Raaz (2001)

Vikram Bhatt - Director / Nadeem Shravan - Music

Sameer - Lyrics / Running time: 2 hours 31 minutes

Own it!

I decided to take one more look at Indian horror movies before I let the genre go for a bit. The following movie was one among many that had been recommended to me as being spooky, and it's not bad. After hearing that this is an homage to the American film What Lies Beneath, I rented it to find out. Sadly yes, Raaz is basically a remake of that film. However, as luck would have it I actually liked Raaz more than What Lies Beneath, but that might have something to do with my liking of Bipasha Basu over Michelle Pfeiffer. Oh, as a little warning, some of the shots and videos in this one get a little rough, so I'll toss out a heads-up to you now.

This film is much more tame than Vaastu Shastra, or Krishna Cottage. Raaz deals more with the interpersonal tension between a husband and wife. They are unhappily married, and decide to take one last chance to rectify the shaky nature of their relationship before calling it quits. There is a big supernatural element at work here, but I was pleased to see that we focus a lot on how this is affecting the marriage instead of just everyone running around getting killed. Don't worry, that happens too, but it's not the main event.

As for repeat performers, we've only got one this time. However, he's a memorable one.

Ashutosh Rana was last seen in Dushman as the utterly deplorable villain Gokul. Remember him now? This time out he's a much more sympathetic character since he's not raping and killing people. He actually overacts a bit in this one as he plays the part of a zealous supernatural know-it-all, but he's fun.

For this outing, we have on the roster:

Sanjana Dhanraj (Bipasha Basu) - The wife of Aditya, who is very unhappy in her marriage.
Aditya Dhanraj (Dino Morea) - Sanjana's husband, a standard-issue young wealthy businessman. He has difficulty finding time to spend with his wife, and it's putting a strain on the relationship.
Professor Agni Swaroop (Ashutosh Rana) - A very educated man in the area of the supernatural. He's also very intense and makes a lot of scary faces.
Priya (Shruti Ulfat) - Sanjana's close friend. Priya wants to help Sanjana clear up her problems and get back to her old self.
Ajay - A good friend and business associate of Aditya's. He's earnestly working with his wife Priya to help Sanjana and Aditya patch things up.
Malini (Malini Sharma) - An old flame of Aditya's who might have a little more history than he's let on to his wife.
Col. Arjun Malik - Malini's father, and a stern old military man. He's got a heart of ice! Or something along those lines. He's tough!

There's a very important lesson to be learned here, so please pay attention. Bipasha Basu makes it easy to do that.

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