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13B - Well attempted thriller with a slow mild first half & a red hot iron second. (Review By Bobby Sing)

07 Mar, 2009 | Movie Reviews / 2009 Releases

With 13B, Indian film-makers take another tiny step towards exploring new ideas on screen. Gone are the days of those silly and childish horror movies served to us a few decades back. Moving ahead in that direction, 13B can be termed as a good attempt by the director Vikram Kumar who tries to give something new and out of the box in the genre of fast paced thrillers with good suspense.

But like the recent Raaz-2, 13B is also a good thriller and not a complete horror movie as publicized in the media campaign by the producers.  Yes, it takes the idea of spirits coming through a TV from THE RING, but the similarity ends here only and the movie takes a completely different path as it proceeds further. The story is about a family coming to their new house, with an address of 13B and within days they start experiencing mysterious and strange events. The women of the house, who are addicted to the afternoon TV serials, catch on to a new daily soap called “Sab Khairiyat” which has just started on a channel. Surprisingly, the happenings in the serial are exactly similar to what they are living in their real life. And as the incidents start becoming violent and bloody, there arise serious problems in the family. 
The movie starts off as a cold water kept on the fire for boiling. The first half only raises the temperature to a certain limit which results in just a mild hot water. The viewer keeps waiting for something fast to happen but he is served the hot dish only after the intermission. In sharp contrast to its first half, post interval the temperature starts rising with a great speed and as you reach the climax the water is boiling hot as a red hot iron. The well written sequences unfold the secret in an impressive way, handled well by the director towards the end. 
Though there are several loopholes in the script regarding the suspense but they don’t strike you at once since the second half has many disclosures being made at a very brisk pace. In the first half, the writer takes too much time to come on to the main topic and that deprives the movie to be called as a complete entertainer. The Storyline has a good suspense but the spirits roaming in the house are not scary enough as expected from the promos. The movie should have been edited more severely (by atleast 15-20 min) which would have resulted in a far better product for the viewers.
I still wonder about one thing in bollywood, which is regarding its passion for the songs. After so many new & fresh minds now working for the industry, why they all still stick to the idea of adding a few songs in a movie. And that too in a thriller, horror or murder mystery. Ideally these genre of movies should be strictly made as song less ventures to generate the desired impact on the viewer. But I think it will still take a long time for us to get away with this old passion of ours.
On merit basis there are three major assets of the movie. The first one is the Solid Background music and fabulous sound design. In fact in the titles only you get the feeling that some good sound effects are here on the cards. The second merit is the outstanding Camerawork which is visible in each frame and scene. The creative visuals enhance the experience of this thriller to a great extent, especially the scenes with the blind man and his dog, sequences related to the old black & white television and scenes at the mental asylum. The third worth mentioning plus point is the superb act by Madhavan, which he can easily rate as his best work till date in Hindi Cinema. He acts better in the tense scenes involving encounter with the spirits.
Among the other actors, Neetu Chandra is fine and she looks exactly like a lady next door with the right home wears. Deepak Dobriyal excels in his performance and impresses. Poonam Dhillon is wasted and so is Sachin Khedekar who doesn’t suit the role he is given. 
In short, 13B can be rated as good attempt by its team but it could have been much better with a lot of editing and without the unnecessary songs. Fans of thriller cum horror movies should feel about 65-75% satisfaction after watching 13B.
Rating : 2.5 / 5

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07 Mar 2009 / Comment ( 0 )
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