Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
“13B”: Don’t expect to get too scared
I am one of those people who get scared even when they aren’t meant to. I hate dark rooms and stormy nights don’t evoke any romance in my mind. In short, I am a perfect candidate for horror films — or at least that’s what I thought.
The film, based almost entirely in a plush, modern apartment, revolves around a typical middle-class family who have just bought the house of their dreams.
Small things begin to go wrong first. The milk always curdles, the walls in the prayer room seem nail resistant and the lift refuses to function.
And the TV-watching women of the house get addicted a soap that seems to mirror their own lives. But no one seems to notice the glaring similarities. Except younger son Manohar (played by R Madhavan).
Matters come to such a head midway through the film that Madhavan enlists the help of his friend, a police inspector, to dig out the mystery.
The suspense is quite good, but the reasons given for the same are flimsy and point to some weak writing.
Like I said in the beginning, the biggest failure of “13B” is it hardly keeps you on the edge of your seat, and with a running time of over 180 minutes, you feel it’s been stretched too far.
Why our filmmakers need to add songs and dances in a horror film I will never know but it takes away from the pace of the film.
At the end of “13B”, I felt like it could have been much better if its length had been reduced and the quality of writing improved. The seeds for a good story were right there but unfortunately I am not sure the execution was as good.
Of the cast, Madhavan is competent but this is surely not what I would call a great performance. The rest of the cast too are strictly OK.
This can be a one time watch film if you have nothing better to do this weekend, but don’t expect to be scared out of your wits.