Director: Pawan Kripalani
Producers: Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor
Cast: Raj Kumar Yadav, Kainaz Motivala
Cinematographer: Tribhuvan Babu
Music director: Shamir Tandon
It’s not easy to scare people, tougher still when all you have is a secluded mansion, a couple and an evil spirit living in it. How long can you keep the audience intrigued with just two people and one that doesn’t even exist? But Ragini MMS keeps you glued to the screen from frame one, till the very end. Well, almost!
Though this film belongs to the paranormal category, it is definitely a new offering for the mass audience – but not for the urban audience or multiplex-goers. Still, the movie will be appreciated by an elite audience well-versed in paranormal movies, thanks to the way it has been treated and presented, with some titillating scenes, dialogue and, of course, terror (horror). There is abusive language and an element of sex but they don’t look cheap, another department where this film scores.
About the film… a couple – Ragini and Uday – set out to have a dirty weekend at a friend’s farmhouse on the outskirts of Mumbai. The house is rigged with cameras, Bigg Boss-style (There’s no Bigg Boss here but there’s someone else… Shhhh!). But the cameras, meant to capture the couple making out, instead capture something beyond the realm of human understanding.
Within the confines of this house, Ragini and Uday are now at the mercy of an inexplicable paranormal force. And what follows makes your hair stand on end.
The movie kicks off very well and you get to know the personalities of both the protagonists almost immediately. The initial scenes are pretty enjoyable but the film takes a turn the moment the couple reaches the house. The approach to the house from the main gate already has you on edge, making you expect someone to appear any instant. But nothing happens till sundown. You’re relieved that the action will not start so soon and that’s precisely where the eerie fun begins!
This film is different from the other horror movies released recently as it doesn’t hinge on some creepy looking creature. Minus a scary face (thank goodness!), it’s the treatment and tempo that keep you rivetted. Another plus – objects don’t suddenly shake, jump or fall (there’s a bit of this in the climax), and you’re introduced (read shown) to the evil-spirit at the right moment. And get this. It doesn’t appear when you expect it to and it does when you least expect it! The cat-and-mouse game between the audience and the writer and director makes this product a treat.
OK, now the loopholes… First, why does the evil spirit take so long to teach the couple a lesson? Why can’t she (the evil-spirit, not Ragini) murder the couple when they enter the house? Also, why does she (again, the evil spirit, not Ragini) strike only when someone enters a particular room?
You’re also led to believe that the entity wants to convey that she’s not the killer but she does nothing to prove her point. Also the way the climax has been shot (certain sections of the audience may find it interesting) leaves you a little confused. Finally, the film drags towards the end.
Having said that, the film is definitely a must-watch. One thing leads to another, building momentum and along with that, anticipation, as the film progresses. The highlight of the movie is that every shocking scene paves the way for an element that’s even more shocking. And though there’s no scope for songs, they have been blended in very well and they go with the flow of the film.
A big thumbs up for everyone in the creative department, from writers (Pawan Kripalani, Vaspar Dandiwala) to cinematographer (Tribhuvan Babu) to background scorers (Faizan Hussain, Agnel Boman) to editor (Pooja Ladha Surti). Everyone has given of their best and together, they make a total entertainer. And a round of applause for Pawan Kripalani, director and the captain of the ship.
Each of the protagonists – Raj Kumar Yadav and Kainaz Motivala – deserves a pat on the back. They are fantastic, especially Motivala. There’s sheer terror on her face when confronted by an evil spirit and a corpse by her side. Her expressions and mannerisms are first-rate.
Verdict: Made on a moderately low budget and considering the hype around the film, it will definitely be a money-spinner.