By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network
The team behind RAAZ - THE MYSTERY CONTINUES have often clarified that it's not a sequel to RAAZ, one of the most interesting cinematic experiences, besides being the biggest Hit of that year. Yet, you cannot but draw parallels with the first film of the franchise.
Horror as a genre hasn't been tapped to the optimum in India. We've witnessed spooky fares in the past and some of them have succeeded in making you break into a cold sweat [BHOOT stands tall in this list]. Last year's PHOONK and 1920 were scary movies as well.
There's tremendous curiosity to watch RAAZ - THE MYSTERY CONTINUES, but does it scare the living daylights out of you? Fortunately, yes!
The story [Mohit Suri] is absorbing and Mohit treats the subject like a veteran, as if he knows the genre very well. There're moments that make your heart beat faster, you watch the events with eyes and jaws wide open. Sure, there're blemishes as well, but they don't overpower the plusses or make you change your opinion about the film. While the beginning and the middle of the film is engrossing, it's the end that could've been better thought of.
Wanna get scared? Wanna get goose pimples? Buy the ticket for RAAZ - THE MYSTERY CONTINUES pronto. It lives up to the hype and expectations completely.
A brooding artist Prithvi [Emraan Hashmi] experiences mysterious and distressing visions about Nandita [Kangna Ranaut], a woman he has never met, while he paints on canvas. Intrigued by these visions, Prithvi tracks her down and warns her that these are not merely paintings of her, but accidents that are waiting to happen.
At first, Nandita refuses to believe him and dismisses him as an eccentric stalker. However, the striking resemblance between Prithvi's paintings and the near-death incidents in her life is hard to ignore.
Now, one of Prithvi's paintings has revealed her as dead. The only way she can change her fate is to unravel this mystery with his help, at the risk of alienating herself from her boyfriend, Yash [Adhyayan Suman]. But he refuses to believe in Prithvi's premonitions. Will Nandita risk her love and her life to unravel this mystery?
Most of us have heard, witnessed or perhaps had a first-hand experience of supernatural. The present-day generation may, perhaps, term it as wild imagination or hallucination, while the believers may have their point of view. Mohit and screenplay writer Shagufta Rafique's characters in RAAZ - THE MYSTERY CONTINUES are believers and non-believers, both.
Mohit smartly builds up the atmosphere. Sample these: Emraan and Kangna's first encounter at a mall and minutes later, inside an elevator; the New Year bash when Kangna is 'attacked' by spirits; Kangna's experience in her bathtub and also when she looks at the mirror; Kangna almost jumping off a cliff; the highpoint sequence, when angry bulls attack Emraan and Kangna. Incredible sequences all! Mohit has handled the most difficult portions with panache.
However, the entire flashback part, towards the pre-climax, is not as convincing. The ending too could've been better in terms of writing, although Mohit has filmed it exceptionally well.
Mohit's choice of the subject as also the actors is right. This is, without doubt, his finest effort to date. Shagufta's screenplay is watertight at most times. Like always, the Bhatts come up with a lilting musical score and at least two songs -- 'Soniyo' [Raju Singh] and 'Maahi' [Sharib-Toshi] -- are first-rate compositions. Ravi Walia's cinematography is up to the mark. The effects are impressive.
On the acting front, both Emraan and Kangna vie for top honours. Emraan is excellent. He conveys a lot through facial expressions and that's the sign of a proficient actor. He's just getting better and better with every film. Kangna is top notch. After FASHION, this one's another power-packed performance from the actress. Adhyayan Suman is super-confident and registers a strong impact, especially towards the climax. He shows promise. Jackie Shroff is quite okay in a brief role.
On the whole, RAAZ - THE MYSTERY CONTINUES is rich in the horror quotient and that is one of its major USPs, besides the highly competent performances by its principal cast and a lilting musical score. At the box-office, this one will continue the winning streak of Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt's Vishesh Films. The 4-day weekend [Monday, January 26 in a holiday] will only cement its status further. Go for it!
Bollywood.com Rating: 3