Horror of Horrors

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Ragini MMS 2
Ragini MMS 2
Director: Bhushan Patel
Starring: Sunny Leone, Parvin Dabas, Saahil Prem, Sandhya Mridul

If Ragini MMS 2 goes on to become a hit — it is surely on the way to becoming one — then it will be the first time that a “horrex” movie will set the cash registers ringing in the box office. In case, you missed the word there, it stands for horror + sex. Of which, there is plenty of the latter.

So what if the movie does not make you turn your eyes from the screen? It delivers on at least a part of the promise, and that’s saying a lot. Balaji and Ekta Kapoor will be happy at the returns, but they should really consider what they allowed to pass muster by way of content.

Ragini MMS 2 is about Sunny Leone playing herself. That’s right. The pornstar plays a pornstar acting in a Bollywood horror flick, although she knows that she’s “not right for the role”, and that she has been offered it because of her NOC to doing steamy scenes. The film in the film, also named Ragini MMS 2, is a sequel to the first Ragini MMS and is shot in the house where the original Ragini had apparently seen a ghost. Clever, right? Not by half.

Director Bhushan Patel has perfunctorily gone through the motions of making a horror film, when the real concern was on how much skin to show and more importantly, how to show it.

No one can fault Patel for hitting the bull’s eye in that department. Sunny Leone sizzles and slithers all over the screen — there is even a demonstration of creating an orgasmic sound convincingly in front of the camera — that drives the film’s crew crazy. Her co-actors (this is the film within the film) know her claim to fame and, therefore, maintain their distance. At the same time, they lust for her. No stone has been left unturned to show this lust: a topless Sunny making love under the shower, a gyrating Sunny on the bed, a bra and panty-clad Sunny somnambulating, a naked Sunny throwing her underwear at one of her co-actors to lure him into the water and, of course, a baby-doll Sunny almost making love to the audience with her super-suggestive moves.

And that is only Sunny Leone. The others play their parts too. There is girl-on-girl action, masturbation, suggestive foreplay and fantasising that would make you blush. But, you do realise that getting Sunny Leone playing herself in a horror film set in a remote haunted house with horny co-stars in a pastiche reproduction will come with these trappings.

Even so, you cannot help feeling the bad aftertaste. Sunny tries to break free of the shackles that, one suspects, she truly believed would help her make the transition from porn to mainstream. Unfortunately, this will draw her deeper into the swamp. There will be plenty of offers, for sure, but they will be all from more “horrex” fare. Who knows, such films might even legitimise the screening of real porn in India?

Ragini MMS 2 has blurred the lines between mainstream Hindi horror film and a Ramsay factory product that runs to packed houses in smaller Indian towns. For if the footfall is anything to go by — at least on the day this reviewer was in the theatre — then such films also attract multiplex crowds in metro cities. Titillation, it seems, works like a charm when it comes to uniting the two Indias.

As for the other actors, you are left wondering as to why people like Parvin Dabas (Monsoon Wedding, Khosla ka Ghosla) and Sandhya Mridul (Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part II, Saathiya) would agree to be a part of such a project. The few horror scenes all look like a collage from The Shining to The Conjuring to the films of the Ramsay fold. The only good thing is the Hanuman Chalisa in the opening credits.

Word to the wise: this one is strictly for the Sunny Leone lovers.

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