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Ravina Rawal

Sanity sacrificed at the horrex altar

22nd Mar 2014

Ragini MMS 2

Director: Bhushan Patel 

Starring: Sunny Leone, Parvin Dabas, Sandhya Mridul and Saahil Prem 

I'm not going to pretend I had sky-high expectations of Ragini MMS 2 when I walked into the movie hall, but I was certainly not prepared to be so severely punished first thing in the morning.

Bhushan Patel's Ragini MMS 2 is the imaginatively named sequel to Ragini MMS (2011). Unlike most other film "sequels" in Bollywood, this one actually picks up from where it left off. In the original, a young couple Ragini and Uday make an abandoned bungalow their home for a weekend of getting down and dirty. There's an MMS video, followed by a leak and a scandal, but the focus was on the horror of supernatural goings-on there. Ragini loses her mind in the process, and ends up at a mental asylum, which is where we first meet her in this sequel.

Filmmaker Rocks (Parvin Dabas) is keen to make a film on the entire saga, which is what brings him and his crew (Sunny Leone, Sandhya Mridul, Karan Mehra and Saahil Prem) to the fictional Patwardhan Palace in Dahanu, where the MMS scandal took place, and which has since been marked by the Archaeological Survey of India as a haunted site, inhabited by a chudail. While these guys try to shoot their film, our very own Dana Scully, Dr Meera Gupta (Divya Dutta) is trying to figure out the mystery behind her patient Ragini's mental unrest, even after she dies. It's no spoiler to let on that Ragini was possessed, not mad; and when she dies, the spirit hops into Sunny's body. Anyway, never fear, superdoc and ghostbuster is here! (Fun fact: A trained psychiatrist is just as qualified to slap a broom over your head and perform an exorcism by asking the chudail in you to just please leave. Who knew?)

The story or plot of this film isn't important here because it's awful, and also because Ragini MMS 2 is basically a movie about Sunny Leone. An Indo-Canadian porn star trying to make it big in Bollywood, Leone wants to be taken seriously as an actress. There's nothing wrong with that. But try as you might to not slot her into a category she's trying her damnedest to bust out of, it becomes very difficult when the entire film banks on Leone walking around in panties, kind-of making out in the shower and moaning through a fake orgasm. It also doesn't help that she's spouting dialogues like, "You're right; blue films mein 'ooh aah' karne se koi actor nahin ban jaata hai" – because besides drawing attention yet again to the very thing you want us to forget, in a film as poorly put together as this one, you're just begging for the audience to agree.

I'm also almost offended at the audacity of everyone who made Ragini MMS 2 because, really? I may not personally fancy the genre – "horrex", if you please – but there's neither horror for the chills, nor sex for the thrills. There isn't even the slightest hint of a real effort with the story, the special effects, the make-up (their favourite go-to tactic is to pop someone's eyeball out and replace it with a pool of ketchup, which made me consider gouging my own eyes out) or, god forbid, the acting. If all that's too hard, at least make it so bad that it's good, so I don't have to spend two hours playing Jenga with my popcorn.

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