404: A psychological thriller that is thin on substance

Producer: Nameeta Nair.
Director: Prawaal Raman.
Cast: Nishikant Kamat, Imaad Shah, Satish Kaushik, Tisca Chopra.

MUMBAI: A motivating force behind making supernatural, horror or paranormal thrillers would seem to be budget constraints. Also, known stars are not available to new makers and these help as a knock at the doors of recognition.

404 is one such film with mostly new actors and newer or not so established names sharing technical credits behind the camera.

Rajvvir Arora, a new student at a reputed medical college, does not think there are ghosts or spirits of the dead. The college boasts of a world renowned visiting professor, Nishikant Kamat, who has papers to his name on subject of psychology and has authored many books.

Rajvvir is allotted a room in the college hostel with three other freshers. As the boys are subjected to ragging by their seniors, Rajvvir refuses to comply with their dictates. Soon the ragging reaches their room and Rajvvir decides that his roommates are being harassed because of him and request for Room 404 which has been locked since last three years because an earlier student, a victim of ragging, had committed suicide in this room by hanging himself from the fan and his spirit still occupies that room making it impossible for anyone else to use it.

The professor firmly believes that spirits are only a product of one’s imagination as one sees what one wants to see and believe. He encourages and lauds Rajvvir on his decision. Rajvvir’s problems don’t end with change of room as his tormentors devise a new way to rag him. They psyche him into believing that the spirit of the past student really occupies the room. To the professor’s dismay, Rajvvir soon starts believing it to be true and runs scared till he finally claims to have befriended the spirit and is often seen conversing with it. While the professor is all set to prove to the world that there are no spirits or ghosts, the boy makes him have second thoughts.

404 is a vague title and gives nothing away which may not prove to be a very bright idea. What ails this film is that it is too much theory and too little substance; so much so it comes across as an educational film at times. Also, it looks like the institution has no other faculty except psychology as the film shuttles between ragging and psychology professor Tisca Chopra and her husband Nishikant Kamat. And, for a genius who is on verge of disproving ghost theory, he is himself a victim of ghost of his mother haunting him!

The story is thin and pace of the film is slow with only the climax being its singular bright spot but that too is expected long before it happens. In these events, there is not much the director can do to control except play with the camera. Background score is effective.

Stretching economy to its limits, the film has few characters and no distractions. Debutant Rajvvir Arora gets into the groove soon enough and does well. Imaad Shah is impressive. Nishikant Kamat is okay while Satish Kaushik is his seasoned self. Looking pleasant, Tisca Chopra lends some glamour to this dry film.

Pyaar Ka Punchnama: A well-directed youth-centric film

Producers:Abhishek Pathak.
Director: Luv Ranjan.
Cast: Kartikeya Tiwari, Rayo Bhakhirta, Divyendu Sharma, Sonalli Sehgal, Nushrat Bharucha, Ishita Sharma.

Pyaar  Ka Punchnama caters to the young generation. It is about youngsters, their office life, lonely life and a resultant desperation to seek a partner, love; it goes further on how such relationships happen, how they are taken for granted and how partners manipulate. In these relationships, emotions and loyalty have little or no place.

Kartikeya Tiwari, Rayo Bhakhirta and Divyendu Sharma are three roomies who, besides sharing the house they live in, also share each other‘s joys and sorrows. Each of them holding a regular job, their life is otherwise fun.

However, all three are looking for their first love and the film is all about what follows when they find it. Kartikeya has found a petite and pretty girl, Nushrat Bharucha, and as their love blossoms he decides to move out of the house he shares with other two to live-in with her. All is rosy initially till the bickering starts; the girl starts making rules for him and dictates his life.

Rayo meets Sonali Sehgal who, even while wanting the relationship to work, can‘t shirk her ex boy friend, her liaison of five years and demands her space.

The third one, Divyendu falls for a new girl in his office who already has a boy friend back home in Hyderabad but lets Divyendu believe that he has hopes of winning her over and keeps using him.

