Raat (film)

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Raat
Raatri
Raat.jpg
Release poster
Directed byRam Gopal Varma
Produced byRam Gopal Varma
Boney Kapoor (Presenter)
Written byRam Gopal Varma
Uttej (Telugu dialogues)
StarringRevathi
Music byMani Sharma
CinematographyTeja
Rasool Ellore
Prasad
Edited byShankar
Production
company
Varma Creations
Release date
7 February 1992
Running time
127 minutes
CountryIndia
LanguagesHindi
Telugu

Raat/Raatri (transl. Night) is a 1992 Indian Hindi-Telugu bilingual supernatural horror film written and directed by Ram Gopal Varma, starring Revathi in the role of the protagonist.[1][2][3][4] The music was composed by Mani Sharma. The film was noted as an effort to bring horror films into mainstream Hindi cinema.[5][6]

This was the final film released in Bollywood, which was shot using 70mm negative. The film was critically acclaimed.[7]

Plot[edit]

A family of four moves into a house that is allegedly haunted. Manisha Sharma (Revathi) aka "Mini" is a girl studying in her college. Her father is Mr. Sharma (Akash Khurana), while her mother is Shalini Sharma (Rohini Hattangadi). Deepak (Kushant) is Mini's classmate and boyfriend. Mini's nephew Bunty (Master Atit) finds a cat in the house basement. The cat has an eerie look on its face with its spot-staring eyes. One day the cat ventures behind the father's car rear wheel and is killed accidentally while the car is reversed. The cat is buried in the backyard without the knowledge of Bunty. Their neighbor, Nirmalamma, is also the grandmother to Rashmi, Mini's classmate. Nirmalamma spooks them with a fearful response after hearing Mini is their new neighbor.

Bunty finds another cat which bears an uncanny resemblance to the dead cat. The family gets its first shock. Another day, Mini and Deepak decide to enjoy a ride to the city limits. While returning home, Deepak's bike rear tire goes flat. Deepak rides with a passerby to get a spare tire from a village nearby and asks Mini to wait for him. On returning, Deepak finds Mini sitting beside a tree near a pond, clutching her face and apparently weeping. Approaching her, Deepak stares at her fierce, reddening eyes (resembling the dead cat eyes), and slips into the pond. All of a sudden, Mini turns normal and calls to Deepak to come out of the pond.

The next day, Mini attends her classmate Rashmi's friend's marriage accompanying her. Rashmi is brutally killed on that day, her neck broken and head turned all the way back. The police officer investigating the case notices that during interrogation, Mini twists her doll's head exactly the way Rashmi's neck was twisted. The police investigating officer who visits Mini's home for questioning meets with an accident while riding out and dies. These events lead Mini's parents to seek professional help. Shalini approaches their neighbor, the old lady, while Mr. Sharma takes the help of a psychiatrist (Ananth Nag) regarding as nonsense the occult thoughts that his wife believes is the reason for their daughter's horror-stricken behavior. The neighbor old lady advises Shalini to seek the services of Sharji (Om Puri), who lives in Falaknuma. Sharji first visits his "guru" (Vijayachander) who has taken samadhi in the remote Falaknuma and gets fire-power ashes as a weapon. Sharji then locates the ghost (Sunanda) in Mini's house basement under the floor and finds it to be that of the woman who was the previous owner's moll and who was murdered brutally. Later, while the killer is abed with his new paramour, the ghost of his former moll kills him, as her hands and arms emerge from the bed and twist his neck, much like Rashmi's was done.

Following horrific events involving the ghost trying to kill Deepak, Sharji finally neutralizes her with the help of holy chants and the ashes. The ghost finally leaves Mini's body with a thundering flash.

On the one hand, scientific methods involving MRI and other medical procedures are conducted on Mini. This Mr. Sharma believes is the only way Mini could be "cured". However, Sharji has his own explanation of darkness beyond the light, that doesn't vanish, but is only diminished to an extent.

RGV has spun the web of horror played with confusion, dilemma, and the plight of the affected persons to the greatest extent possible, as required of a horror movie.

Cast[edit]

Music[edit]

Background score for the film was composed by Mani Sharma.

  1. "Raat Din Tere Khayal" – Anuradha Paudwal; Composer: Lalit Sen; Lyrics: Nawab Arzoo

Reception[edit]

Upon release, N. Krishnaswamy of The Indian Express gave the film a positive review, calling it "technically superb" and writing that it "should be a reasonably tasty item in the horror film buff's menu card".[8] In 2013, Amrah Ashraf of Hindustan Times called it the scariest film he had seen, saying Varma's Bhoot was a "subtler, sweeter remake of Raat".[9] Suchitra Patnaik of Film Companion credits this film for changing the Indian horror film scene, stating: "It had actors pulling off stellar performances and a serene yet dramatic background score, making this 1992 movie a blockbuster hit."[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paunksnis, Šarūnas (2019). Dark Fear, Eerie Cities: New Hindi Cinema in Neoliberal India. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-909693-0.
  2. ^ "Spookiest of them all". The Hindu. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  3. ^ Saravanan, T. (21 February 2014). "Following RGV". The Hindu. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  4. ^ Gopal, Sangita (2012). Conjugations: Marriage and Form in New Bollywood Cinema. University of Chicago Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-226-30427-4.
  5. ^ Dhusiya, Mithuraaj (2017). Indian Horror Cinema: (En)gendering the Monstrous. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-351-38648-7.
  6. ^ Moreland, Sean; Pervez, Summer (29 March 2013). "Acts of Re-Possession: Bollywood's Re- Inventions of the Occult Possession Film" (PDF). In Ahmad, Aalya; Moreland, Sean (eds.). Fear and Learning: Essays on the Pedagogy of Horror. McFarland. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-7864-9260-2.
  7. ^ Sen, Aditi (January 2011). "'I Wasn't Born with Enough Middle Fingers': How low-budget horror films defy sexual m orality and heteronormativity in Bollywood" (PDF). Acta Orientalia Vilnensia. 12 (2): 75–90. doi:10.15388/AOV.2011.1.3931.
  8. ^ Krishnaswamy, N. (28 February 1992). "Raat". The Indian Express. p. 7. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  9. ^ Ashraf, Amrah (3 May 2013). "Brunch Opinion: the scariest film I ever saw". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  10. ^ Patnaik, Suchitra (28 October 2020). "Ram Gopal Varma – His Glorious Stint With Indian Horror". Film Companion. Retrieved 9 January 2021.

External links[edit]