Raaz, The Mystery Continues

Raaz, The Mystery Continues
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Kangana Ranaut, Adhyayan Suman, Jackie Shroff
Director: Mohit Suri
Wafer-thin model is handed keys to plush apartment by loving boyfriend. She is thrilled. So is he. To prove they are really, really happy, the duo swings into frenetic activity in the bedroom. Soon after, said model starts appearing on the dripping, bloody canvasses of a bearded painter.

Forging a connection between the trio keeps Mohit Suri busy for an interminable two-and-a-half hours. And this is what he stuffs the film with a saffron-clad 'sadhu' who is more sinner than saint, a cop who has deep gashes on his neck, a fat 'firang' who goes in for exorcism by a bunch of ashen 'aghoris' (these are the guys who chant around a fire in the dark of the night). Dark rooms. Overflowing bathtubs. And a vengeful ghost, who sometimes appears in the body of the leading lady, at the bottom of a deep well at other times, and floating around in the ether, at still others.

Raaz, The Mystery Continues proves several things. First off, Kangana Ranaut needs a radical change of image. She's been spending a lot of screen time teetering on ramps, and being hysterical. Here she adds oodles of red paint to her arsenal. It appears, variously, on her face, slashed wrists, and bare back.

Adhyayan Suman, the boyfriend, is better here than he was in his debut, but not by much. He gets to suck lip with Kangana, though, piping his serial kisser co-star, who doesn't get any. Emraan Hashmi is confined to stroking his beard, looking intense, and clutching a small copy of the Gita. It's to chase away ghosts, he declares, giving it to Kangana, never realising for an instant that it's his father (Jackie Shroff) who is the confused 'bhoot'.

It also proves that the director may be good at creating suspenseful drama but he hasn't a clue about this genre. The plot, such as it is, seems to consist of scenes cobbled from many ghostly tales (the bath-tub is from The Ring; so is the well). He would have done well to have cogged from the first Raaz, which was one of the biggest hits of 2005: Dino was satisfactorily puzzled, Bipasha sizzled, and the ghost was truly scary. Here, Kangana has a brave bare-all scene but she is a damp squib.

As is the film.

shubhra.gupta@gmail.com

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