The equations between these six do reflect men-women relationship in stress times where everyone is working to balance various fronts of life. The problem with the script is that its gets bogged down with repeated situations and arguments which don‘t always conform to logic; while guys are all very reasonable, girls seems to have no perspective of that. The film offers no relief in form of humour or music either, despite as many as four composers contributing their mite.

Direction is good despite a loose script with an eye for details. Photography is pleasant with urban upmarket locations captured well. Dialogue is relevant.

Performance by all three - Kartikeya, Rayo and Divyendu - is convincing and their bonding looks natural. Except for some appeal by Nushrat, other two are ordinary.

Being a youth centric film, Pyaar Ka Punchnama could have done better on word of mouth which, alas, is not expected any more.

Latest Reads
Oddball Motion Pictures gets Rs 250 cr for film production

MUMBAI: Oddball Motion Pictures, founded by filmmaker Nitin Upadhyaya, announced its association with Chanda Group where the latter will be funding a seed capital of up to Rs 250 crore for the feature films and original digital video content that will be exclusively developed and produced by...

Movies Movies On Mutiple Platforms
Cast & crew of 21 sarfarosh: saragarhi 1897 celebrate army day with the 7th Battalion of sikh regiment of the indian army

The cast & crew of 21 Sarfarosh: Saragarhi 1897 commemorated the Army day with the Soldiers of Sikh regiment of Indian army. Actors Mohit Raina & Mukul Dev personally took the soldiers of the Sikh regiment on the tour of the set in Aamgaon where the epic battle of Saragarhi is currently...

Movies Hindi
Watch the world television premier of "Nirahua Hindustani"on 30th december at 1 PM only on Dabangg

SABGROUP’S foremost regional channel – Dabangg is geared for the World Television Premier of the highest revenue grossing Bhojpuri Blockbuster of all times, ‘Nirahua Hindustani’. The telecast will air on the 30th December,2017 at 1pm, followed by the repeat at 8pm.

Movies Hindi
BookMyShow reveals how India entertained itself in 2017

As the year comes to a close, BookMyShow looks back at what entertained India this year, from movies to plays, sports, events and music. In 2017, millions of Indians reached out to BookMyShow to meet their entertainment demands basis which the platform is delighted to present #Bestof2017*.

Movies Hindi
Catch Bollywood Actor Irrfan Khan this Week on Off Centre

MUMBAI: This week on Off Centre, Anuradha Sengupta talks to one of the finest Bollywood actors in the industry, Irrfan Khan. From being noticed and welcomed as a romantic lead after 22 years in business to his latest release and love, sex, romance in today’s time, he expresses his views and...

Movies Hindi
Zee Studios International's Secret Superstar hits it big in Taiwan

Zee Studios International has collected $700,681 from its release of Aamir Khan-starrer Secret Superstar in Taiwan, making the movie the widest Bollywood film in the country. The film, which also features Zaira Wasim, lit up the box office in India. The distribution company began the next phase of...

Movies Hindi
Zee Studio to premiere the post-apocalyptic horror drama - MAGGIE!

Zee Studio, the hollywood movie destination, brings the Indian television premiere of Maggie. Starring multi-award winner Arnold Schwarzenegger and Academy Award-nominee, Abigail Breslin, this post-apocalyptic drama premieres on 10 December 2017, Sunday at 12 noon and 9 pm.

Movies Hollywood
Demonetisation, decline in govt ads impact UFO Q2 numbers

BENGALURU: Indian digital cinema distribution network and in-cinema advertising platform UFO Moviez Ltd (UFO) reported a 12.8 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) decline in consolidated operating revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (Q2 FY 2017-18) as compared with the corresponding year ago...

Movies Movies On Mutiple Platforms
The modern day economics of film financing

Only 2 per cent of the total movies released in 2016 in the US were computer graphic (CG) animation, yet they grossed more than 21 per cent of the US box office collection. Strong animation brands have longer shelf-life and generate revenue for years.

Movies International

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories