Raatri Movie Review
A futile move to prove it a ‘horror’ movie
After the success of a horror/thriller like ‘Mantra’ and ‘Arundhati’, some producers and directors tried to cash in on the trend by making films with thriller as the subject. However, producer Kirankumar chose to bring out the film in a different manner with the help of director Challa Bhanukiran, by keeping Sayaji Shinde in the lead role and debutant heroine Preeti Mehra as female lead, with little known artiste Sameer as another lead artiste. The director tried to infuse an idea that the audiences are watching a horror by putting a caption in the beginning of the film with a suggestion that heart patients should avoid watching the movie. However, there were no much horror scenes when compared to the ones that are being screened in several television serials that are being aired these days.
Ratri Movie ReviewSekhar Chakravarthy (Sayaji Shinde) is a rich man and he remains bachelor till the age of around 50, as he noticed that all those who are ready to marry him are eyeing his property and not him personally. However, Sekhar likes a girl Sharmilee (Preeti Mehra), who was a good singer, and decides to marry her. After getting married, Sekhar goes to his guru Akhandananda Swamy (Jeeva) only to inform that he got married and is leaving for a honeymoon. The Swamy advises Sekhar to avoid the trip but it goes on deaf ears. Sekhar and Sharmilee leave for Goa in a car and they experience some typical occurrences during their travel. Meanwhile, Sharmilee tells Sekhar to avoid the main road and go through forest to reach Goa early. When the car reaches middle of the forest, Sharmilee suffers hiccups and Sekhar goes into the forest to fetch water. While going there, Sekhar happens to see Sharmilee in a typical tribal attire once and again in a old woman get up too. However, he could not get the water. After their car reaches a guest house in the forest, they decide to stay there for the night. After noticing some sounds in the downstairs, Sekhar goes to see who it is and escapes a murder attempt in a split second. After a few minutes, Sharmilee finds Sekhar in a pool of blood. The real story starts here with Sharmilee meeting Krishna (Sameer), her boyfriend. In fact, it was Krishna and Sharmilee who planned together to kill Sekhar and enjoy his property. Unexpectedly, Sharmilee and Krishna also face some typical circumstances and they start believing that some ghost was doing all this and they strongly feel that the ghost might kill them. They start running for cover and every time, they return to the same building, even if they go out. In the climax, Sekhar appears before them saying that he was alive and he came to know about their murder plan accidentally and used the same tricks which they played against him. As they planned to kill him, Sekhar too tells them that he would kill them as they did an unpardonable crime. Though Sekhar doesn’t want to kill Krishna, he dies in a scuffle. Later, Sharmilee commits suicide by shooting herself and the film ends on a happy note.
With all his past experience as an artiste, Sayaji Shinde did complete justice to his role. Though not exactly a hero’s role, he played the lead artiste and got a chance to romance with a girl. The romantic scenes in the bathroom involving Sayaji Shinde and Preeti Mehra were shot well. Another major plus point is that Sayaji Shinde has his own style of dialogue modulation and it worked well to make the character a highlight. Preeti Mehra, though a debutant showed no inhibition to appear glamorous and she exposed a lot in most of the film. She romanced with both Sayaji Shinde and Sameer well. Moreover, her facial expressions in three different attires are also good. She is okay in her role. Sameer is in his usual best. Though Jeeva’s character was kept to maintain the pace of the story movement, it itself proved a drawback with poor characterisation. Though he is said to be knowing everything and can foretell the future, his dialogues that Sekhar is dead and his trials to keep the ‘Atma’ elevate from the body, became a laughing stock with Sekhar himself is alive. Srinivasa Reddy’s character is another waste role and was used to evoke a little comedy but boomeranged. Waheeda appeared an item number. The entire film was made with these six artistes.
The director tried to project the film as a horror or thriller till the interval bang. However, none of the incidents give a horror feeling to the audiences. Though some scenes were kept to maintain the horror feel, they really did not work well. His immaturity in direction department was clearly visible in many scenes. Cinematography by SD John helped the director a lot to elevate the scenes, though not having any substance. Marthand K Venkatesh’s editing capabilities are commendable but in the absence of a gripping screenplay, most of the scenes are appeared to have cut abruptly. Music played the spoilsport to a major extent. Pramodkumar’s background score is very pathetic and many scenes turned a laughing stock because of the poor music backdrop. Even the tunes given for the film were not very impressive and the placement of songs are also in bad taste. Especially, for a horror or thriller story, songs would be a major hindrance as they deviate the audiences attention from the tempo. Dialogues by the director too lacked any punch. It is not known how Sameer managed all the things by sitting in the dickey of the car. The production values of the film are also average.
Though the film completed its shooting and other post-production formalities long ago, the producer failed to do any business with the film and it remained in the lab for several months. With no buyers coming forward to release the film, the producer was in a quandary as he invested his hard earned money in the film. Somehow, the ‘Chalana Chitra Parirakshana Samiti’ formed by a group of producers and exhibitors came to the producer’s rescue and ensured the release of the film. The film may not remain in the theatres for more than a week as it has neither a story substance nor a familiar hero in the lead. A film which could be avoided from watching.
Cast: Sayaji Shinde, Preeti Mehra, Jeeva, Sameer, Srinivasa Reddy, Waheeda
Credits: Cinematography – SD John, Editing – Marthand K Venkatesh, Music – Pramodkumar, Lyrics – Sadachandra, Presents – Baby Joshita, Producer – R Kirankumar, Story, dialogues, screenplay and direction – Challa Bhanukiran.
Banner: Annapurna Cine Creations
1.out of 5
Review by Aparichithudu