Firstly, if any computer geeks brightened at the idea that Bollywood chose to make a film about the 404 Not Found Error message, the standard internet response code, then regrettably I have to reveal that it isn’t that 404 that this Hindi film talks about. It is Room 404 in a medical institution that has long showed signs of paranormal activity that is the subject matter of this new movie release.
The film 404 – Error Not Found has the tag line ‘It’s All in your Mind’ and urges you to unlock your mind, indicating that this is a spooky psychological thriller. It stars Nishikant Kamath, Rajvvir Aroraa, Satish Kaushik, Imaad Shah, Tisca Chopra and Mukesh Bhatt. Not only does Neseeruddin Shah’s son Imaad act in this film, this is also his debut as a music director.
Reportedly, Imaad is part of a band called The Pulp Society and hopes that this will mark his arrival upon the Bollywood music scene as well. The music of 404, according to Imaad, consists of “dirty, real Hindi lyrics”, the sort that are used in everyday parlance. The film is written and directed by Prawaal Raman (who earlier gave us films such as Gayab and Darna Mana Hai) and produced by Nameeta Nair.
The story of 404 is that of a medical student Abhimanyu, essayed by Rajvvir Arora who is of a strongly rational bent of mind and who believes that there is a scientific explanation for everything. Also he takes a stand against college ragging, thereby earning the respect of professor Aniruddh (Nishikant Kamat), who decides that this is the student who would be the right candidate for dispelling the mystery that surrounds Room 404 which had been locked up for the past 3 years.
However all manner of inexplicable and eerie things start to happen when Abhimanyu shifts into room no 404 though the professor insists that it’s all in the mind; and the room’s occupant is forced to consider what is real and what is not. With the help of Imaad Shah’s character who plays an erratic genius, the professor tries to uncover the mysteries of room 404.
Imaad Shah seems consciously to be avoiding the usual formula Bollywood films and seems to echo his father’s sentiments that there don’t seem to be too many great movies emerging that are good quality and strong in terms of storytelling. Clearly he feels the pressure of having to live up to the name of his illustrious father, and so has been picky about the movies he has done so far.
Shot at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, this is a film for those who enjoy stories of things that go bump in the night.