Scriptwriter and filmmaker Milap Zaveri’s short film Raakh opens with a high-minded quote from William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest: “At this hour, lie at my mercy all mine enemies.”
The visual reference, however, is from the Games of Thrones episode in which Ramsay Bolton tortures Theon Greyjoy. Standup comedian and occasional actor Vir Das, trying hard to prove that he can be menacing, has Shaad Randhawa tied to a version of the Catherine’s Wheel. Das wants revenge for the rape and murder of his wife, played by Richa Chadha, who is invoked through a brief flashback and videos beamed on the walls surrounding the prisoner. Randhawa is effective as the blood-splattered victim, but the film needed to have been far crisper. Zaveri, whose specialty is sex comedies, stretches a one-note idea into 17 minutes and further bloats the running time by stacking a Sonu Nigam song over the closing credits. The film, produced by the music label T Series, resembles a precursor to a full-length feature that hopefully won’t get made – especially since the twist is revealed early on.