In Low Spirit…
By MovieTalkies.com, 05 March 2010
It's time for chills, spills and... a few mediocre thrills. Rajesh Ranshinge does not manage to get it all right with his horror flick 'Rokkk', but somewhere along the line he does manage to create an eerie atmosphere, sending shivers up your spine along the way. As for the rest, when the plot unfolds, like all Hindi horror films, it takes resort to the typical angry, avenging spirits, spells, healers and all that kind of masala. The difference between this film and a Ramsay horror film is only the manner in which the screenplay unfolds, for which one must credit the director. He is not working from the greatest of stories, but his screenplay manages to keep one hooked to a large extent, especially in the second half.
The story hinges around a young girl, Anushka (Tanushree Dutta), who marries a much older Ravi (Sachin Khedekar), much against the wishes of her mother. Ravi marries her shortly after the death of his first wife. They begin their married life in a new house, bought by the husband for his young wife. However, strange events occur in the house which leaves Anushka disturbed. The house is haunted by a child, who makes her do strange things.
Anushka is unable to share her fear with Ravi, as he dismisses it as her hallucination. The couple shifts back to their old home but the ghoulish spirit seems to follow them there as well. Anushka lands up at the asylum, but the spirit follows her there too. She seeks the help of a healer, played by Arif Zakaria, but it seems that the only thing that can stop the spirit is the big black book. Meanwhile, Anushka's sister Ahana (Udita Goswami) enters the scene and tries to save her sister from the spirit.
'Rokkk' begins on a rather pedestrian note and its climax is quite predictable. There are no real surprises in store or any twist in the tale which which could leave one gasping. The chills in the movie are quite spaced out, thus ensuring that the chill factor is there in bits and pieces only. Also, the film's script is riddled with loopholes as it is never very clear why Anushka would agree to marry a much older man in the first place.
The film does seem to get into some sort of a groove with the second half, especially with the entry of Udita's character in the plot as the spirit turns its attention onto her. The writing in this part of the film is somewhat better and hence, seems to hold one's attention. But the director is unable to rise above the formulaic, clichéd climax and thus lift the movie from the morass of mediocrity.
Sound effects go a long way in creating the fear factor in a horror flick. In 'Rokkk' too the director uses sound to create the required effect, which he succeeds in doing as well, but there is no real originality to speak of. The special effects, with regard to the spirit are quite ordinary.
The film's proceedings rest mainly on the shoulders of Tanushree and Udita and both girls gamely rise to the challenge with spirited performances. They are very well supported by Ashwini Kalsekar and Arif Zakaria. Shaad Randhawa as the cop has little to do, but he is competent, as are Murli Sharma and Sachin Khedekar.
In the final analysis, 'Rokkk' is a film which would have benefitted with a stronger script. The director does his best with the resources available to him and manages to invest the film with a certain atmosphere which works to the movie's advantage. The movie works, in a manner of speaking, even though it cannot be said to be anything better than ordinary.
Get spooked at your own risk.