A lot of us, who have grown up on masala cinema of 1970s and 1980s, will vividly recall two films made on ichhadhaari naagins - Rajkumar Kohli's Nagin (1976) and Harmesh Malhotra's Nagina (1986). Can we ever forget the revenge of the naagin? Can we ever forget the gripping plot, the spellbinding drama, the lilting music and of course, the unforgettable performances by Reena Roy and Sridevi, respectively?
When a film-maker attempts to make a film on an ichhadhaari naagin in 2010, the viewer expects to watch all of the above, besides great visual effects of course. More so because Hisss is helmed by a Hollywood director - Jennifer Lynch. But, to put it bluntly, Hisss is a nightmare. The film has absolutely nothing to offer - no story, no screenplay, no songs, no performances… Even the making is so tacky.
Final word? If there were Razzies in Bollywood, Hisss would win hands down.
The story is about the vengeance of an ichhadhaari naagin. George (Jeff Doucette), a ruthless American, travels to the jungles of India and captures her mate. She transforms into a woman (Mallika Sherawat) with absolutely no clue about contemporary civilization or the ways of mankind, and ventures into the city in desperate search for her lover with vengeance on her mind and venom in her fangs.
Vikram (Irrfan Khan) is entrusted the responsibility of solving the murders and tracking down the mysterious killer.
Films like Hisss make you realize what's going wrong in Bollywood today. On one hand, we celebrate the new stories being told in our movies and on the other, we churn out a Hisss, which is badly scripted, poorly enacted and carelessly directed. Believe me, it's easy to solve the crossword puzzle in newspapers than it is to understand what exactly is going on in this film.
As for director Jennifer Lynch, she needs a crash course in film-making pronto. The visual effects seem straight out of a B-grade Bollywood film.
Actors often tell me that they choose films based on the script, so what exactly did Irrfan Khan see in Hisss? Mallika has no dialogue all through the film, she changes lenses, then changes into a snake outfit and also goes full monty. That's it! Divya Dutta is wasted. Raman Trikha is passable. The actress enacting the role of Divya's mother is okay.
On the whole, Hisss is best avoided.
Director: Jennifer Lynch
Cast: Mallika Sherawat, Irrfan Khan, Jeff Douchette, Divya Dutta, Raman Trikha