Cast: R Madhavan, Neetu Chandra, Sachin Khedekar, Murli Sharma, Poonam Dhillon
Director: Vikram K. Kumar
Music Director: Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonca
Cinematographer: H Laxminarayan, P.C. Sriram
Editor: Sreekar Prasad
13 B is one of the most intelligently made thrillers in the recent times. With the title of the film focusing on a number considered ominous, the movie builds a scary premise right from the very beginning. Directed by the debutant director, Vikram K Kumar, a National Award winner for his short film, Silent Scream, this bilingual movie is released in Hindi as 13B and as Yaavarum Nalam in Tamil.
Contrary to most Ramsays (who hold the horror genre monopoly) movies who scare through shabby masks, Sanskrit shlokas, and badly made-up ghosts, 13 B scores on many counts. The setting of the movie is very real and anyone staying in urban cities can identify with the script as it makes good use of every day life happenings. The urban story setting of the movie is similar to Ram Gopal Varma’s, Bhoot. The movie also depicts a family shifting into their new apartment, 13 B in a city high-rise. The big joint family comprises Manohar (played by R Madhavan, Hrithik Roshan of South), his wife (Neetu Chandra), mother (Poonam Dhillon), sister, bother, sister-in-law, and their kids.
From day one, Manohar experiences strange occurrences in the building, but keeps ignoring them until he happens to watch a daily afternoon soap on his TV that his family is hooked on. Soon he realizes that the script of the serial coincides with the screenplay of his life. The characters in the soap correspond to that of his family and the events of the show run parallel to his real life. Like most horror films, 13 B’s protagonist’s is not shown disbelieving in the supernatural. Rather, Manohar comes to terms with the horror in his house pretty soon and probes into the puzzling past. The end of the film is equally interesting.
Vikram V Kumar succeeds in offering the audience the right chills and thrills just when they do not expect them. Even things as simple as a lift and mobile phone are smartly used as a prop to scare the audience. This gripping thriller also succeeds in scaring the daylights out of the audience. The background music by Tubby-Parik succeeds in elevating the tension.
The 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 good support. Poonam Dhillon, who has made comeback after over a decade, is good too. The music of the movie by none other than the trio: Shankar, Ehasaan, and Loy, also offers a wide variety. The item number ‘Oh Sexy Mama’ not only catches the attention, but also maintains a dark and edgy touch to suit the theme of the movie. 13B promises big entertainment and is successful in keeping you glued to your seat.