Films | Movie Reviews | FILM – 404

FILM – 404

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on May 20, 2011 | No Comments

PRODUCER – Nameeta Nair
DIRECTOR – Prawaal Raman
WRITER – (can’t find it anywhere on the net!)
CAST – Rajvvir Aroraa, Nishikant Kamat, Imaad Shah, Tisca Chopra, Satish Kaushik,
MUSIC – Sameeruddin

What happens to the mind when under intense pressure of suggestion? Is there a separate system of belief about what exists than the one we are fed upon, we consume and then act upon, Pavlov’s dog-like? The age-old debate of science vs nature takes on a slightly different scientific and paranormal argument in Prawaal Raman’s 404.

The film is a psychological thriller. A bright, young boy Abhimanyu decides to take up a haunted room of a student who committed suicide there. Seniors rag him to frighten him and make him leave the room but his rational side refuses to give into his fears. He starts seeing visions of the ghost even as his mentor and teacher Professor Aniruddh (Nishikant Kamath) try to bolster his scientific side. Aniruddh’s wife (Tisca Chopra), also a professor in the college helps him handle the pressure even as she deals with a soft hand with the prime culprit Chris (a confidently sinister and laid back Imaad Shah). But Abhimanyu’s hallucinations get worse as it starts getting revealed that Aniruddh has a higher stake and place in Abhimanyu’s experiences than was imagined.

The film tries to cut a fine argument by first trying to establish the irrationality of the supernatural. It also proclaims the archaic paranormal adventures with new-age explanations of ‘energy’. (The new-age-ness is reflected in the name too, which harks to the computer age error msg ‘404’) But science, the so-called protagonist of the film is the same age-old hero with his usual mechanics and lines. The slow and stodgy screenplay doesn’t help the process as the audience neither gets chilled by spooks nor thrilled by arguments.

A faulty expression of a fine reasoning apart, 404 also tries to highlight the issue of ragging as a strong under-current. Ragging forms the broad-based sub-text of the film and the film makes a valuably suggestive lesson in declaiming this evil.

The characters, minor and major have been written well and presented well too. For their part Rajiv Arora, Nishikant Kamath, Tisca Chopra, Imaad Shah and Satish Kaushik, perform with conviction and strong screen presence. A tighter screenplay would have helped the histrionics as well as the audience experience by miles. However, it is a competent direction that never allows the film falter and may just drive that dagger in your heart by suggestion or simply the reflection in the mirror.

FATEMA H.KAGALWALA

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