Sunday, January 22, 2012

Movie review - "404"

This movie called "404" slipped by unnoticed in 2011. A friend recommended it to me, and so I bought the VCD recently. It turned out to be money well spent.

The movie has nothing to do with cyber space at all.
It is set in a premier medical institution. Students strive to get admitted in here.
The only dark spot is the despicable practice of ragging, that has become a "tradition" over time.

In the new batch that joins, pretty much everyone is afraid of the seniors. Except for 1 student - Abhimanyu - who stands up to them at each turn.
There is a locked room (number 404) in the hostel of the college that everyone is afraid of. It is the room where a previous student, Gaurav, had committed suicide. Due to rumors of his ghost being present, nobody wants to stay in it.

Abhimanyu takes up the challenge posted by the seniors and occupies the room. The seniors take advantage of this and rag him psychologically, always chanting that "Gaurav is still alive and that this is his room, so get out". There is a professor called Aniruddh who backs Abhimanyu. The professor believes only in rationality, and denies that anything paranomal can exist. He supports Abhimanyu in his struggle.

However, slowly things start taking a toll on Abhimanyu. He starts seeing Gaurav everywhere, and Gaurav even talks to him. His mental state becomes precarious, and the professor starts getting worried for him.

What is really happening? Is the psychological toll of ragging making Abhimanyu see the dead student? Or do ghosts really exist?

The director is new (Prawaal Raman), so some finesse is lacking. Also this is a low budget film. It shows everywhere in the making (a medical college does not have so few students :-)).

Also the film seems to be stuffed with newcomers for the same reason. Other than Satish Kaushik and Tisca Chopra, all the actors were unknown to me.

Other than these flaws, however, the film is totally watchable.

Rating: 3 or 3.5 / 5.

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