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404: Error Not Found (2011)

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A brilliant student starts hallucinating after moving into a room that was occupied by another who committed suicide.



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Credited cast:
Sara Arjun ...
Prof. Aniruddh's daughter (as Baby Sara)
Rajvvir Aroraa ...
Aditya Banerjee
Mukesh Bhatt ...
Amod Burande ...
Dr. Meera
Chandra Shekhar Dutta
Nishikant Kamat ...
Professor Aniruddh
Lawrence Postma ...
Prabhat Raghunandan ...
(as Prabhat)
Ruchir Raj ...
Vinod Rawat ...
Paritosh Sharma (Patu)
Imaaduddin Shah ...
Chris (as Immaduddin Shah)
Vinay Sharma


Abhimanyu enrolls himself in a medical institute and gets a room in the hostel. He finds that ragging is rampant, initiated by Chris and other seniors, on vulnerable freshers so much so that three years ago a student, Gaurav P. Gupte, killed himself. When he himself becomes a victim, he speaks out and complains, only to have his room trashed. He then requests that he be moved to Room 404 - the very room that was occupied by Gaurav. The authorities initially refuse as the room has been under lock and key since the suicide and no one dared to occupy it. But Abhimanyu insists and assures them that this will remove the myth associated with it, and he is accordingly permitted to do so. Shortly thereafter, he will start to hallucinate about not only seeing but also speaking with Gaurav. When he shares these with his friend, Neha; and Professor Aniruddh and his wife, Dr. Meera, they express disbelief and are convinced that he is suffering from a mental disorder. Despite of this opposition, ... Written by rAjOo (

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Release Date:

20 May 2011 (India)  »

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404 Error Not Found  »

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An interesting and engaging psychological thriller
27 May 2011 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Famous psychologist William James said "Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is theoretically possible". This line sums up 404, an intelligent psychological thriller that deals with a certain aspect of human psychology which explores the dilemma arising because of belief and disbelief resulting in many unsolved debate. This debate is the spinal cord of the narrative of 404 that brilliantly explores the psyche of both the sect of people. The films begins with a grainy video of a medical college focusing on a particular student who commits suicide in his room 404 and thus setting the mood for an edgy thriller but unlike loud desi horror films it comes across as a sensible story. Set in a medical college of high repute it explores the world of ragging and its side effect which results in psychological misbalance and drastic suicides. Abhimanyu (played by débutant Rajvvir Aurora) is a fresher stands against the seniors and dares to complain against them. A man with strong rational mind he chooses to stay in the forbidden "rumoured to be haunted" room 404. With help from rationalist medical psychology professor Aniruddha (brilliant acting by director Nishikant Kamath), Abhimanyu got the key to room number 404. Ragging went to the extent of psychological hammering by seniors led by Chris (played by Immaduddin Shah) which moulded Abhimanyu's mind to start hallucinating about Gaurav (the person who committed suicide in 404). With series of incidence Abhimanyu's rational soul is severely beaten as he starts experiencing the paranormal activities in the room. And there starts the fight between rational thinking and paranormal beliefs as Aniruddha sir becomes hell bound in saving a bright young mind like Abhimanyu getting drained down into irrationality. Following this the story is about the fight between rationalism and some undefined force which is beyond explanation of science. Whether Abhimanyu was really hallucinating or there is an existence of a/an atma (soul) in the room becomes the rest of the story in the second half. With two mediocre horror films in his kitty Prawal Raman take a complete u-turn by scripting the brilliant 404, something unseen in Indian cinema. Without playing it to the gallery the story moves at its own pace gradually involving and intoxicating the audience to the proceedings. The grainy starts to the blurred sequences there is a continuous swinging between belief and disbelief. Throughout the film director kept the debate open ended without supporting one extreme. Even camera (by Savita Singh) and lighting department helped to maintain balance between the two extremes. The jerks and sudden frame change sequences reflected the disturbances in the mind of Abhimanyu as well as Aniruddha sir and credit goes to Sarvesh Parab for the fine tuning. Prawal Raman has an eye for detailing and subtleties. Just after the opening credit, there was a sequence showing a TV channel airing a programme about the Nazi ruling by imposing fear which leads to forced belief and respect. In the similar manner the rational professor feels that the belief of god or evil are nothing but imposed fear which flows out of our subconscious mind thus our brain forcing the eyes to decipher. To keep the balance the costume and set designs are made with utmost detailing. The rational Abhimanyu is wearing a red string holy dhaga in hindu religion) in his hand. The posters in the room of Chris were all of spaghetti western which were in between the huge commercial films and low budget art-house ones. Every shot has an element of "somewhere in the middle" feeling attached to it. Raman scripted a non conclusive climax which has an element of belief and disbelief whereby two world of thinking collides with each having its own way of representation. Prawal Raman deserves a standing ovation for such an intelligent script and specially the camera angle in the climax scene which makes the scene non-conclusive, open to interpretation. Sameeruddin's back ground score with Singh's camera-work played the perfect duo in inducing an eerie feeling throughout the film. Coming to the acting department Nishikant Kamat (who made the critically acclaimed Mumbai Meri Jaan and Domvibli Fast) gives a stupendous performance as the famous careerist rational Professor Aniruddha who has a mysterious psychological past. He underplays his role beautifully in every sequence with special mention to the climax when he breaks down in fear and confusion when his own ideologies were challenged. Rajvvir Aurora makes a promising debut and is an actor to look for. The gradual transformation of a rationalist to believer in paranormal existence Rajvvir plays his role with striking acuteness. Tisca Chopra as Aniruddha's wife and a professor herself reflects elegance, charm and intelligence. She plays her role beautifully and even at this age she looks stunning without make-up and in regular dress. Satish Kaushik is always a great actor and here also excels in the role of a professor who is in dilemma about the existence of spirit. Imad Shah as Chris is a natural actor who plays the senior with a conscience perfectly. All the actors in the film underplay themselves brilliantly giving some believable performances. In 2009 a well crafted thriller "The stoneman murders" got released but went away unnoticed. I sincerely hope 404 gets its due credit as this is one of the rarest intelligent film on Indian celluloid that balances science and paranormal activities and breaks away from all the cliché of horror films that are made in India. 404 is a must watch for those who are craving for good cinema.

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