Film: Rajaleelai (Tamil)
Cast: Tabu, Shahbaz Khan, Mukesh Tiwari, Imran Khan, Hansika Motwani, Livingsten
Music: Dilip Sen and Sameer Sen
Director: Guddu Dhanoa
Rajaleelai is the Tamil version of the Hindi flick Hawa, with a few changes to the original. The story happens somewhere in Himachal Pradesh.
The protagonist of the film Shantha (played by Tabu) is a divorcee, who lives with her two daughters. Her brother Vicky also stays with them. Shantha owns an antique shop and after purchasing a new house in a remote place, she moves to that place. Her life takes several twists and turns after she relocates to the new house.
Mysterious and horrific incidences that unwind one after the other affect the happiness of the family as a whole and Shantha in particular. After a few days of staying in the house, Shantha realises that an invisible force that resides there is following her and haunting her. That force also makes attempts to harass her sexually. Her attempts to get rid of it turn futile. In a desperate move, she moves out of the house and seeks help from her close friend Pooja. But the situation compels Shantha to return to that mysterious house once again. Soon, she realises that there is a ghost in the house which is trying to attain her.
After experiencing unbearable sexual harassment from the ghost, Shantha discloses her painful experience to Pooja and thereafter to a psychiatrist. She finds it difficult to make people believe this story. How she tackles this critical situation and what she does to save her family from the clutches of the ghost, are the remaining part of the story.
The story revolves around Shantha, ghost and the haunted house. The scenic beauty of Himachal Pradesh is well captured and is well linked to the story at some places, but the jerky camera work when the ghost appears onscreen creates disturbance and it doesn’t add value to the tempo of the film.
The ghost is visible only in the climax of the film. Before that the arrival of the ghost is depicted through various media - this tactic works with the story. But the high-decibel background score fails to the impress audience. There is not much complexity in the story of the film as the background and the theme of the story is very clear, but in several places there are inconsistencies in screenplay. Unlike other horror films, Rajaleelai doesn’t have any songs.
Tabu as the lead actor of the film proved her acting skills in this different role which shows her as a caring mother, glamorous girl, and also as an adventurous woman.
With the high proportion of sex and horror involved, Rajaleelai is restricted only to the youth audience. If the screenplay was handled in a different way, the movie would have been on the list of the family audience as well.