Haunted 3D—The Review

65 Comments

[This review has spoilers. Be warned. Be very warned.]

It was a few months ago that I realized that I have totally lost the stomach for today’s mainstream commercial Bollywood. I remember the exact moment when I “turned”—-  25 minutes into the assault on the senses that is  “Tees Mar Khan”.  “No more” I told myself  ” Am too old for this shit.” A line has been crossed and as the tag-line for the Emran Hashmi thriller “The Train” goes “Some lines should not be crossed.” [Yes I have seen that too]. So I stayed off Hindi movies (with some exceptions like “Dhobi Ghat”) using the time saved to revise my next book—“The Mine.” [publisher: Westland]

But there are some things for which exiles may be broken. “Haunted 3D” is one such. There are two reasons for that. First of all, it is directed by Vikram Bhatt, one of the surviving masters of horror, who has to his credit many remarkable achievements. And if that was not reason enough, “Haunted 3D” was the re-launch (those of us who like zombie movies call it re-animation) of, the son of Prabhuji, Mimoh Chakraborty. Only now he is using his original name Mahakshay.One might think this is an attempt to foist Mimoh on unsuspecting audiences as fresh maal but I think this is just a manifestation of Vikram Bhatt’s genius—You walk into the hall expecting to see new talent, and find that the “new guy” is none but that baby-faced dude  from “Jimmy” (minus a few pounds), the one whom you thought you would never pay to see again. Startled, you turn to your date and say “Whoaaaaa”, the terror slowly setting into the base of your throat. And the movie has just barely begun.

Rehaan (Mahakshay) is a real-estate agent who is sent by his Dad (possibly from Ooty) to close on an ancient mansion Glenn Manor for the low price of Rs 200 crore. The moment he says “I don’t use drugs Mr. Billimoria, neither am I stupid. MBA kiya hai maine, Stanford University AMERICA se (just to point out it’s not the Stanford in Dhaka he got his degree from), you start taking him seriously, as also the steadily deepening unease he feels while walking around Glenn Manor. Ominous music plays in the background, windows flutter mysteriously, lights flicker, flushes flush spontaneously, chandeliers come crashing to the ground and mysterious hand-prints appear on the window, and an apparition of a woman hangs from the ceiling. Rehaan realizes that a lady from the other world is trying to send him a message. But was it? Is she just beseeching him to quit trying to be a hero? Is there anything significant in the copious amount of blood that mysteriously appears all over the place? Should Rehaan just go to the drug store and get her something?

Soon it is revealed that the secret is much more sinister, by virtue of a letter conveniently discovered by the Stanford MBA. Eighty years ago, in that house lived the comely Meera (played by Saregama contestant Twinkle Bajpai) . Once her parents left for some travel leaving her in the care of a governess. Now Meera had a piano teacher, a certain Mr. Iyer (Arif Zakaria in the type of role which defines a career) who insisted on taking more than a fatherly interest in his overflowing-with-talent protege.

In one of the highlight sequences of the movie, Meera is playing the piano while Mr. Iyer, unknown to her, eyes her ampleness lasciviously. One can see Mr. Iyer trying to wish away the sinful images , trying to exert control by saying repeatedly “B-flat B-flat” to his student as she stumbles while playing the piano. But when the woman in front is majorly a D major, it is tough to keep one’s attention away and as words that begin with F crowd his mind sharply, he yells in barely concealed passion “F sharp F sharp”. But then finally he loses his control and volunteers to teach her a new “sur.” Meera resists his amorous advances and while doing so pokes him with a poker. Mr. Iyer consequently meets a bloody end.  The police absolve Meera of the killing once a search of the piano teacher’s house reveals a stash of “personal cheezein stolen from Meera” (in other words, he stole corsets) and even more alarmingly some “asleel tasweerein also”. (Yes even in 1930, one should have always cleaned the cache before logging out).

But as we know, when a man dies in the throes of monster lust, only his hawaas stays alive. It is not long before the ghost of Mr. Iyer starts bothering Meera saying he will do to her in death what he wanted to in life. Soon the servants realize, literally, what giving head means as their heads are found impaled on the gates. And Mr. Iyer then begins doing to Meera all the things that the rapacious ghost from Entity did to Barbara Hershey and that haiwaan from “Hawa” did to Tabu. As Meera says in the voice-over, Mr. Iyer for six days did all those things to her she is too ashamed to write down (Vikram Bhatt, of course, has no compunction in showing these in gratuitous detail). Not able to bear the onslaught of the dead piano teacher any longer, she ultimately took her own life.  But that only compounded her pain. For eighty years, the evil Mr. Iyer’s spirit has kept her confined to this house, doing bad things to her and preventing anyone else from coming in between them.

Needless to say, Rehaan decides to save this poor lady. So he travels back in time (in Vikram Bhatt’s world that’s as normal as having a lunch of chapatti and daal—maybe it should have been Haunted 4D because of the ease the dimension of time is moved through). Once he does so, his plan is to act as a cock-block for Mr. Iyer so that he does not get a chance to molest Meera, never gets killed and an evil spirit never created. But things never are as simple as they look. What follows is a twisted tale of horror, terror and more horror, as things fly about all over the place, women make out with women, buttons pop off Meera’s chest, Mahakshay unleashes the Marhabba disco dance at a particular tense part of the story (when lesser mortals would be running away),  and love is put to the epic test.

