lifestyle? And have 'they' really done everything 'they' can to make a movie out of it and present the same to us on the celluloid? No. A resounding NO. 'Raaz reboot', a movie which is as clumsy as its title, confirms to these questions and presents the viewer yet another half-baked, brainless and altogether gawky picture for our beloved Fridays.

The most peculiar thing I have observed about this trend of Bollywood movies to base almost the entirety of their production in foreign locales is that you can see one frame of it and tell that it's a Bollywood movie. I mean, what is this uncanny knack that Indian film-makers have at making their films look Indian? There is an introductory shot taken from a postbox height level of a chilly Transylvanian setting and there is no Indian artist to be seen. And yet you feel like it's an Indian setting, with the shots probably taken out of Ooty in winters!! Okay that was a bad joke but really, when you cannot even make the railway station look different from a Himachal toy train point, there is no point in wasting insane amounts of money to shoot in exotic locations. The big budget film-makers should rather take a break from this fad and for once invest in an authentic, full fledged script for a change.

So two newly wed utterly successful good-looking individuals move over from Mumbai to Transylvania. I say two individuals although they are a couple because then I would have to drop those adjectives to go on with. To lay it as simply as I can, Gaurav Arora (as Rehan) and Kriti Kharbanda (Shaina) look like two logs from different trees that have been put on the screen because Hey, they are good-looking logs. As far as their chemistry is concerned, something which had to be an integral part of the film for the climax to work, is completely lacking and this is apparent from the very first frames of the movie. Yes they have a secret between them and 'it will pull them apart', something which is repeated so many times in the first twenty minutes itself that it felt like the producers went on a frenzy and said, "Look, I don't care what the movie does but you have to sell the name again and again so it reminds people of the infinitely better Bipasha film of the same name". Again, this little secret will go on to take a dump over the whole timeline of the story with a non-linear plot device thrown in to include an obvious twist.

If I were to tell anymore about the movie, I would be giving out spoilers which if you have read other reviews have totally blurted out. And I don't blame them. The plot is so paper thin that reviewers can't help themselves. Instead let's talk about the performances. Hmm, that's an interesting part for me to write about than for you to read. Kriti Kharbanda, in her introductory role, at least looks good on the screen. She does have the charm of an actress and the weight she is pulling on herself with a big first film will likely wear off if she gets further projects. On the other hand for Gaurav Arora, it's a whole different game. But for his voice, which is also used in voice-overs throughout the film, he would have been another in line of those hunky models who are thrown into the film for the looks factor. When will these guys learn to act? Even an actor of the caliber of Emraan Hashmi gets sacrificed when thrown in the midst of such rocks. Bollywood should move to good actors in cinematic films soon enough or the pretentious cinema will take the cake and eat it too. I understand that horror movies is the only genre where you do not need big starts for a hit but then you need a script to back up your film. And again, who am I kidding, this film could have been made twice as good with some powerful performances in spite of all its flaws. The last nail in the coffin proves to be the music of the film which is forgetful and ineffective to say the least. The first two films in the original trilogy worked largely because of the sound effects and musical breaks for the audiences while apart from the titular song here, everything else is pathetic.

The major elements that the film deals with include those of Christian Exorcism techniques and that of the Church, something that we have seen way too much in Hollywood. And the makers have literally copied some instances frame-by-frame from some of the Hollywood greats the names of which I wouldn't even mention in the same review as that of this film. Why can't the makers understand that they need to move on to original content and innovative ideas as opposed to this basic B.S. Look at a film like Raaz(2002) with Bipasha and Morea and although it's 'inspired' from a fully fledged film, it had the elements and the knowledge to make it work. The makers knew that the vast majority of Indian audiences would not have even heard of 'What Lies Beneath' and still they spent considerable money and time to get things right in that movie. Fast Forward 14 year later and they can't even realize that this is a completely different India that loves throwing Hollywood in their faces every chance it gets. That said, the film-makers needed to work equally good, if not better, to sell a horror movie.

All in all, the rebooted Raaz franchise is likely to be put on hold after this catastrophe and if they do make one anytime soon, they better get a good script for the same and better yet, cast Kangna Ranaut as the lead star. Anything different and I don't see a future for the camp.

Bandwidth Verdict- There is one and only thing which you can like about this film. And what is it? I wouldn't tell. Let it be a 'Raaz' for your own good :p

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