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DARR @ THE MALL - Begins well but then falls back to the same routine, inspired stuff as usual. (Review By Bobby Sing)
22 Feb, 2014 | Movie Reviews / 2014 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / D

Looking at the decent number of people coming in to watch this not so big or hugely publicized venture, it was pretty clear that Indian audience are still ready and waiting for a good, enjoyable Hindi horror film as always. But unfortunately our film-makers are visibly struggling to crack this particular genre from quite long and that is the reason why a film like THE CONJURING (2013) enjoys a great run at the multiplexes of the cities, whereas our own Hindi horror movies fail to generate a similar kind of impact at the box office.
To put it straight, either we are too much influenced from what is being made in the west in this specific field (like the mall is named AMITY MALL here) or not ready to try something fresh fearing an outright rejection. In fact this is what can clearly be seen in DARR @ THE MALL too which begins in a very fine way with a fresh approach and an interesting background score promising the most desired welcome change. But then just after the first 30 minutes, it again starts falling back to the same routine, seen before inspired stuff as witnessed in films such as GRAVE ENCOUNTERS (2011). Interestingly last year we had HORROR STORY taking it mostly from this experimental foreign flick and this year we have DARR @ THE MALL again based on a similar theme with only the venues changed. For instance, the abandoned hospital (or Hotel) turns into an abandoned shopping mall and the mental hospital of the flashback turns into an orphanage here to give it a different feel. So everyone getting locked into the haunted building concept remains the same and the only saving grace is its interesting culmination wherein the dark secret at least gives the viewer a few engaging moments, served in too late.
With an apt duration of just 2 hours, the film starts becoming monotonous towards the mid and then turns completely predictable with the revenge angle thrown in quite expectedly. Jimmy Sheirgill simply does this film like another of his side project but also remains strictly professional in his given character too as required. Nushrat Bharucha seems uninterested throughout and Arif Zakaria plays it well as the mall owner. However the other actors and youngsters do not get much to do in the film due to their short roles. The soundtrack is pretty average and the narration leaves few major questions unanswered in the end mainly about the character of Jimmy. Plus a purely forced in sequence of the foreign dancer is just there to get some steamy scenes on the screen and nothing else.
In short, considering the way it begins with a smart opening and an impressive background score, director Pawan Kirpalani might be able to crack the horror code in one of his coming venture for sure. But with DARR @ THE MALL he has simply missed the mark and the opportunity given.
Rating : 1.5 / 5

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22 Feb 2014 / Comment ( 2 )
prakash bhatia

Hi Bobbyji,
Though I have not seen this movie(don't intend to see after your review) but would like to say something.You are right that our horror film makers are unable to crack this code.This code needs lot of intelligence and superb imagination even after borrowing from some English movie.Background score is hallmark of a good horror film and when and where to use it is the most important part of it.
I still feel that pioneers of Hindihorror films Ramsey Brothers knew this art quite well. Their films were rustic in nature seldom lavish and they knew their strengths and weaknesses and from there they tried to crack this code and if I am not mistaken quite successfully.

I remember quite vividly Purana Mandir ,Do GazZameen key Nechey and a few tele films and serial which had Deepshikha were quite chilling and served the purpose that is to create horror.
Cheers Prakash Bhatia

Bobby Sing

Hi Prakash Ji,
Yes you are very right in your comment and the good news is that Ramsay Brothers are soon making a comeback with a film called NEIGHBOURS and probably they are also thinking of making sequels of their own Horror Hits.
Cheers!

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