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Movie Review: Help - Horror That Needs Serious Help!

Comments  Comments [ 7 ]    By Dolly Tilani Bhatter | 13 August 2010 | 11:32pm

Director Rajiv Virani's film Help has a kitty full of talent with a renowned star cast comprising of Bobby Deol and Mugdha Godse along with Shreyas Talpade in a special appearance has a kitty full.  But does the film do justice to the talent on board?  With a genre like horror, its surely difficult to pull audiences to theaters and so will Help be able to accomplish this tough task?  Maybe, Maybe Not!  

The film begins with a look into a crazy lunatic named Susan who is living in a mental asylum.  Crazy drawings and her suicide set the stage of horror in the film.  Next comes a jump to the ending scene in a horror film and the movie ends with Vic (Bobby Deol) and Pia (Mugdha Godse) in the audience.  All is not well between the couple due to Pia's suspicion of her husband's loyalty as she feels he might be having an affair with the actress of his film.  But one doesn't get to delve much into the characters' personal lives as the film jumps to Pia's father getting a heart attack and the couple flying to Mauritius.

The father survives the attack and Vic and Pia return to Pia's childhood home which is eerie.  Pia's journey back into her childhood shows a twin sister, Dia, who died drowning in water.  A happy family was broken into pieces with Dia's death and then later on the mother, Susan's death.  Pia's father narrates the story as he remembers the happiest days of his life and claims that his wife Susan could not live with the trauma of her daughter's death.  In the midst of all this, Vic and Pia sort out their personal problems due to the news of Pia's pregnancy.   

But the happy days don't last long as Pia starts seeing Dia in the house at night.  Squeaking doors, photo frames falling, the domesticated dog barking, and all the old-style horror film techniques instead of scaring viewers create comedy.  Vic doesn't believe Pia but slowly things start changing as first Pia's friend-cum-neighbor dies and then at her funeral Vic sees Dia's ghost.  Dr. Aditya Motwani (Shreyas Talpade) comes into the picture as a handicapped man who happens to be an expert in the field of spirits.  Aditya's initial warning at the funeral is overlooked by Vic but after seeing Dia's ghost in Pia and almost drowning his own wife, Vic is forced to seek Aditya's advice.

Vic begins to investigate the ghost's reason for having possessed his wife and in his expedition he uncovers a tape which narrates the death of Dia.  Aditya and Vic's examination leads them to believe initially that Pia may have murdered Dia.  It seemed that Susan- the mother was also already possessed.  But how and why?  Investigation into the hospital where Pia and Dia were born uncovers the mystery behind of the haunted spirit but unfortunately the expert Aditya dies in the fight of saving Pia from the ghost.

Overall the film just doesn't hit the mark due to the loopholes.  The climax goes downhill as one is unable to understand how Pia is able to trap the ghost right in the center of the star while the plan had been of her husband's.  While the grand mirrors and the destruction of the ghost are visually appealing, they can not cover up for the weak story line. 

The film falls flat from the initial scenes because Bobby and Mugdha just don't look convincing on screen together as a couple.  Chemistry is lacking between the two and the romance looks artificial.  While romantic songs could have helped, in this situation the film doesn't entertain thoroughly also due to its music which is not only poor and painful to the ears but also forced between the story line.  Some old horror film tactics as well as the unrealistic outcome of the mystery of the ghost make the film very superficial.

Speaking about the actors, Mugdha and Bobby both look terrible as well as old in the film.  Mugdha has been center of media attention with the hyped bikini scene and expectations from this model turned actress are surely high after the super hit Fashion.  This talented actress falls flat in the first half of the film as she is expressionless in many of her scenes.  Her acting though improves in the second half and one must applaud her for having taken the liberty to appear on screen without make up in her scenes in the hospital.  Yet, she looks pathetically terrible in the first half of the film as one wonders what happened to this beautiful model.

Bobby Deol comes with a class of his own on screen and though the actor may not have had a row of hits, he is known for the variety of roles he has portrayed on screen.  Yet, in this film Bobby is disappointing.   His character just doesn't convince audiences and nor is he able to create a connection with the viewer.  A forced attempt to play the character is clearly evident. Shreyas being such a talented actor is wasted though he does justice to the few scenes he has in the film.  Mrs. Gladrags Sophia Handa playing Pia's friend-cum-neighbor doesn't impress at all.  Jyoti Dogra playing Susan Mughda's mother does a decent job in the film and proves her acting caliber well with the limited screen space given.

Overall Help falls flat as a horror film as audiences may find themselves laughing more than fearing.  The film most likely will not attract audiences to the theaters and is a disappointment in the horror film genre where we have seen amazing movies like Bhoot and 13B.  A film that had much potential with so much talent on board, Help just doesn't do justice to the talent of its lead actors.  Help surely needs help from the audiences to pull it through!

Rating:


Review by: Dolly Tilani Bhatter

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