Darna Zaroori Hai

Darna Zaroori Hai is a film that belongs to the horror genre. In the Hindi film cinema not many films have been attempted recently in this genre. Horror is a genre which is quite a challenge to portray to the audiences. The most essential ingredient of any horror flick is to send deep chills down the audience’s spine Even the script needs to be downright spooky and mysterious. Dialogues and acting needs to be extremely convincing. Director Ram Gopal Varma had earlier too brought this genre to the fore with his horror flick, Darna Mana Hai. The film though novel in its concept, did merely average at the box-office. Now Varma has continued this ‘Darna Series’ and his latest series Darna Zaroori Hai attempts to spook the living daylights out of audiences.

Darna Zaroori Hai made under the Ram Gopal Varma banner attempts a different style of making a film. The film has seven different short stories. Each of these short stories has been directed by a different director and has a different set of characters. Varma is indeed a pioneer in attempting a different and new style of making a film in Indian Cinema. He has brought forth the concept of short stories and has taken a grave risk in doing so. Moreover, the horror genre only adds a more interesting touch to the film and there are a number of extremely talented actors in the film.

Short Story 1
This short story is directed by Sajiid Khan who makes his debut in this film. It stars Manoj Pahwa who is an eccentric movie buff and watches all the new films as soon as they release in the night. On this particular day Pahwa is going to watch the horror flick Darna Mana Hai; however his mother is apprehensive and warns him not to take the graveyard route that he often takes to the theatre. But Pahwa does not believe in ghosts and ignores his mother’s pleas. He goes through the graveyard path, watches the film, but on his way back home, he has a heart attack and dies.

This short story does have its captivating moments, but in it’s entirety it does not manage to create an impact that the first short story should have to pave the way for the other horror stories. The story is quirky and does not manage to make the viewer ready to jump out of his chair in fright. Director Sajiid Khan has however managed the execution with deft and apt. The plot at times resembles parts of Varma’s earlier horror film Darna Mana Hai. Pahwa manages to pull off his character well. But on the whole the story does not manage to chill you till the core.

Short Story 2
This one has been directed by Ram Gopal Varma himself and stars the talented Amitabh Bachchan and Ritesh Deshmukh. Bachchan plays an old professor who strongly believes there’s a ghost living with him in the house. He feels the presence of this ghost in different parts of the house, sometimes relaxing on his chair and sometimes rushing into the kitchen. The professor is perplexed and frightened at times, however he wonders if old age is catching up with him and he is merely hallucinating. He decides to confide the situation to one of his students, Ritesh. The student readily believes that the professor is going berserk and advices him to seek mental help. But one fine day, the ghost decides it’s finally time to reveal himself and does so in the mirror.

The story itself is not particularly frightening, but the climax is quiet interesting. It does give you a jolt for a few minutes. But that’s the only part that is captivating; the rest is just a highly dramatic build up. Too average a story for director Ram Gopal Varma, a below than expectation story by the talented director and it does not exactly fit into the theme of a horror flick. Amitabh and Ritesh too are merely average. An average but not spooky short story.

Short Story 3
This part of the Darna series is directed by the director of Darna Mana Hai. The story characters are played by Bipasha Basu, Arjun Rampal and Makrand Deshpande. One night, the car of a man who is traveling alone breaks down. He is on a deserted road with no help, but in the distance he manages to spot a lone bungalow. He decides to ask for help. A crazy, nutty couple (Bipasha, Makrand) live in this bungalow. They keep trying their best to scare off Arjun, but he claims that he does not believe in ghosts and does not scare easily. So finally Makrand decides to invite a spirit to the house. Well now that they have welcomed trouble, it does not seem to want to go away.

This one is interesting and has quite a few spooky elements. It manages to catch the audiences unaware and the climax too is done well. Director Raman has done a good job with his part of the series. Many of the scenes in this short story manage to give you a few chills up your spine. Finally a part that can actually fit into the genre of the movie. Arjun is quite capable in his part and the eccentric couple Bipasha and Makrand do make an odd couple which sort of enhances the story line. They are equally competent.

Short Story 4
This short story directed by Vivek Shah does not qualify as a horror story at all. There is a Mahrashtrian couple Sonali and Suniel Shetty. One day a door to door insurance salesman, Rajpal Yadav comes to their house with the pretext of selling premium insurance to them. But in actuality he’s just a con artist trying to steal from their house. Rajpal the salesman is a weird guy and behaves eccentric right from the start. They let this weird salesman come into their house and that is the biggest mistake this couple makes. They ultimately pay the price for letting a stranger into their house.

This one is more of moralistic story. It aims to teach the audiences a lesson, rather than scare them. The story does not fit into the genre once again, and this is evident even in the style presented by Shah. The happenings in this short story could be termed weird and ironical, but not frightful at all. Average performances by all three actors in their parts.

Short Story 5
The story involves a young director, Anil Kapoor who is tired of making family drama films. He wants to do something different and decides to make a horror film. He is in the process of completing the script and wants to write the conclusion and climax at his bungalow in Khandala. So he decides to head for Khandala, but on the way he meets this lonely lady, Mallika Sherawat. He decides to help her out by giving her a lift till his bungalow. On reaching his bungalow, the lady reveals to him that she died on the Mumbai-Pune highway and is now a ghost. However that’s not the climax, the climax is more of an irritant as there is a build up which leads to a complete downpour.

The climax of the story simply does not do any justice to the story. There are some startling and astonishing moments throughout the story, like the dialogue that takes place between Anil and Mallika in the car. But the plot is rather weak and the director, Jijy Philip merely delivers the horror aspect in parts. Mallika is quite satisfactory, while Anil does not impress too much in his character.

Short Story 6
Director Chekeravarthy manages to capture the audience’s attention right from the start and there are plenty of intriguing and spooky episodes. A young man, Randeep Hooda bumps into a woman on a rainy night, he is unexplainably frightened. Next morning he wakes up in a jail cell, where he is the prime accused for the murder of a man. But he pleads innocence and is unaware of what is happening. The cop, Zakir Hussain who interrogates him does not believe him. But then the murder victim’s mother, Rasika arrives and the truth is unraveled bit by bit, layer by layer.

The entire story unfolds in an extremely deft manner and the director manages to keep audiences glued to their seats and also sweating in anticipation. This is the best story and manages to hold your attention till the end. All three actors Randeep, Rasika and Zakir perform exceptionally well. An enthralling story and script by the director.

Short Story 7
This is the end and last story which is an extremely unimaginative and ridiculous plot by director Manish Gupta. The story revolves around an old woman and five children. These kids take shelter in a run down bungalow and there’s an old woman who lives there too. She begins telling the kid’s ghost stories and one by one they die of fright and shock.

The last short story has an extremely poor choice of subject, below the par script and hence a lackluster technique too. An extremely poor way to bring the series of short stories to an end.

The film begins and ends with short stories that are not up to the mark for a horror genre film. On the whole, the film has very few poignant moments which actually send a chill to the bone, even the scenes that are spooky are only average. There are too many stories happening in the film, so audiences cannot let any part actually sink in. The short story style has not been executed and adapted quite efficiently. The fact that there are seven different directors makes it unique but also has it’s drawbacks as none can completely take responsibility for the entire film’s success or failure. The stories too are not exceptional horror stories and at times seem to have stale ideas.

An experimental film, which does not really mange to scare or terrify you. At the box-office it may not go down well with the masses.

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