404 is a title aimed at today's internet junkies and youngsters. It's intriguing enough to find out why a film is titled so. It's a smart move by the makers of this psychological thriller. Speaking of psychological thrillers, we haven't seen one in Bollywood since a long time. So it's a welcome change amidst the rom-coms and love stories.
The film is about a bright medical student Abhimanyu (Rajvvir Aroraa), who's brave enough to opt for the supposedly haunted room 404 in his college hostel. The room was locked since three years, after a first-year student Gaurav committed suicide in it. And it was rumoured that his spirit was occupying the room. Professor Aniruddh (Nishikant Kamat) is mighty impressed by the audacious Abhimanyu and encourages him to stay in the room, to put an end to all rumours. But things take an expected turn when Abhimanyu starts seeing Gaurav's spirit. Is Gaurav's aatma real or is Abhimanyu just hallucinating This is what forms the basic premise of the film.
Director Prawaal Raman, who had previously directed DARNA MANA HAI, GAYAB, ZABARDAST and DARNA ZAROORI HAI (all were produced by Ram Gopal Varma), comes up with an engaging plot, which is complimented by a compelling story-telling. You are involved in the film and are constantly trying to decipher what will happen next. The astute twists in the climax are riveting and take you completely off-guard. While the first half is taut, the second is a bit stretched and could have done away with a few redundant scenes.
There are ample sequences which are laudable like when Abhimanyu and Aniruddh follow Gaurav's spirit or when Aniruddh breaks down. The background score, though a bit loud at times, adds to the overall impact. Savita Singh's cinematography is good. Sarvesh Parab's editing could have been tighter in the second half.
Nishikant Kamat, who has directed films like DOMBIVALI FAST and MUMBAI MERI JAAN, is a revelation as an actor. He performs his part with great composure. Debutant Rajvvir Aroraa acts brilliantly. He plays his complex character effortlessly. Imaad Shah is wonderful as the nonchalant senior. Tisca Chopra is good. Satish Kaushik acts well and provides the occasional laughs.
404 is a mind-boggling psychological thriller with commendable performances. Don't miss it.