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Review: Agyaat is better unknown

Movie:
Agyaat
Director:
Ram Gopal Varma
Cast:
Nitin Reddy, Priyanka Kothari, Gautam Rode, Rasika Duggal, Ishteyak Khan, Ishrat Ali
Avg user rating:
The smart title of the film is the only thing going for it. The word Agyaat, meaning `unknown`, encapsulates the mystery of the element that`s killing off the characters of the film. Much like The Blair Witch Project and the award-winning American TV Series Lost, that follows plane crash victims stranded in a jungle, where gruesome deaths and other baffling developments take place.

Here, we`re seeing a film crew that`s set out to shoot in a jungle: it`s a motley group with exaggerated quirks - the kind you find in this genre of film (the producer from the South, for example, cannot complete a sentence without saying 'aiyoda'). You have the sweet assistant director (South star Nitin), the film`s hero who is a swollen-headed, tantrum-thrower (Gautam Rode), the heroine (Priyanka Kothari in a strict no-full-clothing bond), a timid script supervisor, a Man Friday called Laxman and other assortments. Once they begin camping in the jungle, their local guide (Joy Fernandes) is the first to be killed brutally, sending shivers down the spines of the others. Then goes the producer who comically says 'aiyoda' just before his last breath. Following that, the usual stuff happens - characters begin fighting with each other, the mysterious killer goes `woohoohoohoohoo`, the girls scream, and the assistant director plays hero in real life saving the heroine on every occasion. The ending is outrageous, and you might let out a laugh if you can ignore the feeling of being had.

Read the Agyaat trade review

There are some moments that inspire a wry smile: the one where Laxman explains to the group who are thrilled at knowing he has a mobile phone, that the phone has "no outgoing facility, but the incoming is lifetime free". Indeed, this character, played superbly by Ishteyak Khan, brings out some of the most interesting moments. Like the one where the hero, in the middle of all the killings, orders Laxman to carry his luggage, triggering the timid servant to go into a delicious outburst. Another portion that`s precious for its unintentional comedy is where the heroine`s stomach and shoulders are attacked by leeches, prompting her to take off her crisp white shirt (just when you wondering how an RGV heroine is allowed full clothing). Dialogue is a drone where the characters keep repeating that some agyaat thing is killing them all one-by-one; one even wonders of this `thing` has dropped in from the antariksh (space).

Technical aspects are in keeping with director Ram Gopal Varma`s usual treatment of this genre. Camerawork by Surjodeep Ghosh captures the location and the characters` actions interestingly; Amar Mohile`s (who has done umpteen RGF films right from Road in 2002) music belts out the same ol`. The film`s characterisation is non-existent, dialogue is uninspired, performances are largely patchy, and the story spectacularly predictable.

If seeing a group of restricted characters getting bumped off, conveniently leaving the two central ones for the impending sequel is your thing; you might want to catch Agyaat. But one suspects the above-mentioned ingredients hardly sound a palatable watch.

Check out our Agyaat special

Verdict: One star

 

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