The film offers nothing new and the horror elements are truly outdated.

Mohini review Trisha is the saving grace of this dated horror flick
Flix Kollywood Friday, July 27, 2018 - 18:13

Mohini, starring Trisha in the lead and directed by Ramana Madesh, hit the screens after a long wait on July 27. Trisha, in fact, signed this horror flick way back in 2016. That and the fact that this film was shot almost entirely in London (cough) should make it one of the most anticipated films in these past two years.

We may have watched plenty of foreign-language inspired horror films and thrillers when we were growing up, and Madesh has looked no further. He has packed Mohini with a sense of nostalgia, reminding you of the classic ‘pei padams’ from the seventies. In retrospect, the film’s title was actually a clue.

It was announced earlier that Mohini will be a mix of "comedy, sentiment, action, science and romance delivered with a social message". How can this new-age-sci-fi-romantic-horror-thriller remind one of a film like Jaganmohini? You see, this is where Mohini will take you by surprise.

Trisha plays Vaishnavi, a chef who finds herself in London due to certain circumstances. Yogi Babu plays Cotton, her friend, who’s the reason behind these circumstances.

Every ten minutes, you are reminded that you have indeed opted to watch a “horror-thriller” with the unwarranted, deep-throated ‘mmm’s and tornadoes forming on a seemingly calm looking lake, sudden bursts of wind and clouds turning grey - all unnoticed by everyone in the world.

Surely, Trisha’s character is in for something sinister and the bright and pleasant colours soon turn grey and blue. Not surprisingly, Vaishnavi wears happy colours, (mostly white), to contrast with Mohini’s black.

Debutant Jackky Bhagnani plays Sandeep a businessman who instantly falls for Vaishnavi. His mother (Poornima Bhagyaraj) lives alone in a palace (in London) and his father (Mukesh Tiwari), needless to say, is a business magnate. In Mohini, it is Jackky’s turn to play the heroine from an average Tamil film. He appears briefly, does a couple of duets and stands helpless during a fight.

The body-shaming jokes with Yogi Babu’s Cotton are distasteful and unimaginative. Surely, jokes can be made funnier without having to resort to shaming someone based on their looks. Jangiri Madhumitha and Ganashekar’s characters make no difference to the story.

The film’s story, of the dead possessing the living to exact revenge, is not new. The director, however, uses epigenetic theory to explain the strange happenings in Vaishnavi’s life. Do we buy this? Um… meh. If you thought why unnecessarily use ‘epigenetic theory’ to explain the revenge angle in a horror film, then you haven’t met Suresh’s character yet. Suresh plays a Buddhist monk (in London) who is well-versed in technology, science, astrology, astronomy, geography (we might have missed a few) and with a special diploma in medicine and CPR.

While chitra pournami is usually the best day to defeat spirits, in Mohini, the over-qualified monk chooses the next best day available - solar eclipse. Also, ghosts still cannot enter places of worship or holy rangolis and are thrown twenty feet off the ground if they happen to touch someone wearing an amulet. Didn't we tell you? This one's a classic.

The film is unconvincing in plenty of places, the switches in locations are obvious (was the car chase shot in the Western Ghats?) and the stunt sequences could have been presented better without making the gaps in them apparent.

Trisha, however, is Mohini’s saving grace. She does a good job with the stunts, flying and running and flinging daggers. Her portrayal of Mohini who fears no one is better than her role as a chef. Trisha’s characters from the past must have enjoyed fighting for themselves in this film. Despite her lithe frame, Mohini is convincing as a formidable foe. 

A lot of effort has perhaps gone into the filming of Mohini. However, the evident glitches in the story-line and the very dated horror elements are a huge disappointment.

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.

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