The tricks your mind can play. The things it can make you believe. Prawal Raman’s 404 (cleverly titled) deals with the intricate workings of a human mind and its myriad complexities. So room 404 in this medical college hostel has been shut for three years because a student Gaurav, died inside it. And everyone believes he never left the room. Abhimanyu (Rajvir Arora) is a rational and a skeptic and moves into the room despite being warned of the resident ghost. He is also a victim of ragging by Chris (Imaad Shah) and his gang. Professor Anirrudh (Nishikant Kamath), who specializes in psychology, befriends the boy and is impressed by his courage. But when Abhimanyu starts to see Gauarv everywhere and even begins to have conversations with him, the professor is rattled. Without much of a plot giveaway let’s just say that there is so much more than what meets the eye. And truth and lies, light and shadow intermingle to get to a nail biting climax.
404 is interestingly done. There’s a lot of atmosphere in the film and the background score is so effective it’s almost like another character in the film. Parts of the film are definitely scary and you begin to wonder if this is a horror film or a psychological thriller. The first half though gripping is mostly devoid of action and movement and is spent entirely in establishing the characters and the plot. It’s in the second half that the real story gets momentum. The film is intelligent and self-assured and will keep you guessing till the end.
404 raises some interesting questions about science and what lies beyond its logical boundaries. The existence of the paranormal and the unquestionable maze that is the human mind. The film is rippling with an undercurrent of riddling suspense. As the professor delves deeper into the mind of this bright student who seems to be losing it, you sense that there could be more than what meets the eye. There is a clever balance of the chills and thrills and the theoretical analysis. It talks about bi-polar disorder and what it can do to your psychological map.
This film is ultimately about perception and you might wonder if the ending was just that or if you are meant to analyse many more. What if your mind, like the title suggests, has made an error (404 is the error found in computers). Nishikant Kamat makes a forceful debut as an actor; Imaad Shah displays confidence while Rajjvir Arora is very competent too. 404 is definitely worth watching. Prawal Raman has a steady and non compromising hold over suspense. And there is enough for you to work out bit by bit, (Nishikant Kamath) long after you have left the movie hall. Because the mind does play wicked tricks that we can’t decipher.