"Its not a horror movie..its a supernatural thriller", was what it was being promoted as. Whatever! I went to Naina with three other friends of mine cos obviously watching a movie of this genre alone would be no fun at all...I shall not go into the storyline as I am sure all of us must have read the brief in atleast a million newspapers and heard the bried on another scores of channels...
Quiet honestly i went into see Naina expecting a fear psychosis kind of horror rather than a jump-out-of-the-seat horror...and it worked for me!
Yes..the film does have its moments of wanting to make you jump out of the seat...but its also more pyschological in nature..
Director Shripal Morakhia sure does have a story to tell...and he doesnt waste anytime getting into humdrumic love angles or any songs for that matter...
The second half especially blows you away with some amazing acting by newcomer Shweta Konnur and the lady who plays her mom. If you care for trivia, Shweta is quiet a common face on Indian television or atleast was...she had the second lead role in a serial called "Kamal' a balaji drama on a bar girl dancer sometime back on Zee. And believe me she was quiet a pathetic actress back then. She plays out her part amazingly well in this movie. The scenic locales of Rajahastan look quiet exotic. Beleivers of the horror genre will vouch for the innumerable tales that we keep hearing from such regions. I for one have come across a lot of tales from my friends who have stayed in Rajhastan of how the spirits and people with specail powers actually exist. Hence the scene is set for what seems to be the climax of the film. But hold on..the best is reserved for the end...the entire london station sequence is mind boggling and all i can say is that indian special effects are soaring to new heights!!! Anuj Sawhney is extremelly pleasant as Urmila's psychatrist cum love interest. He definetely doesnt have any godd dialogues, has to just pacify the heroine and look supportive all the time. But he does it with such dignity so as to make his presence felt in the movie. After Nayee padosan and Fantoosh, two unfortunate movies that i unfortunately happened to see, its quiet a relief to see that its upto a director to showcase talent. Given the right director, Anuj should go a long way.
But without doubt, its urmila who makes you sit up. SHe seems to have perfected the art of screaming and fidgeting and shivering and scaring in such movies. Right from the days of Kaun, she was awesome in such roles. Then came Bhoot and she showed that she too could walk away with some awards that too after acting in a horror flick, a genre which doesnt really get noticed forget even nominated at the awards ceremony. With Naina, she comes up trumps again, though Kaun and Bhoot were better performances than this.
Indian cinema is getting slicker in terms of production values. After Black this is the second movie this year that manages to create an international feel to it.
Full credit to Shripal Morkhia for directing a flick this well. Of course it again doesnt come anywhere close to the kind of direction that one happened to see in Bhoot by RGV but for afirst timer and compared to many other existing directors today, Shripal is A-Grade.
There have been a lot of criticism about this movie which i shall write about in my next post.
Final verdict: I dont believe in grading a film. I mean how does one decide between 3 and 4 or 4 and 5. Sometimes a movie just lies in between. Sometimes some aspects are good while others are awful!
Naina should be seen especially if you are a keen follower of the horror genre. Its one of the better films India has produced in this genre. Dont go in expecting to get scared. For therein lies the flaw. Go in expecting to see a nice supernatural flick and you'll come out happy. And compared to a lot of crap that has been releasing in the past week and making money (like Waqt which is making a killing at the box office, but is quiet easily one of the most pathetic movies made this year and Lucky which too has been declared an above average grosser and again makes many who have seen the movie shudder at the very thought of it!), Naina is an extremely different cinema and more importantly has a story to tell, something which is quiet a rarity in Indian cinema of late.