Star cast: Mallika Sherawat, Irrfan Khan, Divya Dutta, Raman Trikha.
Plot: Mallika is an ichchhadhari naagin in human form. She is on the lookout for her husband, the naag who has been held in captivity by a foreigner who wants the naagmani.
What’s Good: Sex and Mallika’s nude scenes.
What’s Bad: The poor screenplay; the lack of emotions, music, romance, comedy.
Verdict: Hisss is worth it for the masses for its nude scenes. Otherwise, this Hisss can easily be given a misss.
Loo break: Several.
Split Image Pictures and Venus Records & Tapes Pvt. Ltd.’s Hisss (A) is about an ichchhadhari naagin and her revenge on George States (Jeff Douchette) who had captured her mate in his quest for the naagmani. After taking away the naag, George has kept him trapped in a box and tortures him, waiting for the naagin to come following the naag.
The ichchhadhari naagin transforms into a stunningly beautiful and attractive woman (Mallika Sherawat) and is now on the hunt for George. Along the way, she mercilessly kills guys who try to rape her or harm her or people who are a curse on society and she helps people in distress. Investigating the mysterious murders by what appears to be a snake is police officer Vikram (Irrfan Khan). Vikram has a wife, Maya (Divya Dutta), who has just had a miscarriage. She runs a home for destitute women and she takes the snake woman in her fold at one stage. But the snake woman escapes from there. Does the snake woman get to her husband’s captor? Does she get a chance to take revenge?
Ichchhadhari naag-naagin stories have a special significance for Indians and are part of Indian mythology too, but, unfortunately, this film takes away the mythological element from the stories. Rather, it tries to capitalise on the snake woman’s sexy body with several nude scenes of Mallika Sherawat. These scenes of nudity will have the masses salivating. But other than that, there is precious little on offer.
Jennifer Lynch’s screenplay is pathetic. George States takes the naag into captivity and then keeps waiting for the naagin to come, prompting the audience to wonder why he did not simultaneously also take the naagin into captivity. After all, the naag and naagin were mating when he specifically issued orders to have the naag picked up. The screenplay is so hotch-potch that half the film seems to be in Lynch’s mind rather than on the screen. Several scenes begin but have no culmination. The characters react so casually to even absolutely bizarre things that one wonders whether they even realise the intensity of the happenings.
The track of Maya’s mentally retarded mother has probably been added to evoke laughter but the jokes are so silly that they are anything but funny. Even the track of Maya’s miscarriage has no relevance to the main story. What’s worse, Vikram leaves Maya unattended even though she has had a miscarriage and is passing through an emotional low. It is clear, Jennifer Lynch is clueless about the emotions snakes, especially ichchhadhari snakes, evoke in Indians. She is also completely unaware about inter-personal relationships between family members in India. The film is devoid of drama, emotions, comedy or romance. Even hit music, which one associates with snake films, is missing. But it does have sex.
Mallika Sherawat exposes very boldly and bares her body on several occasions. Her nudity is, perhaps, the only plus in the film, at least from the point of view of the masses. Since she is a snake transformed in human form, she has not been given a single dialogue to mouth as she doesn’t know to speak. Irrfan Khan does an average job and looks disinterested in the drama, probably because the script is so disjointed and poor. Divya Dutta is okay. Raman Trikha tries to be cool but succeeds only partially. Jeff Douchette is far from impressive. Javed Rizvi and the rest lend the desired support.
Jennifer Lynch’s direction is as poor as her script. There are no songs in the film. Background music (Alexander Van Bubenheim) is weak. Madhu Ambat’s camerawork is so-so. Computer graphics and special effects are ordinary. Tony Ciccone’s editing should’ve been far more crisp.
On the whole, Hisss has too many negatives (script, drama etc.) but only one positive – nudity. It will ensnare the audience initially but will not be able to sustain their interest for long because it lacks even average merits.