India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

“13B”: Don’t expect to get too scared

March 7, 2009

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.

Thankfully director Vikram Kumar changed my mind, merely by making “13B”.

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).

There is also a sinister blind neighbour and although I think you will guess his role in the end, it would have been better if it was explained.

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.

Comments

Yes, I think the suspense was good, but the end not soo convincing! The murder of all members of a family just because of the suicide of one–that too by a doctor somehow cannot be digested.

But overall a good movie. The idea is different!

Posted by Onda | Report as abusive
 

Well,I always felt song should also portray horror, if they are really required in the horror movie .hhee

Posted by Abhinav | Report as abusive
 

the things written are completely wrong & rubbish. it is a vry vry scary movie . don’t write rubbish

Posted by aakash | Report as abusive
 

Gr8 movie must watch……….

Posted by Siddhesh | Report as abusive
 

Well thank you for spoiling the plot points Onda. Much obliged!

Posted by Anderson | Report as abusive
 

I think it’s a good movie and u can watch it’s one time and i m sure u will get entertainment and acting of madhvan and a mad man is good but it is true that it is not the great performance of madhvan . It will have to come and we will have to wait for that after madhvan is a good and best actor. Over all movie is good and one time must watch

Posted by abhishek | Report as abusive
 

movie is quite ok, but not as to expected.R Madhavan did a great job.,,,,,,

Posted by ravi garg | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •