Review: Darna Zaroori Hai

May 1, 2006 at 3:40 AM (Movies)

First off, let me open this review by saying that I really enjoyed Darna Mana Hai.  I loved its anthology format of "six stories, one ending", and enjoyed the quirky, dark-humoured stories themselves.  While the overall theme was that of a horror-thriller, the stories were more the kind that you’d hear around a campfire by a group of friends trying to scare each other.  The movie was a lot of fun, and while it was not a big hit, producer Ram Gopal Varma went ahead and announced that a sequel — Darna Zaroori Hai — would be made, regardless of what critics thought of the film.  With a big star cast, including the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, and a segment directed by Varma himself, the sequel seemed like it was going to be even better than the first.

Well, the sequel is out, and I watched it today (at Sathyam Cinemas).  And I had a great time!  Darna Zaroori Hai follows the theme of the first movie by having six stories with a supernatural/thriller theme, and a framing story that links the different segments together.  Here, a group of five kids wander off into the woods and find a big scary house.  It’s a dark and stormy night, so the children enter the house to take shelter.  An old lady is the only inhabitant — and she narrates stories that are guaranteed to scare them!

The segments that make up Darna Zaroori Hai are as follows:

  • A man (Manoj Pahwa) wants to watch Ram Gopal Varma’s Darna Mana Hai at the theatre.  He’s late for the film, and so plans to take a shortcut through a graveyard to reach the theatre at the earliest.  His mother warns him not to go through the graveyard, but he ignores the warning…
  • A student (Ritiesh Deshmukh) preparing for an exam visits his professor (Amitabh Bachchan) for a tutorial.  Once he gets there though, the professor seems scared of a presence in the house…
  • After his car breaks down, a man (Arjun Rampal) tries to get help from a couple (Bipasha Basu and Makrand Deshpande) in an old house.  The couple try to creep him out, claiming that they have been trying to communicate with spirits…
  • A couple (Sonali Kulkarni and Suniel Shetty) receive a visit from a pushy insurance salesman (Rajpal Yadav) on a Sunday Morning.  Life is risky, the salesman claims — will risk become a reality?
  • Successful film director Karan Chopra (Anil Kapoor) is tired of making the usual family films, and decides to try his hand at a horror film instead.  While on his way to Khandala, he picks up a beautiful hitchhiker (Mallika Sherawat)…
  • A young man (Randeep Hooda) is driving on a dark, rainy night when he almost hits a woman on the road.  He gets out of his car to see if the woman is all right, and is terrified by what he sees.  The next day, he wakes up in a police station, accused of murder that he doesn’t remember committing.  Then, the mother of the murder victim shows up, and the explanation of the murder becomes clear…

The directors on this film include Ram Gopal Varma, Sajid Khan, Manish Gupta, Jijy Philip, Vivek Shah, J D Chakravarthy and Prawaal Raman (director of Darna Mana Hai).  The sequel, I felt, was technically superior to the first.  Much of the atmosphere and the tension is created by the camerawork and the sound effects (therefore, it is best to watch this in a theatre and not on VCD/DVD — though I definitely WILL buy this on VCD or DVD when it comes out!), and it is very well done.  There are a couple of stories that are extremely creative, however, the others seem to be the standard spooky ghost stories.  Just in this respect, I thought this movie was a notch below its predecessor.

Apart from that, the movie is well acted and is very entertaining.  Horror fans who like a bit of black comedy in the mix will definitely love this.

Rating: 8/10

EDIT: 11:45 AM: Sandip and me walked to Spencer’s Plaza after watching this, and I tried to get a VCD or DVD of Darna Mana Hai.  Sadly, neither Landmark nor Music World had a copy.  But I left my name and number with the Music World guy, who said he’d give a call once they got the movie.  Bought VCDs of My Wife’s Murder (directed by Jijy Philip) and Zinda though.


1 Comment

  1. Sameer Rustagi said,

    Hey Karthik good reviews but one shortcoming was that ending of the movie was not at all interesting which killed the whole enthu of the movie . Yes but the best part of the movie was the synchronisation between the humour and horror . It was awesome and full of entertainment . If the end would have been better , the movie could have been a big hit . I still think , it will do a fair amount of business.

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