Mane Number 13
It is raining horror films out of nowhere! Yesterday, I witnessed what turned out to be a masterpiece in this genre, Andhaghaaram. Right from its filmmaking style to its story telling technique, the film was perfect in every way and probably a landmark film in the horror genre. And today I have just finished watching the Kannada film Mane Number 13 on Amazon Prime. Whether you like it or not, this will be compared to the masterpiece Anghaghaaram. So is this worth your time, stay tuned.
Mane Number 13 is the story of 5 IT professionals who shift to a house until each one of them is hunted down. Is the house haunted? I have really tried to portray the story to be interesting, but in reality the story throws in every little cliché that is there in the rule book. Right from jump scares(which don’t make you jump by the way) to scary looking dolls to creaking windows, this has it all. Which brings me to the question, WHY? Why do filmmakers resort to the same formula in the horror genre. Why can’t this genre be experimental? Very rarely do we see real good movies being made in this genre and so we really need to applaud films like Andhaghaaram and Tummbad for trying something different in an otherwise stale and formulaic genre. The screenplay is also insipid backed by lazy writing. So you witness the same old stuff, most devoid of any remote logic. So you have a bunch of youth getting stuck in a house and each one getting bumped off one by one, the only thing that you want is to get on with it and finish it off fast. You know exactly where this movie is headed! No effort has been made to explore and build on the atmosphere. And why was there comic relief in a horror film?? It just kills the atmosphere. On the positive side, the twist at the end was good and did manage to salvage the film to some extent. But that same urgency was required in the middle too. I am sorry but this was left until too late in the day! Also the length of 106 minutes makes the film crisp and at least watchable. The dialogues are average. The music and BGM are uninspiring. Director Vivy Kathiresan has left a lot to be desired. The one thing that he could have done differently is take a little more risk and experiment with this genre. Instead you get the age old stereotypes here!
The performances are also nothing much to shout about. Praveen Prem as Karthick is borderline irritating though it is no fault of his. His character is written in such a way to provide comic relief. Sanjiev as Ashwant is decent. Chetan Gandharva as Ram is alright. Aishwarya Gowda as Preethi has nothing much to do apart from some shouting here and there. There are only two actors that stand out by some distance. Ramana as Nishok really puts up a good act amidst the ruins. He really holds fort well! Varsha Bollamma as Nancy(who was last seen in Middle Class Memories) looks pretty and is excellent. It is a pity that the acting could not save this sinking ship.
Mane Number 13 is the same age old formula in the horror genre used to entice the audience. With OTT platforms coming into the picture, I would like to believe that the audience is evolving and especially in the horror genre this Vikram Bhatt kind of horror will never work. Available on Amazon Prime!