- BOTTOM LINE
- A Well-Layered Premise That Loses Fizz Soon
|Platform: ALTBalaji/Zee5||Genre: Thriller|
What Is the Story About?
Canada-based paranormal expert Meena heads to India to dig deep into murky truths behind a property, Victoria Villa in the interiors of Maharashtra, that’s supposedly one of the most haunted spots in the country, accompanied by her boyfriend. Destiny, however, has other ideas when the two meet their end at the property before they can find answers. A few years later, a 20s something Ragini and her group of friends return to the property for a fancy bachelorette. The unmarried women are in the mood for fun (underline sexual adventures) during their stay in the villa. Little do they know that a series of terrifying incidents in the course of the trip is about to change their lives forever.
It’s tough to watch a Ragini MMS series expecting landmark performances from its cast. Sunny Leone and Navdeep manage to give a good start to the series with their brief yet arresting acts but there’s not much to drive home in terms of the acting portions later. The likes of Varun Sood and Divya Agarwal in pivotal roles are at best good looking protagonists, who can survive within the limited acting bandwidth that the series demands.
Aarti Khetarpal doesn’t have much to do in the show and the same applies to Thea D’Souza as well. The other supporting actors don’t fare poorly but there’s hardly a character graph (besides their sexual desires) to get them to shine. If you’re compelled to give out names that manage to make some impression, the list wouldn’t last beyond Rishika Nag.
Ragini MMS has been a sought-out film cum digital franchise that has served a horny mix of horror and erotica to its target audience for several years now. ‘Sex always sells’ is a mantra that its makers have loyally banked on, and the second season of ‘Ragini MMS Returns’ stays true to their core intentions. There’s very little scope for a franchise like this to explore something out-of-the-box when the conventions are already set. Within that confined space and the can of stereotypes that come it and provided you go with low expectations, the second season of Ragini MMS Returns surprisingly keeps you entertained.
The quintessential idea of Ragini MMS has been the spookiness through a camera when the protagonists in the story are making out and the man more often than not is notorious. This basic element of the story remains the same in the digital series as well. A British era flashback about a king who had multiple partners, the ghosts having to do something with the paintings in the haunted house, desperate house owners wanting to convert the property into a simulated horror zone, a Marathi speaking elderly woman warning the protagonist about her future – there are several dimensions in the narrative to prove that this isn’t another lazy attempt to cash in on the brand without an effort.
Though the story of the series is reasonably impressive and layered, the execution isn’t always consistent. The thrills are hardly spooky this time despite the best of efforts from the composer to generate a few jumpscares. For those interested in the soft-porn territory of the series, most of the lovemaking sequences are shot passionlessly and frankly, there are better alternatives for a viewer to resort to. Though the ideators seem to have worked hard to find a balance between the horror portions and the erotica, the series reaches a point where it delivers neither.
The homosexual angle to the franchise feels slightly forced and it does little to change the outcome of the series. The consistent double entendre and references to one’s private parts in the garb of humour are too silly to even provide unintentional humour. The pace of the series too is one of its biggest concerns. The storytellers keep delaying the inevitable with sequences that have no relation with the plot. For a story that surely had the potential to be a gripping series, that’s a shame.
Music and Other Departments?
Music is a territory where Balaji Telefilms have remained over the top, generously using popular film numbers in their shows. Ragini MMS Returns in its second season doesn’t change this trope. As an exception though, the Sunny Leone number remains a sight to cherish for sore eyes and has reasonable musical value too.
The cinematography is impressive within the limited locales that the makers are restricted to shoot but the redundancy in the stock footage (this has been the case with Ekta Kapoor’s productions for a while now) doesn’t quite help the visual impact of the series. The dialogues go below the belt and don’t merit a discussion.
Reasonably layered story
Sunny Leone’s song
The double-meaning dialogues
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Ragini MMS: Returns Season 2 Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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