Shock (2004 film)
Shock is a 2004 Tamil language supernatural horror film directed and produced by Thiagarajan. The film features his son Prashanth and Meena in lead roles, while Abbas, Thiagarajan, Suhasini, Kalairani, and Sarath Babu, amongst others play supporting roles. The music is by Salim-Sulaiman. The film was a remake of Ram Gopal Varma's Hindi film, Bhoot (2003), and was released on 23 July 2004 to a positive response from critics.
|Cinematography||M. V. Panneerselvam|
|Edited by||P. Sai Suresh|
|Distributed by||Lakshmi Shanthi Movies|
|23 July 2004|
The film revolves around Vasanth (Prashanth), a stock analyst, and his wife Malini (Meena). The two are in search for a flat in Chennai. Vasanth finds the perfect place on the 12th floor of a high-rise apartment building.
However, the apartment has a horrifying past. The previous occupant of the flat, Manju (Meena), killed her child, and then jumped from the balcony and died. Malini learns about this incident and becomes oddly fixated with the story. Then, a series of inexplicable experiences drive her to near madness. Vasanth is convinced that she has developed some sort of psychological disorder. He consults a psychiatrist named Dr. Rajan (Sarath Babu) and begins to doubt that his wife is suffering from a psychological disease. The couple’s maid (Kalairani) believes Malini to be possessed and calls in an exorcist (Suhasini).
Meanwhile, seemingly unrelated events take place around the building: the watchman was murdered with his head completely twisted; one of the residents, Ajay (Abbas), behaves erratically; and a murder occurs. Inspector Paramasivan (Thiagarajan) is sent to investigate the murder.
The exorcist spends time with Malini and learns that she is possessed by Manju. Vasanth goes to Manju's mother (K. R. Vijaya), and with her help, the possessed Malini lets everyone know that Ajay lusted after Manju and forced himself on her, and to save herself, she jumped from her balcony. Later, Ajay realized that her son had witnessed the murder and got the watchman to throw the little boy from the balcony, and creating a fake story that the woman killed her son and then committed suicide. By killing the watchman via Malini, Manju takes revenge for her son's death and wants to kill Ajay. At the last minute, the mother comes and tells her dead daughter's spirit that she cannot take revenge from Ajay by making Malini a murderer, so Manju leaves Malini's body, and Ajay is thrown in front of everyone.
The story ends with Ajay going to prison and Parmasivan telling him to rot in a jail cell forever. After Paramasivan leaves the cell, Ajay finds himself face-to-face with Manju. He starts begging for mercy, but his voice fades out as she draws closer; it is implied that she kills him.
In October 2003, director Thiagarajan bought the Tamil remake rights of Ram Gopal Varma's 2003 Hindi supernatural thriller Bhoot, after the original had become a box office success. Thiagarajan's son Prashanth and Simran were signed on to play the lead roles, though the actress later opted out citing her impending marriage as a reason. The leading female role was later taken by Meena, who lost weight to portray the role which she described as her "most challenging" till date.Abbas joined the cast to play a negative role, while K. R. Vijaya, Suhasini and Sarath Babu were selected to essay supporting roles. Subtle changes were made to the script of the Tamil version to make it adaptable for Tamil audiences. During production, the team revealed that they hoped to introduce a new form of technology in the film which would prevent the film being seen on unlicensed copies. The film's shoot was completed within twenty six days, with meticulous pre-planning by Thiagarajan. The makers also considered producing a Kannada and Malayalam version of the film, but eventually did not carry through with the idea.
The film opened in July 2004 to positive reviews, with a reviewer from Indiaglitz.com noting the makers "deserve an appreciation for his honest and sincere attempt on the screen." Malathi Rangarajan of The Hindu wrote "Even at the outset director Thiagarajan has to be congratulated upon for not hampering the tempo with the usual frills of solos and song and dance routines", though added " the film doesn't frighten you as much as they said it would". Sify.com's reviewer credited Meena's performance noting "watching her work up a maniacal frenzy or slip into a pathetic state of helplessness, only to let out a deathly scream, is an experience not worth missing". Another critic also noted the director "has done a wonderful job in creating a thriller with minimum dialogues", adding "Meena carries the whole film on her shoulders and has given a splendid feat. Meena’s mind-blowing act that actually saves Shock from its rickety script." Nowrunning.com noted "comparisons with the original might work against "Shock", but it is worth a scare". The film became a surprise success at the box office as it is new in one of its kind.