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Aranmanai 4 Review

The Hindi dubbed (badly) version of the Tamil hit Aranmanai is out, and it turns out to be lengthy, noisy and mostly tedious, observes Deepa Gahlot.

The Aranmanai (Palace) horror-comedy franchise has had a fairly successful run, and the fourth in the series, was reportedly a big hit.

Now the Hindi dubbed (badly) version of the film is out, and it turns out to be lengthy, noisy and mostly tedious, that starts coming together in the last half hour or so.

Which is a pity really, because Sundar C has a hard-working cinematographer and CGI team, who crank up the scares. The plot is archaic though, and the comedy track deplorable.

Sarvanan (Sundar C) is a lawyer whose fists fly faster than his cases, as he is introduced with a fight sequence, just to prove that he is not a wimp.

When he learns that his estranged sister Selvi (Tamannaah Bhatia) committed suicide after her husband (Santhosh Pratap)'s death, he goes to the remote forest mansion to find out what happened.

He is accompanied by his annoying aunt (Kovai Sarala), who has a facial tic that makes her wink violently and cause some misunderstandings, which are supposed to be funny.


The house has an assorted bunch of loonies squatting in it, including a squabbling pair of carpenters (Yogi Babu, V T V Ganesh), who are so crass that removing their scenes from the film would improve it considerably.

There is also a pretty doctor Maya (Rashii Khanna), who could be Sarvanan's love interest, if he had the time from discovering corpses and seeing a black-clad sadhu (Ramachandra Raju) everywhere.

Selvi's daughter (Deva Nandha) is in a coma, and her son (Sanjay) is terrorised by a spirit, but remains remarkably calm as things creak and fly in his room.

The shape-shifting supernatural creature Baak from Assam -- where the film's prologue is set -- lands up in this Tamil Nadu forest and looks for human prey to grow its own strength.

Why he is prevented from attacking Selvi's home and how he is defeated is what the film is about, if it could just stop wandering around and let the story unfold without silly interruptions.

Because even the overused horror devices of strange noises in the forest, furniture mysteriously crashing and humans levitating are used rather well, it's the lack of drama for most part that destroys whatever chills and suspense the visuals manage to create.

The spirit has a modus operandi of its own -- it can get into any human body and mutate into several forms, but it can't pass through walls. When it is glimpsed, it looks like a critter from dozens of Hollywood horror movies.

The well choreographed climax at the village fair preceded by a dance by two Tamil female stars, and followed by an 'item' number by the film's leading ladies in scanty costume must have added some spice that attracted audiences, because large parts of the film are just dull, and the lead star-director looks distracted like he's rather be elsewhere.

It is left to Tamannaah Bhatia to do her bit to the best of her ability -- and she gets one solid scene in which protects her kids from the rampaging ghost, while pretending it's a game.

Aranmanai 4 Review Rediff Rating: