Movie Review : 13 B (2009)

Madhavan on the sets of 13B on 9th Feb 2009 (8).JPG13 B: Is an intelligent thriller Rating: 3.5 out of 5* Starring: R. Madhavan, Neetu Chandra, Dhritman Chatterjee, Poonam Dhillon, Murli Sharma and Sachin Khedekar. Director: Vikram K. Kumar

Manohar (Madhavan) with his wife (Neetu Chandra) shifts to a new address with his entire joint Madhavan on the sets of 13B on 9th Feb 2009 (10).JPGfamily comprising of his brother and his wife, their two kids, mom (Poonam Dhillon) and a college going younger sister. All the female folks in the family are hooked on to watching daily Saas Bahu soaps on TV. But bizarre things start happening to Manohar after shifting to this new address – 13B like the lift never working whenever he boards it alone, his mobile phone clicking distorted images of his self, his bathroom bulb being constantly lit up despite him putting it off and him not being able to hammer a simple nail in the room of his house walls. While he is experiencing such weird things, the opposite is happening to his family members who are having personal gains in all possible ways. Just around that time the female folk in his house start following a new daily TV Soap called Sab Khairiyat. The show comes daily at 1300 hours at channel number 13 in his 13 B flat only. Manohar soon realizes that the things happening in the TV series are ditto happening in his own family life as well. It is almost as if, his life’s daily events are being dictated by the TV series. This drives Manohar literally mad as he tries finding answers to it. He takes help of an old friend, Shiva (Murli Sharma) and what unfolds next forms the rest part of this shocking thriller.

Neetu Chandra at 13b music launch in Cinemax, Andheri, Mumbai on 18th Feb 2009 (3).JPGAn innovative plot that steers clear of typical Bollywood horror cinema clichés like a Tantric Baba, Sanskrit shlokas, and badly made up ghosts, 13 B scores on many counts. The setting is very relatable to anyone staying in urban cities and the script makes good use of daily every day life happenings. Even things as simple as a lift and mobile phone are smartly used as a prop to scare you. It’s a tough job scaring the daylights out of the audience by showing things taking place on screen in broad daylight but 13 B succeeds very well in doing so. First timer director Vikram K. Kumar who is also the film’s story-screenplay and dialogue writer deserves full marks for all inventive efforts in making a gripping thriller that has you on the edge of the seat most of the time. Also, the back story which reveals the suspense behind the weird experiences Madhavan is experiencing appears very convincing. Vikram has also made good use of camera by employing lot of handheld camera moments which give you just the right feel of the character’s helplessness. The only thing that is a downer is the film’s running time which is 2 and a half hour. Also, the need for sensous dream song between Madhavan and Neetu was just not needed especially when sufficient time had been given for their bedroom act just few minutes before it. The background music by Tubby-Parik succeeds in elevating the tension.

Madhavan on the sets of 13B on 9th Feb 2009 (4).JPGThe film is a must see for Madhavan’s superb act. He brilliantly conveys the dilemma that he faces and his vulnerability in handling the bizarre situations around him. Neetu Chandra in a less make up look gives him able support. Murli Sharma employing a lot of black humour is superb and gets some really good lines to give you that much needed comic relief. Poonam Dhillon making a comeback of sorts after over a decade is good too. Sachin Khedekar as the family’s trusted doctor does a fine job. In a small part, Deepak Dobriyal impresses a lot.

Just don’t miss 13 B, it not only engages you but also gives you the right chills and thrills just when you don’t expect them. It is one of the most intelligently made thriller in recent times in Bollywood. Go watch it.


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