Rum: A Self-Sabotaging Thriller
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
This seems to be the season of dull and poorly executed horror films that are based on god-awful plots made worse by empty threats and nullified creeps. Director Sai Bharath’s Rum is the most recent addition to this terribly long line of horror films that have gone from bad to unbearably worse.
An in-demand heist crew of five lands a project that could fetch them the princely sum of twenty-five crores. They hatch a plan to steal an infamous king’s jewels that are soon to be auctioned. However, soon after successfully executing their plan, police officer Thomas catches them red-handed; instead of arresting them, he offers his silence for a sixty percent share of the loot. When the leader of the heist crew, Shiva, grows tired of Thomas’ demands, he persuades his team to move to a safe house in Nila Thottam that one of his team members, Nepali aka Suresh, suggests. Soon after entering the house, they are haunted by a family of aggravated ghosts in search of revenge.
If you’re expecting serious scares and dark humor from the film, you’re in for a huge disappointment. The only thing disturbing about the films is its demeaning and lowly comedy, played by the veteran comedian Vivek. It’s tragic that Raju, a character played by Vivek, doesn’t know better than to deliver third rate jokes that are misogynistic, chauvinistic and degrading, to say the least. The dialogues and jokes written for him to deliver are of poor taste.
Making thing’s worse, there’s nothing more depressing than having to sit through a film whose plot lacks clarity. One minute Rum is pretending to be a heist film, and the next a bland romance track is playing. To make matters worse, at the blink of an eye it shifts its genre to horror, with the clichéd family of ghosts seeking revenge.
How difficult can it be to think beyond the mundane story of revenge- seeking ghost family who was murdered? After Kanchana 1, Kanchana 2, Chandramukhi and so many others, why wasn’t the boundary pushed with a creative plot like in Mysskin’s Pisasu and Karthik Subbaraj’s Pizza? How much longer do audiences have to settle for popcorn thrillers with an ending they can figure out in an instance?
In my opinion, Director Sai Bharath just hasn’t thought his film through Borrowing multiple storylines from several popular films guarantees chaos. At a certain point, I don’t know what’s more pathetic, directors who indulge in shameful comedy or the few people who actually laugh at these jokes.
Even if one does move past the mortifying jokes, there is nothing about Rum that will keep you in your seat for two hours. The film’s locations, including the haunted house, looks staged. When props such as a candelabra and a dusty book are used, you know they’ve been placed there just so that the film’s characters can find them.
From police officers to gunmen, the film’s secondary characters are made out to be stupid just so that its central characters seem smart. Such artificially low IQ levels are quite frankly too painful to stomach. While people do not expect complete logic from a popcorn thriller, a complete lack of it is intolerable.
A paranormal research scientist appears briefly in an attempt to lend the storyline some much-needed credibility, but unfortunately, the only thing he can come up with is a lemon filled with positive vibrations and a shady scientific explanation that goes with it.
Miya George’s fleeting appearance is far more memorable than any of the other cast members. In contrast, Hrishikesh and Narain’s characters are quite forgettable. Rum is proof that Sanchita Shetty has absolutely no acting blood in her; she is used just as a pretty object, but given the film’s low level of comedy, this isn’t really surprising.
This is definitely not one of Anirudh’s best pieces of work. But it is unfair to blame the music director when he has no option but to come up with jarring and flashy numbers that work with the screenplay.
The film is driven further off course by its bad cinematography. From inconsistent lighting to murky images, Vignesh Vasu’s cinematography fails badly. The CGI effects are terrible and the stunts are poorly constructed; the ghosts look like mime artists and the smog effect looks more like standard video footage with increased opacity.
Overall, Rum is a self-sabotaging thriller that is characterized by a chaotic plot and demeaning comedy.