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Ragini MMS (2011) – Movie Review

Ragini MMS

Written by: Vaspar Dandiwala & Pawan Kripalani, with dialogue by Mayank Tewaari
Directed by: Pawan Kripalani
Starring: Kainaz Motivala, Raj Kumar Yadav

Finally this horror movie–which has been all over the news for its tagline and publicity campaigns–hits the theatres. The trailers gave a good insight into what to expect from this movie, which is trying to make a mark in the Bollywood Sensuous Horror genre–and it delivers what it promises. It is a low budget movie with relatively unknown actors, however that does not deter it from what it tries to achieve: namely, thrill the audience. The movie is about a couple who are on a romantic weekend getaway, and end up in a house which is haunted. What transpires over the weekend in the haunted house forms the story.

First things first. Yes, there is good amount of inspiration taken from Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity in terms of how the movie unfolds and some of the scary moments. The premise of the movie is really simple and almost the entire run-time of the movie occurs inside a single set–that of the haunted house–and the whole movie revolves around the couple and the paranormal activity which they experience. The movie starts off slowly but gathers sufficient pace as it progresses. All the happenings are depicted through a handy-cam and fixed cameras, which add to the realistic sense of the proceedings. A big positive is that the amount of camera jerks are minimal, when compared to the two Hollywood blockbusters which inspired it. However, the movie holds its own as the story unfolds and the supernatural activity begins.

[ad#longpost]The one thing that is needed for a film of this genre–especially one with few characters–is the performance of the leads, and this is where Ragini MMS really scores. Raj Kumar Yadav and Kainaz (the couple) play their part extremely well. They are very natural and being new to the industry do not come in with any sort of audience expectations. They carry the entire movie on their backs. Special mention to Kainaz, who unlike all the actors preceding her in all kinds of horror movies does not scream her throat sore–which, trust me, is a nice respite for the ears. She emotes extremely well, displaying a varied range of emotions. Raj Kumar plays his role of the foul-mouthed boyfriend well, and makes one hate him to the core–which is as per the demand of his character. There is lot of dark humor included at the right moments which makes one laugh their hearts out, and again it’s all thanks to the performance the actors put it.

Full marks to the writers, Vaspar Dandiwala and Pawan Kripalani: they ensure the film unfolds superbly, maintaining adequate balance between the sensuous acts and the thrills and chills. Pawan scores in both the departments of direction and writing. This is surely an impeccable effort by him for his first movie. The director has ensured real fear is displayed by the actors–it’s overall a super effort! The background score does not disappoint either. And brownie points go to the production house Balaji for ensuring there are no songs in the movie. Most producers are forced to add in songs, for a hit song ensures quite a lot of good publicity. But well done Balaji, for not budging on that point!

Coming to the amount of sensuous scenes and talks which again gave this movie a lot of mileage during promotions, yes, there is quite a lot of it. There is liberal usage of profanity as well. However, the movie manages pretty well to distance itself from being called simply a B-grade horror movie. This kind of storytelling is something which has not been seen before in Bollywood, and if you like the horror genre this one surely won’t disappoint. Moreover, if movies like Paranormal and Blair Witch excite you, then you’ll certainly lap this up.

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