Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Friday, January 11, 2013

CRUISIN' ON DOWN TO BOLLYWOOD





Yavarum Nalam (All Is Well)
aka 13B (2009) Tamil/Hindi

This movie was released in two different versions in India, Tamil being the language spoken in South India and Northeast Sri Lanka, Hindi being the language of Delhi, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh, Northeastern Madhya Pradesh, and parts of Eastern Rajasthan. I only include that 'cause I'm totally geographically ignorant and wanted to know myself - never heard of Tamil before. And, as in some Asian or Mexican films, you actually hear that they mix a lot of English with the Hindi words... Hinglish?



Now this is a film to watch, not for horror value because there really isn't any (Apparently those in India are scared of things close to Asian horror which to most Americans isn't scary at all.) but for the production values, the interesting family interactions, the what-the-hell music video included at the end of the movie starring the top two characters, where they sang something about doing 'the Sa Re Ga Ma' although I couldn't find an English translation for that, just that it is the name of an audio/video company. If you put a 'pa' at the end, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa you have a musical contest. So I dunno.



Basically this two hour movie is your typical 'move into a new place but it's haunted' type story, except with of course the interesting peek into an Indian family and their daily lives. Two brothers have saved up and purchased a posh apartment where they, their younger sister, their mother, one brother's wife and his two kids all live in. They figure with continued good fortune they will pay it off in 16 years. Yikes. The brother with the wife, Manohar, is experiencing difficulties however, with many misgivings. The elevator ('lift') won't work for him - if he wants to ride it someone else has to be in it too. 

The 'holy' room set aside for Lord Ganesh will not let nails be driven into the wall, and it is unlucky not to have your holy room set up immediately. The milk keeps curdling, and every day at one in the afternoon the TV turns itself on to channel 13 (1300 hours or 1:00 p.m.) and plays EYE TV which runs a soap opera about an Indian family that's identical to his.

In other words... yawn. But to the Hindu culture this is very serious stuff. We have superstitions, fears of the dead, the mentally ill portrayed as psychos, and other things that they find scary - I just concentrated on the production values (very good), the special effects (there really weren't any), the acting (average to just above average) and the storyline (would have been better if they had cut it down a bit).

Long story short, the soap opera starts 'predicting' things in real life and Manohar tries to convince others of his fears but it's futile. The reason for the problem? A family lived in a bungalow which address was 13B (the number of Manohar's apartment) on the spot of the new apartment building, and were all killed with a sledgehammer. A mentally ill member of the family who survived was accused and locked away, but from the rage of the ghost family, he was not the killer. 

Telling you who was would involve a protracted look at the story you really don't want, let's just say that in the end Manohar makes things right and the building starts cooperating - he can use the 'lift', the holy room is in order, the milk is good, and things are going great.... until...

I guess even in Bollywood filmmakers feel every movie's got to have that sinister twist at the end - no one gets to be happy in horror movies. Very slick music video though... better than a lot of others I've seen. Same with the movie...