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Sanjana and Aditya retreat to Ooty to give a last chance to their crumbling marriage. But the break turns into a nightmare when Sanjana starts hearing screams. A spirit is haunting Sanjana, while Aditya is hiding a secret that could steer him from life to death. Written by
Kaif Mahmood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Average film-making, decent thriller, beautiful Bipasha!
Raaz is a very average film in terms of film-making. It's a very funny mixture of thriller and romance. While films like Bhoot use music which contributes to the film's genre perfectly, the songs in Raaz are very melodious and romantic, which makes them odd and unsuitable for a thriller like Raaz. Anyway, if the film had been made as a complete thriller, it would probably have not succeeded commercially as expected by the producers. Generally, thrillers and horror films often display magical realism to make it more convincing and scaring (again, Bhoot), and the acting is natural for the same purpose, but this film has far too many unrealistic sequences, over-the-top dialogues and exaggerated acting (except for Bipasha) even in very ordinary and simple scenes which are not part of the suspense. This does not mean though the effect was damaged completely, because you wouldn't really expect to see a realistic film with such a story. Raaz therefore does work as a thriller most of the time.
Dino Morea does not make a great impact. This is not really a performance-driven role, though he is restrained throughout and looks suitable for the role. The film has one main highlight for me, and it's Bipasha Basu who carries the film on her own shoulders. Although these were still the days when she had not yet become a national sex symbol, this girl had extremely expressive eyes and graceful mannerisms. She did not perform brilliantly, nor did she look as stunningly beautiful as she looks today, but she did perform well and looked attractive and beautiful. And the dubbing artist... she did a fabulous job for her. And speaking of dubbing, yes, the film secretly used professional dubbing for several actors, including the main lead, which is good because from what I know the starring actors were yet to work on their voices and diction at that point of time. And though it does make wonders, as the performances seem to be much more convincing, the dubbing at several points faces foul-ups. Several scenes had a noticeable lack of compatibility between the voice over and the facial expressions, which was quite annoying. Anyway, Raaz may not be a great film, but it is a decent entertainer, and as a time-pass flick it does the required. It may have had better results had it been directed by someone like Ram Gopal Varma, but it should be worthy of a one-time watch.
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