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Hisss review: A soulless spectacle

Hisss review: A soulless spectacle

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Monday 25 October 2010

Movie Title

Hisss review: A soulless spectacle

Director

Jennifer Lynch

Star Cast

Mallika Sherawat, Irrfan Khan, Divya Dutta, Jeff Doucette

The Naagin story still remains synonymous with actor Sridevi. You cannot deny the fantastical element of the concept of a lady cobra that changes form on account of revenge.

You can scoff at the corniness of it all, but cannot take your eyes off Sridevi dancing to that ?been? song entranced by the evil snake charmer. The film has so much soul and believes so purely in the concept of the angry naagin, you cannot help but be swayed.

And don?t forget, it had none of the big bucks special-effects or skin show going for it. Hisss has both, but still remains a soulless spectacle.

An American-accented voiceover transports us back to 2300BC India. We?re shown a tribe that is being punished by the naagin for one of their member?s greed to obtain the naagmani. The ichadaari naagin is described by the VO as a ?shape-shifting cobra?.

We?re suddenly shifted to present day. An American, diagnosed with brain cancer, is in the Indian jungles to find the naagmani. He has heard that this naagmani, found with the female cobra, can bless one with immortality.

In this mad quest, he enlists a few trembling locals who agree helping him for the money. They find mating cobras, and catch and cage the male snake. Then unfolds a gruesome scene where the female snake changes shape to well, Mallika Sherawat.

Mallika, completely in the buff in keeping with Hollywood norms, steals some clothes and sets out into the human world to find her snake-mate.

The following portion sets the tone for the gory visuals that lie ahead. Dazed as she is, trying to fit in as a human, she is trapped by two rapists who she, er, eats up alive. Then she vomits one of them out - the jeans, hair, etc, in a ball with a cellphone trapped inside.

Apologies to give you an insight into this gruesome portion, but there you have it.

This also puzzles cool detective (Irrfan Khan) whose mother-in-law is a devotee of the naagdevi (snake goddess). He has a talkative new assistant (Raman Lamba) for company who calls these murders ?science fiction deaths?.

The cool detective debunks this theory with an ?I believe what I see? statement. Simultaneously, the villain, the American, keeps talking balderdash to the trapped male snake and making faces at the animal.

Meanwhile, the naagin is busy killing rapists and wife-beaters in the bloodiest of manners. Her murders and transformations from human to snake form are riddled with tacky special effects.

Mallika Sherawat is a reasonable actress and looks suitably hot. For Sherawat fans, you have a languorously paced scene where she discards the white sheet around her to climb a street lamp, in the nude. Then you have her making out with a snake!

One of the worst aspects of the film is the awful (in context with the film) background score that seems completely disjointed with the story developments.

Jennifer Lynch, director of Boxing Helena and Surveillance, and daughter of a well-known Hollywood director David Lynch (Mulholland Drive, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet), makes a film that?s part Sherawat exhibit and part exotic India tirade. Avoid!

Rating: 1 star

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