Bollywood has had a hard time getting the teen slasher genre right. Sssshhh... is the latest entry into the garbage bin alongside Kucch To Hai and Baaz this year. Sssshhh... had a lot of hype surrounding itÂ´s release, but itÂ´s nothing more than a complete rip off of the Hollywood hit Scream.Â Scream succeeded cause it was a scary movie while being a parody on the genre itself. When adapted to Bollywood, it loses most of the humour and chills, and you already know the twists in the movie.Â
Like the Scream series this film starts with the murder of a seemingly innocent girl. Except this time it wonÂ´t be Drew Barrymore or Jada Pinket being slashed to pieces, instead itÂ´s Simone Singh. Six months later we cut to her sister Mehak (Tanisha) who is still recovering from her sisters untimely demise. Lucky for Mehak she has a close network of friends including Gehna (Suvarna Jha), Nikhil (Kaushal Punjabi), Rhea (Teena Chowdhary), Rajat (Gaurav Kapoor) and Rocky (Dino Morea). Rocky is a childhood friend who also secretly loves her. However Mehak doesnÂ´t reciprocate his feelings and instead falls for the new kid in town Suraj (Karan Nath). Things seem to be getting back on track, until the killer strikes again. After a few failed attempts on MehakÂ´s life, one of which leaves the killer Â´deadÂ´ (and a few other random corpses as well), her friends decide that it would be best to take a vacation in order to get her mind off things. In Scream the victimÂ´s friends threw a house party, in this flick they go to Thailand. After a few night of partying the gang decides it would be best to head out to a remote island. Meanwhile back at home itÂ´s discovered that the killer is really alive. Hot on the killers trail are two detectives (Shivaji Satam and Ally Khan). The rest of the film deals with the identity of the killer and how the group of friends try their best to stay alive and get back home.
By now itÂ´s obvious that Sssshhh... is one bad film. Earlier this year I had to endure a similar rip off, Kucch To Hai , which not only borrowed from all three Scream films, but also threw in scenes from Urban Legends and both I Know What You Did Last Summer films. The script of Sssshhh... scores a fat zero on originality, if youÂ´ve seen Scream then donÂ´t even bother giving this one a viewing. Arshad Sayed has done nothing more than take a few of the incidents from the Hollywood original and indianize them, make room for songs and change the settings to try and disguise the fact that this film is a rip off. In the climax, even the killers motive and the Â´secret twistÂ´ are also borrowed from the original. Pavan KaulÂ´s direction is good for a newcomer. As far as the technical aspects of the film go he knows what he is doing. His film has style and some camera angles and scene direction are decent. There are couple of sequences which make the viewer jump. On the flip side there are some very unintentionally funny bits thrown in, like the killer singing to Tanisha in the opening credits! He has stretched a wafer thin plot endlessly, and it grates on the nerves. When you think it might wrap up, it takes a new turn! The film suffers horribly on the account of bad editing, those scissors couldÂ´ve been used more effectively. Hiroo KeswaniÂ´s cinematography is a definite plus point! Thailand looks good onscreen and the portions in Himanchal Pardesh are appealing as well. There is one scene in the fog which stands out for the way it has been shot.Â
Performance wise the film offers little. A film like this doesnÂ´t heavily rely on top notch performances, cause the burden rests more on scaring the audience. Tanisha makes a rather unimpressive debut, she is very raw. Her emotional scenes are unintentionally funny, and her screams donÂ´t evoke any sympathy or fear, instead she gets very screechy. She is passable as a newcomer, but should consider some lessons before her next venture. Also she looks pretty shoddy for a newcomer, considering itÂ´s her first film one would think she would take the time to make sure she is presented well. Dino Morea is above average in a role that doesnÂ´t really require much scope to perform. He looks comfortable on screen and is natural in some of the light sequences, but needs to work on his dancing, which at times is too stiff. Karan Nath has confidence and screen presence. His performance is natural, he pulls off climax without going overboard. Of the supporting cast Gaurav Kapoor seems to be playing himself which is why he is fun to watch. He has good comic timing and a distinct attitude which come across well onscreen. The rest of the cast is wasted.
Music by Anu Mailk is horrible, the less said the better. Salim SuleimanÂ´s background score is equally bad. When are the music directors going to realize that loud music doesnÂ´t make a movie scary, but rather it hampers the effect certain scenes are supposed to have on you. A lot of the scenes in this film would have worked better had they used an uneasy silence in the background rather than a loud music score!Â
There isnÂ´t much else to be said for Sssshhh... except that if you really do want to see it, go ahead, but I did warn you, itÂ´s not great! If you want to see a decent spin on a murder mystery see Samay instead.