‘Darna Mana Hai’

Ramgopal Varma-produced Darna Mana Hai has six stories interwoven together into a single movie.

Six friends get stranded in a dense forest after their car breaks down. To spend the time they find an abandoned ruin, light a bonfire and start talking about their lives. Gradually, the subject of their conversation steers to ghostly stories that some of the friends have heard or experienced.

The first story revolves around a young, married couple (Sohail Khan, Antra Mali) stuck in the middle of a dense forest. While the husband goes to fetch some water for the over-heated radiator, wife thinks that he has disappeared and starts having hallucinatory visions of her husband dying. But the husband returns and the couple proceed on their journey. The scary touch is that husband�s image is not reflected in the rear view mirror.

The second story is that of a photographer (Saif Ali Khan), who checks into an inn, en route to Mumbai. The owner-manager-house keeper (Boman Irani) is a very eccentric person who has strange peculiarities.

The third story is about a school teacher [Raghuvir Yadav], who encounters a strange student in his class. She is a little girl who’s always punished for never doing her homework on time. Suddenly, one day she becomes the brightest student.

The fourth story if that of a typical middle class housewife [Shilpa Shetty] who buys ‘mysterious’ apples from a weird vendor [Rajpal Yadav].

The fifth story is the most interesting of the lot. A strange man (Nana Patekar) stands outside a graveyard for a ride to the city. He gets a lift from a full-of-life youngster Vivek Oberoi. Nana tries to scare Vivek by claiming himself to be a ghost, but hardly makes an impact on the young lad. The shock comes when Vivek remove his goggles and shows Nana his hollow eyes.

The last story is that of a complex student [Aftab Shivdasani], who wants to commit suicide since he feels neglected by his family and the girl he likes [Isha Koppikar]. But, one fine day, he is ‘blessed’ with the extraordinary powers.

Directed by Prawaal Raman, Darna Mana Hai is a bold attempt to try new storytelling style. However, the film ends up as more of a comedy than a horror flick. Too much of stress is given to slick cinematography and heavy background music that literally begins to hurt your ears.

A good entertainer but not scary.