The movie is of course Vikram Bhatt’s. The genre of “romance-musical-horror” is his own and in “Haunted 3D” he combines the vision of Harinam Singh, the sweep of Joginder with the narrative maturity of Kanti Shah. What I love about Vikram Bhatts are the things you learn about the nether-world——Spirits cannot read or write by themselves (they can hear and read your mind),  when ghosts want to write they communicate through “auto-writers” (alternatively known as “ghost writers”), you should never utter the name of a spirit (In a chilling sequence, Rehaan challenges the evil piano teacher by shouting “Iyer” “Iyer” “Iyer”) unless you want trouble and that Mr. Iyer’s spirit is most powerful at 3 in the night and weakest at 3 in the afternoon (If he was Mr. Iyengar, I am pretty sure it is the other way round).

While the casting of Mohakhay is applause-worthy, the touch of genius was casting voluptuous Twinkle Bajpai as Meera. She is effectively the third-dimension (the third D) of the movie, “her characterization” bringing great depth to each frame which the camera never shies away from highlighting.

Final conclusion. This movie will haunt you. I guarantee it.

Advertisements

65 thoughts on “Haunted 3D—The Review

  1. awesome !!!! btw i thought mahakshay was a new hero….like different forms of vishnu…truly the son of god

  2. ‘Yes even in 1930, one should have always cleaned the cache before logging out’-best line gb :).awesome post

  3. Hey, I watched the movie too..albeit in 2D. Thats when you realise there are so many scenes that have shot only for the 3 D effect, like the one when they are all staring at the gate (sshhh we will not say why !!). All said and done, the only reason I watched the movie is because I owe a lot of gratitude to Prabhuji (not prejudiced that I share my surname with his name), and watching Haunted was one way of repaying that debt. I am now confident that I am one of the 100 who has watched both of Mimoh (aka Maha akshays) movies. Maybe Forbes should come out with a list.

  4. Iyer of Haunted = Aiyyar of Chandrakanta.
    Great pic of Mimoh. Brings out the Ashmit Patel in him. I’m waiting for the day when MahaAkshay starts taking his name seriously and writes a blog called GreatAkshay.

  5. “But when the woman in front is majorly a D major it is tough to keep one’s attention away and as words that begin with F crowd his mind sharply, he yells in barely concealed passion “F sharp F sharp”.” – ROFL

    “…Mahakshay unleashes the Marhabba disco dance at a particular tense part of the story (when lesser mortals would be running away)” – I am SO watching this movie.

    So what happens exactly in the end? Does she come back to life and they live happily ever after?

    Hilarious post. Iyers rock. From accountants to MBAs to PhDs to spirits. Yay!

  6. What a review ! Still laughing out loud. GB-da, please start watching Hindi movies again, for our sake. I am going to see Haunted 3D with all its extra “D”-dimensions asap.

  7. Raaz 2 was directed by Mohit Suri and not Vikram Bhatt. As for VB, he lost his touch big time after original ‘raaz’. Although a few of his movies are highly under-rated like ‘Ankahee’.

  8. “Mr. Iyer’s spirit is most powerful at 3 in the night and weakest at 3 in the afternoon”

    Just saw this same funda in The Exorcism of Emily Rose, where Tom Wilkinson’s character explains about Demons being the most active at 3 AM. Obviously it has some funda about Jesus being crucified at 3 PM and 3 AM being the Anti Point of that, and so Demons, Spirits most active at that time.

  9. “Mr. Iyer’s spirit is most powerful at 3 in the night and weakest at 3 in the afternoon”

    Just saw this same funda in The Exorcism of Emily Rose, where Tom Wilkinson’s character explains about Demons being the most active at 3 AM. Obviously it has some funda about Jesus being crucified at 3 PM and 3 AM being the Anti Point of that, and so Demons, Spirits most active at that time.

  10. @ Ratnakar
    But, but Mr Iyer is a Hindu. Jesus has no business meddling with a Hindoo ghost. Hindoo ghost not follow Jesus timing.

    Hindu ghost follow Hindu soteriology (mokshavicarashastra)

  11. Hilarious is an oft used word in the comments section of your blog , however i can’t think of a better word unless i delve into the realms of Sidhuist metaphors. ( I don’t want to infringe on his trademark).

    Another point which strikes me is the meaning of ‘Mahakshay’ , if this was the name of God’s son then was ‘Mimoh’ used as a ‘Ghar ka naam’ like sonu , bablu , bunty etc?

  12. Another Gem to your credit , the son of God looks strikingly similiar to ‘Arbaaz Khan’ in the picture posted by you. To be more precise an Arbaaz Khan surprised at the collection of ‘Dabaang’.

  13. Mimoh, as the press reported, is a composite of Michael Jackson and Mohammed Ali. Evidently when Prabhuji named him, he wanted his son to fight like Mohammed Ali and dance like Michael Jackson. Too bad when he grew up, he started dancing like Mohammed Ali and fighting like Michael Jackson. So they reverted to his original birth-certificate name.

