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Errors Hard to Detect

  • Ankur Pathak

    Ankur Pathak (50 DM Points)

    Desimartini | Updated - April 17, 2013 12:08 AM IST
    3.4DM (216 ratings)
    404 (Film)Watch trailerRelease date : May 20, 2011

    Films in Bollywood are on a breaking-norm spree. And the pace is swift. The initial half of this year has given us many surprises, and turkeys echoed of Thank You-ilk films, which actually is a good trend.

    If Ekta Kapoors dynamically written Shor in the City is a welcomed breakthrough, so is a sex-induced paranormal thriller Ragini MMS, or Dhobi Ghat, or for that matter this latest film 404 which cleverly disguises itself as a psychological thriller.

    Because, more than insanity, its the landscape fashioned to emit a horrific thrill that works.

    This high profile medical college is infamous for a notorious room that saw a students suicide, triggered by nasty ragging inflicted by the seniors. Word spreads about room no 404s haunted nature. So it remains potted, while the ragging flourishes. New student Abhimanyu (an instant winner, Rajvvir Arora) is a science worshipper and wouldnt pay heed to irrationality. Supporting him is internationally famed professor Aniruddh Laurence (a terrific Nishikant Kamath). Thus, deliberately Abhimany decides to take room 404, and the paranormal cum mystical turn of events follow, whilst mystery ensues about Abhimanyus mental stability, Professor Anirudhs more than average involvement, and an eerily uncomfortable looking Chris (Imaad Shah, an apt choice) part in the dramatic twirl.

    404 champions itself on a terrifically penned screenplay. And this is complimented by its pacing, which isnt dull one bit. It looks as if you enter the theatre, and there is a non-stop mind-exercise, making you anticipate, and guess, but rest assured none of your suppositions might hit the bulls eye.
    Yes, the climax is shockingly written. And that shocks alright.

    And stuns you for more than one minute after the end credits disappear.

    The film manages to spook just with plain situations that arise in the madness. So if the long, secluded corridors of the hostel are fear inducing, equally panic-arousing are Chriss antiques, and that Abhimanyus terrifying trail alongside Prof Aniruddh.

    The film opens showing eccentric opening credits, with a disturbingly beautiful background track. The tunes (Sameeruddin) composed are so haunting, and creepy, yet so serene, it in full totality matches an A-list Hollywood biggie. And so are the camera movements Savita Singh captivates as she captures the lawns and the lanes, with repetitive styling displaying a unique panache.

    International stuff.

    The performances are delightfully pleasing. Nishikant Kamath as a genius psychiatrist gives a master act, and so does the ever reliable Tisca Chopra.
    Rajvvir Arora manages to show nuances of a nervous yet partly confident teenager perfectly. He transforms from a self assuring fresher to being psychotically delusional.
    And so does Imad Shah, reminding of his veteran father in every shot he is. Satish Kaushik adds the humor, giving us a balanced canvas.

    As Prawaal Ramans direction leads us to an agreeably appalling climax, we sit jolted on our seats, waiting for that one turn that might just alter the dynamics, so far conjured.
    So for all the turns that shock, and performances that are never low, and for a skilful editing (which still couldve been slightly taken care of) , 404 is stuff, that achieve cult status.

    And this one will, surely, and very soon.

    Do not commit an error by not visiting this one in the theatres. It wouldnt be same back home.

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