Written by Manisha Lakhe on August 10, 2018
Redrum Murdered Cinema
A ‘rock star’ Daksh comes under the scrutiny of the Narcotics department who want to find out who supplies him with drugs. The Ghalib spouting cop asks Daksh’s manager plus girlfriend to help them. Daksh has rage issues and in an angry fit he kills the girl and hides the body in the attic. They claim the film is based on an Edgar Allan Poe’s story: The Tell Tale Heart, but you know it’s based on every cinematic cliche they could think up of and you know you can never get 100 minutes of your life back.
The Tell Tale Heart is a creepy psychological horror short story which convinces you, the reader that the narrator is sane even when he tells you he has murdered someone.
Now this film is nothing like the story. The protagonist Daksh (Vaibhav Roy, you have seen him in Hindi TV serials) sings in bars and is spotted by a girl who thinks that he is ‘hot’ and decides that she is going to become a manager and promote him because he has a great voice. The film opens with a song ‘Imtihaan’, which is soulful and melodious. For a moment you think this small film just might turns out to be good.
But you begin to cringe when they try to pass off two chairs and a table in someone’s home as a coffee shop where the girl and the singer meet for a date. Everything goes downhill from there because the filmmakers use a sledgehammer to tell the story of his childhood and his rage against his mother to excuse his drug habit now.
A narcotics officer who spouts poetry by Ghalib (overdoes it, actually) finds Daksh’s name in a notebook found on a drug dealer. The drug dealer was carrying an exercise book of all his contacts and their telephone numbers with him at a drug exchange! You wonder why they he doesn’t have a cell phone like most people do! The cop is played by Tom Alter (who died in September 2017) who doesn’t have to do much but use his voice to spout poetry. He is even made to walk all over the house where he suspects a murder has occured. Anyone who has seen cop shows on TV will tell you that he is walking over evidence and destroying it!
Daksh falls in love with a girl at the bar who begins to manage his shows (and him). Her name is Aarika (Saeeda Imtiaz) and she is clueless about Daksh’s drug habit. He acts weird around her though, and his fits of rage should have given her some idea that Daksh’s behavior is not ‘normal’, but she seems to be clueless overall. Daksh keeps going into flashbacks of his mother who brought ‘uncles’ home and ruined his childhood and propelled him to use drugs. Yes, the poor filmmakers make the hero snort lines in bathrooms, rub ‘white powder’ into his gums and snort from his hand too (too much Netflix has been watched, obviously, because the scenes seem to be hurried and overdone)
In a rage Daksh kills his girl and hides her body in the attic. Then he brings it down and decided to cut her up. We begin to see her ghost and wonder where the film is going now. The cop shows up, convinced that Daksh has killed the girl. Daksh stabs the cop, and then kills himself. The dead girl opens her eyes. What?
Looks like they ran out of film stock, perhaps realised that the story was going nowhere, and that the very loud horror movie sounds had made the audience run towards the exits. What a waste.
(this review appears on www.nowrunning.com)