  14. Really, Arnab?
    A cross between Wacko Jacko and the Louisville Lip?
    And Mahakshay…From Mahesh Bhat and Akshay Kumar, maybe?
    A composite of “brains” and brawn?
    Or yawn and brawn, more likely.
    Anyway, it might explain why Vikram Bhat cast him in the first place.
    Hope he doesn’t fight like Mahesh and think like Akki, though…

  15. “The tag-line for the Emran Hashmi thriller “The Train” goes “Some lines should not be crossed.””

    It’s “Some lines should ‘never’ be crossed”
    Add to that, I have also seen the Original starring Jennifer Aniston’s Derailed 🙂

  16. Hilarious! 🙂 I couldnt watch TMK beyond the first 5 mins, so I empathize with you. I am in two minds whether to watch this movie and have a good laugh or skip it and stick to my principles now! “In a chilling sequence, Rehaan challenges the evil piano teacher by shouting “Iyer” “Iyer” “Iyer”” & “Mahakshay unleashes the Marhabba disco dance at a particular tense part of the story (when lesser mortals would be running away” – lol..

  17. Just when I thought Gkhamba was leading the pack , with lines like “But when the woman in front is majorly a D major” & “Mahakshay unleashes the Marhabba disco dance at a particular tense part of the story ” our good ol Greatbong strikes back.
    BTW GB, when was the last time you gave your thumbs up for a movie ?

  18. GB….D major, B Flat and F sharp would be the most fertile parts of your review…Though I haven’t seen the movie and absolutely in no minds to see it either……Still the 3-D sketched by your words will haunt me till Google images or santa-banta forum sanctifies me !!!!

  19. Just when I had thought Mahaakshay deserved a 1000 word post and I had to do it, you come out with this…bravo. I shall now not write it at all!

  20. Loved your review, especially “Mimoh, as the press reported, is a composite of Michael Jackson and Mohammed Ali. Evidently when Prabhuji named him, he wanted his son to fight like Mohammed Ali and dance like Michael Jackson. Too bad when he grew up, he started dancing like Mohammed Ali and fighting like Michael Jackson” 🙂

  21. All you people making fun of the movie, read the news below from Boxofficeindia.

    “Haunted was rock steady on Monday with collections around the 1.60 crore nett mark. The drop is just 25% from Friday. This is the best performance of the year as far as the Monday from Friday drop is concerned. The Friday business was on the lower side so less drop but even allowing for that, the Monday numbers are good. At some places the collections were better on Monday than Friday.
    The film has collected in the 10-10.25 crore nett in four days and the week may close around the 14 crore nett mark which would be a decent collection for the film.”

  22. Sorry, sent the above post before completing.

    So Haunted in all probability will be a Hit and I am absolutely certain that the reason for that is the NAME: MAHA-AKSHAY. Yup, Akshay Kumar’s Box Office track record had to rub off a bit on Mimoh. And before all Akki haters here including Arnab start snickering, PLEASE DIGEST THIS: In the past 5 years, the ONLY Akshay starrers to make losses are Action Replayy and 8/10 Tasveer. ALL the others, be it Kambakth Ishq, CCTC, TMK or Blue, have EARNED PROFITS, though HITS they may not be. Even TMK, that everyone so loves to lampoon, earned 60 crores+ at the BO! AKKI RULES!!!
    So there! Whew! HAD to write this! Couldn’t bear to see Akshay or any other hero with Akshay in his name being made fun of!! 🙂

  23. Hats off!! I would be looking over my shoulder the next time I step out on the streets. Guruji is not going to take kindly to this assault on his progeny. Weapon of choice…the poker of course!

  24. Hey guys ! which is the piano music the ghost of meera plays ? The piece which rehan also plays from meera’s “my favourite tunes” . Proper replies will be appreciated

  25. thank you great bong for warning us before hand and saving a precious couple of hours of our life.
    I don’t know about this movie but i strongly believe nothing can match the sheer atrociousness of Jimmy.

  26. i watched the movie anyway, with another girlfriend for a trial , i did not find too many people in the multiplex, so it was fun, particularly at those scary(funny) moments.

    i wish more such moments were there.

  27. Boss. No more on IPL. You are too bored I guess.
    You were right, the auction was the only interesting thing and IPL is just the flush after the deed. The auction had sealed 3 out of top4 positions for next 3 years i.e. MI, CSK, KKR. With the choice of captain, MI decided they will be happy to finish only in top3. Too much or too little pressure on MI skipper will only prove God’s mortality in his captaincy.

  28. Why is there no mention of the CHILLAM BABA from the movie who had been waiting for 80 years and can send anyone back by just smoking a chillam… I think u can dedicate a full post on this character….

  29. Stanford University, AMERICA 🙂
    Bollywood is caught in a quandary. They have to cater to people in Bangalore as well as Bihar. Stanford for the former and America for the later.

  30. at last meera told that she had a son name rehen… Does it mean Rehen(hero) is her son?? . If not then why the writer didnt cast her son in film? Quite confused

Have An Opinion? Type Away

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s