(Last Updated on : 09/01/2009)
Raat is directed by Ram Gopal Verma. This Bollywood flick is seen as an honest attempt of exploring the horror genre. Indeed Raat is scary. Released in 1992 Raat successfully deals with the supernatural with a superb performance by Revathi in the lead. The film also stars Rohini Hattangadi, Om Puri, Anant Nag, Jaya Mathur, Tej Sapru, Sunanda, Master Atit and others.
This Ram Gopal Verma film deals with the supernatural forces. The Sharma family moves into a new house that is located in the suburban Mumbai. Their family consists of Shalini Sharma (Rohini Hattangadi), Manisha Sharma or Mini (Revathi), Bunty (Master Atit) and Mr. Sharma (Anant Nag). Their only daughter, Mini, is a vivacious young girl. Bunty is their grandson whose parents have died in an accident. He owns a pet cat. The family leads a routine life until its schedule is messed up by an unwanted incident. Mini is possessed by an evil spirit who sets out on a killing spree.
The first incident occurs when Mini and her boyfriend goes on an outing on Mini's birthday. Her boyfriend calls Mini as she sits by the riverside. As she turns back to look at him he is scared to see her eyes. Within seconds Mini is back to her normal self. As she returns home the pet cat feels uncomfortable on seeing her. A major event occurs when the family goes to attend a family function. The ghost kills Mini's friend and there is uproar. The police are called in and the Police Inspector (Tej Sapru) investigates the case. As he speaks to Mini he realises that all is not well. After this a string of incidents take place. Mini scares her father, Bunty starts maintaining a distance from Mini, the cat is killed in an accident, etc. It is then that an exorcist or "tantrik" is called. Sharji, the tantrik, confirms that there is an evil spirit roaming around in the house and it needs to be disposed.
With the help of Sharji's efforts a hidden way is discovered where they find the dead body of woman. The ghost is guarding it and they fail to destroy the dead body. Sharji realises that the evil spirit is too powerful for him. He indulges into the occult practices to increase his powers. He once again attempts to fight the evil spirit back. The ghost is that of a woman who has been killed by her husband. In order to avenge her own death she kills others. However Sharji's immense efforts are successful in curing Mini. The last scene of Raat shows that the dead cat is back in the house and Bunty peeps out to take a look at it.
Raat was one of the first films that presented horror genre in the mainstream Hindi films. It was an instant hit. It was later remade into Tamil. Revathi was outstanding in her role of a possessed girl. Raat was in many ways quite different from the contemporary Ram Gopal Verma horror films. There are no dim lit rooms or haunting background music. Horror is evoked in Raat through incredible camera work. It is detailed and intricate. Verma uses silence as a potent weapon to induce fear. In this regard the contribution of the actors cannot be overlooked. Revathi puts up an unforgettable act and so does Om Puri. The other actors too help to build up the fear element.
Till date Raat remains one of the most widely appreciated horror films in Indian cinema.