404 - Movie review

Published: May 21, 2011, 05:49 IST | Shubha Shetty-Saha

Dir: Prawaal Raman Cast: Nishikant Kamat, Imaad Shah, Satish Kaushik, Tisca Chopra

404
U/A; suspense, thriller
Dir: Prawaal Raman
Cast: Nishikant Kamat, Imaad Shah, Satish Kaushik, Tisca Chopra
Rating: ***



No, this is not a sci-fi action film nor is it about cyber crime. The name and the tagline of the film, 404 - Error Not Found, is misleading. After Ragini MMS and Haunted, Bollywood continues to flirt with ghosts, with its latest release, 404. However, this film is smart, dark and yes, spooky, too.

As soon as Abhimanyu (Rajvir Arora) and other juniors enter medical college, they are ragged by a bunch of seniors. These seniors are pro at the art of ragging and are unstoppable. Leading the pack of these sinister seniors is Chris (Imaad Shah). Then there is Abhimanyu, a confident young man, who is not afraid of Chris. The seniors are irked by his attitude and decide to harass him further. Professor Aniruddh (played by film director Nishikant Kamath) teaches psychiatry to students and is part of the guest faculty. Aniruddh and his lecturer wife (Tisca Chopra) stand in support of Abhimanyu.

Drama unfolds when Abhimanyu insists on moving into room number 404 in the hostel, which is kept locked after a student Gaurav committed suicide there. Abhimanyu doesn't believe in ghosts, but the seniors are hell bent on trying to instill fear in him. Slowly situation changes, and then starts the thrilling drama that reveals some horrific tricks that mind can play.

Debutant director Prawaal Raman, who has also written the script, offers a thrilling edge-of-the-seat fare. Not too gimmicky (except for the last scene, where Kamath's histrionics could have been controlled), the film is fast paced and has a taut script. It is one of those rare horror films, which is not dumb and in your face. Some scenes, however, are pretty predictable, like the one where Abhimanyu is cleaning the mirror of all the things in his room, facilitating the 'ghost' to show itself in it.

This is a limited budget movie and the compromises show on screen. Even though it is a huge medical college, only a handful of key students are seen everywhere, even during a protest march against the senior
students.

The cast is efficient. Kamath tends to go overboard at some points, but nevertheless, surprises with his acting capability. Imaad Shah is perfect and stays away from overdoing it though his character provides ample opportunity for exaggeration. The movie is totally watchable.

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