Planet Bollywood
Dhund - The Fog
Producer: Yashovardhan Tyagi & Vinod Sharma
Director: Shyam Ramsay
Starring: Amar Upadhayay, Apoorva Agnihotri, Aditi Govitrikar, Divya Palat and Irfan Khan
Music: Viju Sha
Lyrics: Ibrahim Ashq, Chandrashekhar Rajit & Rakesh Mishra
Genre: Horror
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Film Released on: 21 February 2003
Reviewed by: Shahid Khan  - Rating: 1.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 viewers)
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Raaz” and “Jaani Dushman” were a couple of films that fared decently at the box office last year. As a consequence, the poor public is getting more mediocre horror movies thrown at them. After “Baaz- A Bird In Danger” and “Kucch To Hai”, comes “Dhund- The Fog”.

The movie begins with a crazy man (“hee hee ha ha”) who tries to destroy some lifesize dolls by setting them on fire. But while he is doing that, he himself is killed by some other crazy man (“ho ho ho”). Then the opening credits roll. The director realised that the audiences won’t be able to tell the difference between each of the models cast in this movie. So everytime a cast name comes, he flashes up a photograph of them (thank heavens!). What happens after the opening credits have finished rolling is completely different. The two sisters, Simran (Aditi Govitrikar) and Kajal (Divya Palat) are out singing a song with their scantily-clad sahelian in their swimming pool. Sameer (Amar Upadhyay) and Kunal (Apoorva Agnihotri) discover the two girls doing their funky moves. Naturally they take photographs… like any deprived boy would do. But the two girls are so busy with their dancing that they don’t realise that their photos are being taken. Simran is later upset when her photo appears on the cover of a famous magazine. She is not upset for long, however, when Sameer declares his love for her. The foursome go to a nightclub and sing a song. Sameer does his funky moves with Simran while Kajal and Kunal decide to make do with each other too (though when and how those two fall in love is not made quite clear!).

Then the story starts. Psycho Baddie’s (Ajit played by Irfan Khan) sister (Preeti played by Sweta Menon) comes home running shrieking about how excited she is at being allowed to participate in a local beauty contest. But there is a snag. The evil Simran is also going to take part in the contest too (cue dramatic theme tune of Hitchcock’s “Psycho”). In the previous contests where Preeti took part, Simran has always won. The bechari is so beautiful that she cannot help but win every beauty contest she appears in. The Beautiful Bechari is soon being given threatening phone calls by the Psycho Baddie. She must not take part in the contest or else. Or else her cat, Softy, dies. She does not take these threats seriously until she goes to open the fridge to find a carton of Haagen Dazs ice cream to stuff herself with, and lo, what does she find? Why, none other than a pie made out of her very own cat. “Aaaaaargh!!” She screams. It takes her five full minutes to recover as we soon see the Beautiful Bechari strutting up and down the catwalk in the local beauty competition. Never mind the fact that she has been threatened with the same fate as her dead cat if she wins. Obviously she wins and Ugly Preeti is left out in the cold once again.

Now the Psycho Baddie with the Bad Haircut and the Awful Beard is mad. Very mad. He is so mad that he is coming for Simran and is going to kill her off once and for all. Simran knows about the death threats but what does she do? Sing a sexy rain song with her hero, of course. It’s remarkable how characters in Bollywood horror movies manage to remain so cheerful and optimistic when there is a killer after them. They always find the time to stop and sing a song. Ah, bless. Anyway, while the dreary foursome sing a tuneless song, the Psycho Baddie is on his way to their house in his jeep. It’s midnight, and naturally, Sameer and Kunal decide to do a bit of shopping thus leaving the two bimbos on their own. When the Mad Psycho Baddie bangs on the door of their house, Bimbo Number One (that is Simran) goes skipping to open the door. Bechari is shocked to see him. It had totally escaped her mind that there was a killer after her. But she is even more shocked that her potential killer has such a bad haircut. “You wouldn’t last five minutes in a beauty competition, I dread to think what your sister looks like” She thinks to herself. Simran looks frightened and runs around the room and makes sure that the camera gets a good enough view of her heaving chest. It’s not that hard to frighten her. All the Psycho Baddie has to do is tap her gently on the hand and the viewers will see her scream and trip down the stairs. Bimbo Number Two (Kajal) also joins in the “tu tu main main”. The dramatic scene ends with a death. Who lives? Who dies? What has this got to do with the two crazy men in the beginning of the movie (“hee hee haa haa” and “ho ho ho”)? Who cares?

None of the cast except Irfan make much of an impact. Amar debuts in this film and his performance is poor. He hams and his dancing in a couple of the songs provokes giggles. Aditi is even worse. She has no expressions at all.

Apoorva was last seen crying like a little girl in “Hum Ho Gaye Aapke”. Mercifully, he has no crying to do here so he is bearable. Divya cannot act but interestingly she talks like a surprised person. She recites her lines as if she is asking questions and she maintains the same boring tone in her dialogue throughout. Irfan performs nicely as the villain but his energy is wasted. Regulars like Prem Chopra and Gulshan Grover give decent support. The direction by

Shyam Ramsay is mediocre and uninspired.

This film is better off allowed to just disappear into the fog and be forgotten forever.

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