Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Release date:
November 4, 2011
Ambrish Singhal
Swaraaj Singh, Swati Anand, Raza Murad, Sambhavna Seth

A film that looks 500 years old – that’s what I got to see this year! 

But before we discuss Tension Doooor, a word about the year gone by. At the start of 2011, I made a New Year resolution to review “every single Hindi film that is released that it is possible for me to watch”. Confession: I’ve worked very very hard, but I still have a backlog of over a dozen reviews to file if I am to keep my word. Some of you have advised me to give myself a break, since I’ve managed to review most of the year’s films. But I’m tough on myself. And to quote Salman Khan’s character in Wanted: “Ek baar jo maine commitment ki, toh apne aap ki bhi nahin sunta.” The countdown has begun! Please badger me, prod me, persuade me, shame me into finishing this task that I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed despite the lengths I’ve had to go and the hundreds of kilometers I’ve  had to drive for it. After all, a promise is a promise! So my time starts now!

I didn’t think it would be possible, but Tension Doooor is actually worse than that weirdly, ridiculously horrid film I saw towards the start of the year called Tum Hi To Ho. This one is the about a man who loses his hearing in an accident, and becomes a mind reader on his recovery. When he starts quoting dishonest people’s thoughts, the village mukhiya, pandit, ojha and vaid conspire to turn him out of his home. Our hero Gopal goes to the city and starts a business called where he uses his skills to help those in distress. Never mind how the rest of the film pans out. Suffice it to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Tension Doooor because it was so so terrible that it made me laugh out loud. Here’s why:
  1. Remember the extras in films from Sohrab Modi’s era? Extras who would roll their eyes and stiffen their bodies to signify shock? The extras in this film make those guys look talented!
  2. Again as in the days of yore, groups of people are repeatedly shown speaking in a chorus in this film. Apparently Indian village folk are given scripts with dialogues that they learn by heart.
  3. This is the sort of film where if a human being is thinking, the camera actually shows him THINKING.
  4. There’s even a song in which the camera moves from the lead couple to flowers to birds and back, like it used to in a time long past .
  5. The song features the film’s over-made-up heroine Bijli wearing an ill-fitting lehnga choli with her belly fat spilling out of her skirt.
  6. Remember how gaonwaale in Hindi films would go to the sheher to find bichhde hue friends and family, they’d wander the streets of Mumbai, sing a song and voila, they’d find the person they were looking for?! In Tension Doooor the heroine actually mouths a line I’ve not heard in ages: “Main sheher jaaoongee apne Gopal ko dhoondne ke liye.”
  7. The sound design is so poor that when a character’s phone rings, we hear a piercing sound that hurts our ears and drowns out the speech of another character in the scene!
  8. Bhojpuri cinema’s item girl Sambhavna Seth appears as RAW officer Ruby in this film. I kid you not! She is positioned as a sex bomb, but the director still gives us an extreme close-up of the huge pimple on her left cheek!
  9. FYI Ruby thinks RAW stands for Research and Analysing Wing!
  10. Words like gaddaar and dushman are bandied about here in the way they used to be when Sunny Deol had taken filmi patriotism to its peak!
  11. The hero who can barely walk or talk is given the privilege of an item song in the end with sundry women in skimpy clothing draped around him. Oh joy!
My research tells me that Tension Doooor’s Ambrish Singhal also directed the 1990s Kamal Sadanah-Ritu Shivpuri-starrer Hum Sab Chor Hain which featured that pretty song by Kumar Sanu, Saawali saloni teri jheel si aankhen. Remember this? ...Whatever objections you may have had to that film, you HAVE TO admit that Tension Doooor is a real come down for the man!

In case I’ve left you in any doubt about the quality of this film, I repeat – everything about Tension Doooor is terrible: the casting, the acting, the lighting, the audio, the framing, the costumes, the make-up, the writing, the writhing. Everything! But if it is released on DVD or if it is available online, I strongly recommend that you watch it. Because it’s so bad that it’s fun.  

Don’t believe me? Here’s the trailer: Watch it and kar le kar le kar le tension doooooooooor!

Rating (out of five): -75 stars

Video courtesy: Youtube

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