Movie review: Agyaat

Agyaat

Cast: Nitin Reddy, Priyanka Kothari, Gautam Rode

Director: Ram Gopal Varma

A film unit goes deep into a jungle for a shoot where people start dying in mysterious, violent ways.

Ram Gopal Varma takes this one-line premise, and makes a two-hour movie. Only a few scenes succeed in startling you. And you spend the rest of the time wondering where the director who gave us such splendid fear-fests as 'Raat' and 'Bhoot' has vanished.

In the best horror films, there are always patches when someone is closing their eyes, and clenching their fists, and clutching the person sitting next to them. There's not one such moment in 'Agyaat', as the characters—one number curvaceous heroine (Priyanka, previously Nisha, Kothari), one muscle-bound hero (Gautam Rode), one love-lorn assistant director (Nitin Reddy), and assorted others—go round and round in circles trying to escape the vicious entity after their lives, leaving pools of bubbling blood behind. Result: more blah than hold-me-please-I'm-ssssscared.

Ramu usually does well with jungles. His 'Jungle' had a fearsome cast, a striking bandit based on the late unlamented Veerappan, and an ultra-sexy item number. His thickets in 'Darna Mana Hai' housed a genuinely scary ghost. In this one, the forest is satisfactorily dense, but the man-eating thing in there is much too invisible for its own good. It's just a loud screech in the distance, and a rushing furrow in the ground, both of which can happen in your neighbourhood well-manicured park, too.

The film ends with the declaration that a second part is in the works. Help.

Rating: ** (two stars)

(shubhra.gupta@expressindia.com)

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