Mohini: An Aimless, Unimaginative and Unoriginal Horror Film
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Director Ramana Madhesh’s latest horror film, Mohini uses a century-old formula to lure people into the theatres. Sadly, this formula proves to be disappointing as one predictable plot twist after another makes its way onto the silver screens leaving you bored. Maybe if the director had tried to revamp this ghost takes revenge formula to suit the palate of today’s audience, the film would’ve stood a chance. But all Mohini really is, is an unimaginative and tiresome tale that hardly knows where it’s going.
Vaishnavi (Trisha), a renowned chef sets off to London with her two assistants Panchapakesan (Yogi Babu) and Balki (Swaminathan). On landing, she sets her eyes on Sandeep and instantly falls head over heels in love with him. Soon, Vaishnavi and her group of friends take a relaxing trip on a boat where Mohini (Trisha), a ghost seeking revenge possess Vaishnavi’s body when she blows an eerie conch shell. Hell-bent on avenging her brutal death, Mohini uses Vaishnavi’s body to haunt Sandeep (Jackky Bhagnani) and the main man involved in her murder. Whether or not Mohini finds justice and the manner in which these hauntings are carried out form the crux of the story.
From the recent Aranmanai to the older Chandramukhi, the same ‘Woman gets killed and returns as a ghost to avenge her death’ formula has been used and reused. So it remains unclear why director Ramana Madhesh uses the same formula in 2018 and expects it to fetch good results. Moreover, he uses logic to justify illogical sequences and uses fantasy as an excuse to fill up the other prevailing loopholes in the film. In one scene, they try to justify how and why Mohini, the ghost enters Vaishnavi’s body by a brief and convenient DNA related explanation. In another outrageous scene, the villain tries to escape a ghost by jumping into a holy river. From these scenes, it is clear that logic and fantasy has clearly been mixed up by the crew of the film.
Furthermore, the execution and visualization of Mohini have been carried out without any imagination. For example, a monk’s name is actually The Monk. He is used to aimlessly justify every little logical loophole in the film. Due to the predictability of the story, the film is completely devoid of any remotely scary sequences. It instead only provides scope for plenty of unintentional comedy. Even the Malayalam in the film appears too put on.
The dialogues and punchlines are the worst aspects of Mohini. The usage of English every now and then appears fake. Punchlines are strung together mindlessly and delivered in a flat manner. In one scene, Trisha tells the villain that God will make him pay for his mistakes. The villain responds by saying people like you are either poor or revolutionaries but you are a woman. Why did the writer think this dialogue made sense? If you are confused by just this scenario, many more such awkward and poorly written dialogues make their way into the screenplay just to tire you out.
Playing double roles, Trisha delivers a below-par performance. Her range of expressions come across as extremely limited. In fact, she hardly uses any nuances to differentiate between both her characters. Yogi Babu who has been on a roll of late gets stuck in a directionless character whose name Cotton, which is the literal translation of his Tamil name Panchu makes you cringe. Jackky Bhagnani is doused in makeup and can barely manage to emote. The antagonist, Mukesh Tiwari remains expressionless most of the time but in the climax, he overacts and presents plenty of scope for unintentional comedy.
Visually, Mohini is disappointing. It’s VFX too is shockingly sub-standard. Considering the fact that director Ramana Madhesh is director Shankar’s assistant, one would expect him to at least conjure up a decent production design if not a mind-blowing one.
Most of Mohini’s music is cliched and tiresome. But the editing is far worse when compared to the music. The editing takes a choppy rhythm exhibiting plenty of inconsistencies. One can observe incoherence in the transition from one shot to the other.
On the whole, Mohini is unoriginal, unimaginative and simply tiresome. If you’re tired of the ghost woman takes revenge formula, it is better to sit this one out.