The Film: Sssshhh
Cast: Dino Morea, Karan Nath, Tanishaa, Gaurav Kapoor, Suvarna Jha, Kushal Punjabi, Teena Chowdhary, Aly Khan, Shivaji Satam, Nasir Abdullah, Simone Singh
Director: Pavan S Kaul
Producer: Prem Kishen, Sunil Mehta
Music: Anu Malik
Lyrics: Praveen Bharadwaj, Rahat Indori, Yogesh, Dev Kohli
Slasher flicks normally have a very straightforward storyline, if any; and contrary to claims made by any filmmaker, you cannot distinguish one from the other on the basis of the story. How different can a slasher flick be? Probably a twist would be if the slasher used firearms instead of knives/axes, then again, the genre would be called gunners? or something equally silly. I don't like the sound of that either.
Mehek (Tanisha, kid sister of the powerhouse performer Kajol) is going through a bad phase in her personal life. Her sister Malini (Simone Singh in a guest appearance) has been murdered. While she is trying to get out of this phase, she starts receiving phone calls from the supposed killer of Simone. He purports her to be his next victim, and starts stalking her.
Meanwhile, Rocky (Dino Morea in a fun-loving role for a change) is Tanisha's childhood friend and in love with her. He along with his sidekick Rajat (Channel V VJ Gaurav Kapoor in a role replete with PJs) are trying out ways to woo her for him.
But, Tanisha's inclination is towards the new boy in college Suraj (Karan Nath, son of Rakesh Nath a.k.a. Rikku, Madhuri Dixit's secretary; who one may remember from "Yeh Dil Aashiqana") who is timid and soft-spoken.
After a few attacks by the slasher, who wears a joker's mask, Tanisha's friends (Dino, Karan, Gaurav, Suvarna Jha, Kushal Punjabi and Teena Chowdhary) try to cheer her up.
When they feel that the killer has been bumped off in a fight, they start heaving a sigh of relief.
They come up with an idea to go to Thailand for a vacation, but unfortunately, the slasher turns up in Thailand and goes on a slashing spree with a vengeance.
How the group of friends gets killed one by one without any clue to the slasher's identity forms the crux of the latter half of this movie.
Debutant Tanisha certainly has her share of genes to prove. Shobhana Samarth's granddaughter. Tanuja and Shomu Mukherjee's daughter. Nutan and Joy Mukherjee's niece. Kajol's sister. Ajay Devgan's sister-in-law. Mohnish Behl and Rani Mukherjee's cousin. And her paternal grandfather Sashadhar Mukherjee owned Filmalaya studios. With a lineage like that, you have to be in films. But she doesn't seem to have taken care of herself in the appearance department. She is flabby, and moreover wears clothes which accentuate this fact. She can act fine, but that is the least expected from any newcomer in this era due to the intense competition. Dino Morea and Gaurav Kapoor impress in their comedy routine, and bring a smile to our faces whenever they come on screen. Karan Nath tries hard to make his character believable, and succeeds partly. Kushal Punjabi, Teena Chowdhary and Suvarna Jha provide good support. Shivaji Satam, Aly Khan and Maya Alagh don't have much scope to perform.
Debutant director Pavan Kaul shows a flair for the medium. He has handled the technical part very well and there is a sleek look to the film throughout. The story, screenplay and dialogues by Arshad Sayed are not the stuff hits are made of. The screenplay leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and the motive department as usual takes a toss in the climax. Music by Anu Malik and lyrics by Praveen Bharadwaj, Rahat Indori and Yogesh and Dev Kohli make no impact. Cinematographer Hiroo Keswani tries to get experimental in the first quarter of the movie, and gives you the urge to unleash a slasher on him, but once he settles down, he does a pretty decent job.
1. Dino Morea, Pavan Kaul and Tanisha suffered an accident when they were returning from Kullu Manali, when the vehicle in which they were traveling rolled down into a ditch. They ended up with quite some injuries; Dino had a hairline fracture in his cheekbone and Tanisha claims her face bloated due to her bed rest after the accident.
2. Tanisha was supposed to debut in Shekhar Kapur's Tara Rum Pum Pum, which never got off the floors. Later, she was also nearly finalized for Suraj Barjatya's "Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon", which too didn't materialize.
3. The item number in this movie has been done by Renuka Chouhan, who has done ads for Nivea, Onida etc.
You have seen one slasher flick, you have seen them all. But you can still go for a thrill ride or the curiosity to see Tanisha act. After the sedate first quarter, things look up and the pace is maintained. If you have seen "I still know what you did last summer", you will know the identity of the killer very soon. In fact, I predicted it within the first 15 minutes. It's a fun ride while it lasts, don't expect anything more, and you will be pleased.