KA Ashoka
Writer - Director

Movie Review
6-5=2:Well-intended, but poorly executed.

6-5=2: Well-intended, but poorly executed.indecision

6-5=2 is a found-footage, Kannada horror film that was released last year. It became a sort of sleeper-hit finding success through word-of-mouth alone. An obvious rip of The Blair Witch Project, the fact that it is Kannada industry’s first found-footage film and a break from typical mainstream ‘Sandalwood’ releases is the only discernable reason for its appeal.

Six friends set out on a daylong trek to an undisclosed hill near Mysore at the insistence of one of them: Ramesh, an aspiring DOP (hence the presence of a HD camera). Soon, they are lost in the jungle as something supernatural stalks them, seductively drawls out their names and sets fire to their idlis. Only one survives the ordeal: the intrepid camera battery. I want that battery now! Oh, also a far-less interesting character called Prakash makes it out alive.

The makers behind even the lamest of horror films adhere to the most basic rule of the genre. Thou shallst get the scares in quick, early and plenty. 6-5=2 takes an inexcusable forty minutes to get in the first scare. And that is if you count a close up of a leach sucking blood as spooky. The filmmaker uses the long set-up for some local flavour, humour and camaraderie between the friends, but in a genre like horror it is 40 minutes too long. So by the time it is interval, there have been only a couple (I am being very generous here) of sit-up moments. The constant leg pulling between the friends is real and fresh, but is unlikely to work with a pan-India audience who will see little reason to appreciate this.

Debutant writer-director (KS Ashoka) keeps the dialogues casual and fun which works at first. But all too soon the talkativeness of the characters gets on your nerves. The film is noisy to the point of distraction. How did Ashoka goof up on the simplest of horror equations:
How hard is that?

The sound effects are not nearly as sophisticated as it could have been. The ‘mysterious’ heavy footsteps made me think of an over-weigh ghost lumbering through the forest, panting in exhaustion. It gets even funnier when the presence turns on the camera to film one of its ‘pranks’. I guess in this age of selfies, she didn’t want to be left behind. wink

The actors are natural when things are light, but ham dreadfully when they have to look frightened. And it isn’t really their fault. The shift from laughter to scream happens in a second, with no build-up. It is like: chatter, chatter, chatter, oh look something scary, let’s scream, and now what was I telling you about?

The screenplay errs right at the very beginning. Letting the audience know that one of the six survived and then showing his rather bland interview murders all possibility of suspense. This is a film that should open with its own spoiler alert: we are about to give away the end even before the first reel. It is never clear why Prakash got away, but not the other five. It isn’t possible he escaped detection simply on account of being separated from the herd. With long gaps between scares, it isn’t like the ‘ghost’ was particularly busy with the rest at that point.surprise

On the bright side, while it has borrowed from The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, 6-5=2 interprets and adapts well to the local context. The direction is quite good in parts, though it is clear that horror is just not Ashoka’s ‘thing’.yes

Coming to the Hindi Version released last week -

We watched both Hindi and the original Kannada to figure out how the "remake" was adapted for pan India audience and discovered that the Hindi remake remained very much loyal to the Kannada original barring the character names except Siddharth. The overall experience is very much same. So the above review of the Kannada 6-5=2 holds good in all senses for the Hindi remake too.

On the lighter note, the Lulla charcater in Hindi is so irritating that if it were not the ghost, probably I would have killed him Point Blank. angry

   Priya Venkataraman

Priya Venkataraman is a struggling cat trainer, amateur dream interpreter and full time scriptwriter living in Mumbai. In a past life she worked as a scribe for Deccan Herald and reviewed new releases for them..

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