December 12, 2019
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Darna Zaroori Hai

The prologue takes potshots at the own banner of RGV, at the failure of Darna Mana Hai...Trouble is that the self-mocking tone gets way too persistent.

Darna Zaroori Hai
Darna Zaroori Hai
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, Suneil Shetty, Rajpal Yadav, Manoj Pahwa, Sonali Kulkarni, Zakir Husain etc
Director: Ram Gopal Varma, Sajid Khan, Prawal Raman, Manish Gupta, Chekravarthy, Jijy Philip, Vivek Shah
Rating: **

Much like the preceding Darna Mana Hai, Darna Mana Hai's narrative consists of six scary stories and another to bind them into a whole. What's more, this time each of these short films have been handled by a different director, making it possibly the first Bollywood film with seven directors on the credits. It also boasts of another interesting strategy—a prologue to kickstart the film and link it to the prequel: a story about an uncouth filmbuff (Pahwa) who watches every film "first day, last show". What happens to him when he goes to see Darna Mana Hai, taking a short-cut to the theatre through the graveyard?

The prologue takes potshots at RGV's own banner, at the failure of Darna Mana Hai... It also plays on the regular horror devices—kabristan, amavas ki raat, Friday the 13th, peepal ka ped. Trouble is that the self-mocking tone gets way too persistent. The other episodes are all too slight and flimsy to hold well in even a 10-minute narrative format. Most deal with spooky houses, strangers knocking at the door or asking for lifts. They are not absorbing enough, the twist(s) in the tale(s) are predictable, the atmospherics, sound effects and even the humour gets repetitive. Like the jokes at the Karan Johar-Aditya Chopra combine in the Anil Kapoor episode are reminiscent of the take-off on Vidhu Vinod Chopra in Rangeela.

The worst story of the lot is about an insurance salesman (Yadav) who disturbs the afternoon cosiness of a couple (Sonali and Shetty) to peddle his policies. The pretence to irony here is utterly banal.

In retrospect, Darna Mana Hai seems far superior. The Roald Dahlish bizarre element there did work in at least two stories—the Boman Irani-Saif episode on the dangers of smoking and the Raghuvir Yadav episode on spooky homework. In Zaroori the only tingling moment is in the last story when an inspector (Zakir Husain) comes in the grips of a spirit. But even there you couldn't help not think of Norman Bates in the very last scene of Psycho.

High Fives

1. Gangster
2. Darna Zaroori Hai
3. Pyare Mohan
4. Humko Deewane Kar Gaye
5. Malamaal Weekly

1. R.V.
2. United 93
3. Stick It
4. Silent Hill
5. Scary Movie 4

Brit Rock Bands
1. Belle and Sebastien
2. Franz Ferdinand
3. Arctic Monkeys
4. Hard-Fi
5. Kasabian

Courtesy: Film Information

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