Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ragini MMS (2011)

An ode to the guy I go to for an update and a better (funnier) insight on the genre of Horror movies, M'hael.

"Despite the repeated jump scares and the less than impressive CGI, this movie does somewhat pull Indian Horror outta the ol' rut" 

Sub-Genre: Horror, Supernatural/Haunted House

Cast Members of Note: Kainaz Motivala (Wake Up Sid), Raj Kumar Yadav (Love, Sex Aur Dhoka) 

What's it About? - A couple go out of town for a 'dirty' weekend (quite presumably) to a lonely, deserted house only to realize their little party will soon be thrashed by the spirit of a Marathi woman (who looked much like the stereotype of a Bombay Bai), accused of witchcraft and killed (assuming years back!) by neighbours (or was it family?) who believed she killed her own children. 

Also, what Ragini doesn't know is that the house is set up with cameras everywhere including the bathrooms (where the cameras would blur her nether regions) and some dingy rooms where only action one can capture is rodents going anal on each other. 

All you get is prolonged first base. Yes, even them rodents do it hotter. Wonder why the Censor Board rated it A?
After a few teasers, jump scares and Ragini's uninvited friends dropping in & also teasing the audience, followed a whole lot more teasers and jump scares. Even as Ragini and deutche bag boyfriend get down to "business" (For the BF, making both 'love' & 'quick cash'), they don't go as far as even groping each other, forget any clothes coming off. And no no, the ghost ain't to be blamed. If you can't get beyond first base in 10 mins and are still playing coy with the camera, well your prude ass deserves to be scared the shit out of. 

Tsk...pussy! The BF i.e.! 

The Good - Pawan Kripalani didn't do a ham of a job with this one. He kept the audiences on the edge of their seats. Well he kept me on the edge of my palm covering my face. But then again, I scare too easily but get disturbed with that much more difficulty. There were some remarkable moments of creep when BF suddenly and randomly speaks in Marathi saying, "I am not a witch". It wasn't even a moment that was taken very seriously by the gf or the audience but had an insidious effect in setting the platform for the 'scare'. Although, the Marathi rambling of the spirit got a li'l too repetitive and comical eventually, the idea of a spirit rambling in regional language was quite clever and the words were deathly too. The actors have been highly praised for convincingly playing their parts and I wouldn't disagree too much. They were also quite unflinching in the exhibition of their sexual prowess, which is still very rare for Indian actors but for the old farts in the censor board and their 16th century concept of shame in sexuality.

The Bad - Although the movie was a 'thrilling' experience of sorts for me, there were no take aways. There was so much more that the spirit could have done other than ramble Marathi, slap, move stuffs and nonsensically kill people. Indians have a long way to go with special effects amongst many other things. Since the spirit was a old Marathi woman, they could have had make up do more justice to her gory appearance than a CGI blur, which would have worked better if it was the spirit of a younger, well toned woman.
                         Special effects aside Indian writers need to start being a little bit more imaginative than the tried, tested and even loved formula of 'purani haveli', 'chudail' and all such familiar keywords. Granted this movie was a first of its kind and wasn't as terrible as potentially anticipated by me but reinventing the wheel (read, Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project) gets you no brownie points for originality, even though we're just habituated to rehashed stuffs now.

My friend Neha, who unlike me, was laughing her head off at the jump scares said, "My only takeaway from Ragini  MMS is to never let a guy handcuff me" 
The Downright Horrendous - Masochist Ms. Kapoor wanted to ensure the script had every opportune moment of a BC/MC expletive. And as parochial and imaginative she is, decided to draw up a character of an abusive and disrespectful boyfriend who, of course, trapped innocent li'l Ragini into his pyaar ka jaal (Now I know how it feels like to write for Delhi Times). Essentially, there isn't much of a difference between her soaps and movies only she gets to release a lot more libido in the latter, which is only as much as a finger bath for me. 

The Gory - Again, so much scope for gore that was wasted because make up artists couldn't have done convincing jobs and a CGI would have just looked shoddy. The part when Ragini slits her wrist to lose free from the cuffs was good but then again she didn't go as far as amputating herself, which could have added gore substance to the movie. Imagine if she had only one hand to carry the cam with the other bleeding out. Yes, I'm sick but apparently that's what it takes to write good horror scripts.

The Naked - If the lack of boink boink in the movie will dissappoint you, you'd probably want to ask for at least half your money back since only as much as bra straps were coyly flashed for 2 seconds and tank top on! Dirty weekend indeed...spent on watching this movie! 

What did we learn ? Again, don't let anyone handcuff you in a creepy ol' house in the middle of nowhere. This can't go the right way even without a supernatural presence. 
Also, if you're a South Bombay/Delhi bred, there are more varieties of bad boys out there than the "West Delhi, 'Jat Boy' sticker on the car shield" kinds. 

Makepeace says: B-

                              The B for trumping over the contemporary history of bad Hindi horror movies like Vaastu Shastra, Hawa, Bhoot or even the competition, Haunted 3D and its attempt to be creepy. The negative marking for still repeating the same ol' mistakes and for the nth time I will say it, the friggin' jump scares. Its not a good horror movie if I didn't see most of the scenes because of my neuro-biological defence mechanism towards loud thuds and 'here and gone' appearances. 

Final Thoughts: (forced by practise and tradition)


1 comment:

  1. one of the worst movie i ever watched...still repents on my decision to watch it even though accidentally.

    My friends made me pay for the movie as i decided to watch this when we didn't get the ticket for another movie. Need i say more?