Thats the formula Ram Gopal Varma has come up with, for his audience, in this mercilessly shocking movie.
A never-scared, self-satisfied, endlessly-laughing man, watches Darna Mana Hai in an empty theatre, hates it to the core and takes a shortcut through a graveyard, against his mother's advice. There...
1. The Professor
A Biotech student visits his professor at his house to clear his doubts before examination. The meeting turns into an annoyance when the professor behaves troubled with something. The student prepares to leave. Then...
2. One Call Please
A man, whose car breaks down, knocks the door of an unusual couple for help. As he gets more comfortable with them and as they display their new unusual hobby, they discover that their meeting was not just a coincidence.
3. Life is Risky
An ambitious Insurance Policy man approaches a middle-class family to impress them with his "Life is Risky" tactics. While he is constantly shown only the door, he even goes a step further in completing his target.
4. The Director
A romantic-movie director wants to make a horror movie. On the way to his out-of-city bungalow, where he decides to write the climax, he gives lift to a stranded girl in his car. As she narrates her story, his job becomes easier than he had imagined.
A young man who saves a girl from running over by his car on a rainy night, wakes up to find himself in a lock-up, accused for a crime which he has never committed. As a stranger visits him in the station, the truth that unfolds then, seems stranger than fiction.
6. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Six brave children, misusing their school picnic freedom, hike in a forest and arrive at a haunted house where they meet an old lady who lives alone without fear. As they get friendly with each other, she challenges to scare them by narrating six frightening stories. While she stops after the fifth, the bravest kid asks her, "Where is the sixth one, Dadi Ma?". He will be told.
It would take too long to review each story. Therefore, I'd like to put it in a brief way. Each story has its own theme and its own shock value, though, a few similarities can be felt between The Couple and The Director (in both one tries to fool another with a scare) and also between The Director and Ma (the car, dark road, rain). Nevertheless, the rest are unique among them.
"Life is Risky" devastates a common man's sense of self-security. It jolts but doesn't scare. Rajpal Yadav is greaaaatttt as the Insurance man. Sunil and Sonali just fit in the role. "The Director" is beautifully made. When Mallika narrates her story in dark, it somehow reminded me of the song "Ye Sard" from RGV's Bhoot. I expected more but unfortunately it ended too soon and made me feel "Is that all?". Anil Kapoor and Mallika have done whats necessary. Nothing more. "The Couple" is slow, sensuous, playful, scary and predictable. You just cant forget that smile! Makrand shines in his role. Arjun and Bipasha have done a good job. "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" is the movie's central story. Ava Mukherji is, in one word, scary! The children have dutifully performed as they have been instructed.
Now the three best episodes. "Ma..." is a brilliant tale. Randeep is wow! Zakir is unbelievably superb. Rasika excels in her role. Are you going to Poona? In car? In the night? In rain? Beware! "Boo..." is the Prologue. Manoj Pahwa. Man! What a carelessly cool actor! His mother is a good diversion. She has done well too. Sorry. I wont say anything more than this.
Of all the seven stories, "The Professor" steals the show. Amitabh! The icon of Bollywood gives one more earth shattering performance! How many more styles does he have! This episode stops you, shocks you and gives you shivers, cos you don't know whats in it and whats gonna come next. Ritesh has rendered a befitting performance. He seems more scared of Amitabh's acting skills than the scenario he is in. Cos the old man rules!
This movie on the whole has more fear and shock value than Darna Mana Hai, although I should accept that except for "The Professor", DMH had much better story plots. In my opinion, the most shocking of all the 14 stories in both DMH and DZH is "The Professor" and the scariest of all is "The Teacher" from Darna Mana Hai. Overall, DMH didn't scare as much as DZH, but it made us squirm and feel creepy cos of the reality which the stories reflected. It left a long lasting impression in us. On the other hand, the shocks that DZH has in store, will hit you hard and cruel with sudden force, only when you naively think that its time to relax. Thats merciless! It shocks you. It keeps you excited. It makes you giggle with fear. And its fun. Its a different experience on the whole. Feel sorry for yourself, if you miss this great movie. And feel more sorry while watching it...
Hey! Look who is behind you!