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Thursday, 16 February 2012

Friday release - Can '?' take Bollywood horror a notch up?

New Delhi: ‘?’ - A movie without a name or as it has ironically come to be called –‘ Question Mark’; grabbed the attention of the movie goers with their jarring trailer.

The horror buffs have seen the ‘Blair Witches’, the ‘Paranormal’ activities and the ‘grudges’. For a movie that seems to want to grab attention with an unconventional title and a ‘lets-reveal-nothing’ poster – the question is – What’s new?

The first look released on YouTube soared high on the hits it received and a movie that boasts of no starry cast, is all set to take on the Bollywood horror genre.

The trailer invariably gives a very ‘Blair Witch Project’ feel and the modus operandi of the ‘found footage’ is not entirely new to Bollywood. ‘Ragini MMS’ and Dibakar Banerjee’s stunning ‘Love Sex Aur Dhokha’ has already experimented with this space. Can we possibly expect ‘?’ to do anything different?

Producer Shailendra Singh hopes to hit the scores in the ‘found footage’ space for it not been utilized to its hilt in Bollywood. He made it clear that the movie has nothing to do with ‘The Blair Witch Project’. For Singh – inspirations can be galore – but it is all about giving something new through a real and a subtle narrative style in ‘?’. According to Singh, all horror movies have the same plot – but what will work for ‘?’ is the premise and the circumstance.

The main idea behind such a venture is multi pronged. The whole footage has been filmed on a Canon HD camera and one that anyone can afford. Thus, as Singh puts it – “If a common man has a story to tell, he can pick up a camera and say it.” No god fathers and no stars were required to get the directors – Yash and Allison - the break they needed. Good news for loads of wannabe film-makers.

The movie was left without a name on purpose for the story revolves around the search for the unknown. Unfortunately for the directors and the production house – the movie has come to be known as ‘Question Mark’ – there possibly cannot be another way to talk about a movie without a name.

So while the potential audience may consider such an attempt rather pretentious – the obscurity just may be the right curiosity generator that could pull in the people to the theatres.

Bollywood has graduated from its B grade horror flicks to the slick and the aptly scary. Horror is not a new genre for Bollywood – but a lot remains to be done in the space. While the cast and crew are hoping to score on the ‘realism’ front – Bollywood’s (potentially) third attempt at dealing with ‘Blair Witch’ or ‘Paranormal Activity’ type ‘found footage’ may lose ground for not offering anything startling and new. The film hits the screens on Friday 17th in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
Whether ‘?’ will mange to thrill or fall flat – one must survive the weekend to know.


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