It’s Friday, and yet another film from the Raaz franchise hits the theatres today. Raaz Reboot has Emraan Hashmi, Gaurav Arora and Kriti Kharbanda in the lead, and is directed by Vikram Bhatt. So is this film worth your money? Read our movie review below..
What’s it about
Shaina (Kriti Kharbanda) moves back to Romania with her husband, Rehan (Gaurav Arora), after he is given a better offer there by his company. It was in Romania that these two met and fell in love, before getting married and moving to Mumbai. However, when they move to their new house, Rehan begins to act strangely and maintains distance from her. She also starts seeing terrifying apparitions at her new house. A month later, Rehan finds her inexplicably in a place 23 kms from her home, battered and bruised. She also begins to act possessed after that. What happened to her in that one month? What raazis Rehan hiding from her? And what the heck has Aditya (Emraan Hashmi) to do with all this? Raaz Reboot has a lot to answer, but whether it manages to do so convincingly…. Alas! That doesn’t happen.
The film has one very decent twist post interval that saves the film from being an absolute mess. I am not going to reveal that to you, but it could surprise people who have certain expectations about the film and its protagonists. Raaz Reboot is one such rare Bollywood film where the second half is better than the first half of the film, but that doesn’t stop the film from touching mediocrity at places. There are a couple of engaging sequences here that will mildly pique your interest. But it will also make you doubt whether it is too late to save the film by then, also leaving a lot of questions in the wake. Amidst the performers, Gaurav Arora is actually the best amongst the lot, speaking a lot through his eyes. Despite having nothing much to do in the first half, Emraan Hashmi gets to score in a few scenes in the second half, especially in the confrontation scenes with Gaurav.
For a film that’s called a Reboot, Vikram Bhatt doesn’t reboot any damn thing about how we make horror films in Bollywood. He has used the plot of the first film, put a a decent twist there (which is kinda predictable if you have a keen sense of plot), steals the scenes from his own films like 1920 series, while even borrowing elements from The Last Exorcism of Emily Rose and Paranormal Activity. And of course, there are those mandatory love songs thrown because, you know, that’s the procedure to make an assembly line Bollywood horror film. Never mind that one such song actually dispels all the tensions created in the previous scene. The first half of the film is very bland, same for a couple of scary sequences. While the twist is certainly interesting, when we think about it, many of the previous scenes actually make no sense. The entire plan of the malevolent spirit to take revenge looks too stretched even for a film like Raaz Reboot. There is another scene where Rehan is shown not being surprised when he finds out that his wife is in touch with a character, who shouldn’t be there in the first place. In fact, he behaves as if nothing out of the world has happened. Why did he even return to Romania, when he harbours a dark secret about the place, is beyond comprehension. Vikram Bhatt tries to make the film hip and relating to the modern times, with the frequent usage of the F-word and terms like psychometry.
But take that all away, and it’s just same ol’, same ol’ – creaky doors, blankets getting yanked away, loud BG that announces evil, gusts of wind. We live in an era, where films like Don’t Breathe show us you don’t even need ghosts to make a good scary movie. But in Bollywood, we still stick to age-old tropes like the power of mangalsutra and mantras to solve things. Speaking of scary scenes, well, there are a few, but you can smell them a mile. And the ridiculous getup of one character in the climax makes the supposedly tension-filled conclusion actually amusing.
It also worsens the situation that Kriti Kharbanda’s performance, which was to be the anchor of the film, oscillates from laughable (where she is supposed to be terrified) to half-decent (in the possession scenes). And in case you doze off in the middle of the film and later wake up and are confused about which movie you are watching, don’t worry. Every third dialogue uttered by every character has the word RAAZ in it.
The biggest raaz about the film is why this is even called a Reboot, when there is nothing new Vikram Bhatt has to offer. Apart from an interesting twist, the rest of the film is just bland! Watch it at your own risk.