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Hiss Review

Deepa Garimella /
Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait to rent it
Hiss opens with an American (Jeff Doucette) wanting to cure his brain cancer with a nagamani, a jewel from a female cobra. He goes to find a pair of mating snakes in a forest and captures the male one so that the female one will later come slithering to him and give him the jewel to free her boyfriend. If there is one thing worse than trying to cure brain cancer with a non-existent jewel, it's trying to cure it by playing with the feelings of snakes and expecting to be alive to see yourself get cured.

Anyway, the female snake resurfaces in the jungle as a naked curvy woman (Mallika Sherawat). She goes to the city to hunt down her lover. In her free time she tracks down men who torment women, to teach them a lesson. Sometimes she wears clothes, but the sight of Mallika Sherawat wearing clothes never taught men any real lessons, so she changes back into a snake, chews the MCPs up, digests them and spits them out.

The local police (Irrfan Khan and Raman Trikha) are completely flummoxed by the grotesque murders. They soon get to the bottom of the mystery, and discover the role of the evil American. They find out that the snake heroine has already reached his place, and is now making love with the boyfriend snake. This scene can be really weird to watch unless you've conceptualized it yourself, written it yourself, shot it yourself, directed it yourself, and acted in it yourself.

Hisss, fundamentally, is a lousy movie. There's no story, the settings are picked from the dirtiest of Indian surroundings, the characters scream a lot, and the much-hyped "special effects" are as entertaining as watching a garbage bin as it slowly rots. The result is a tacky product that thrives on unbelievably gross visuals for the thrills.

Kooky characters abound in the script. There's the maniacal American, a mentally-retarded mother-in-law in the childless Irrfan Khan - Divya Dutta household, men who brutally beat up their wives, a sapera who scares easy, and a whole bunch of several useless roadside loafs. There's so much loud insanity all around you won't remember how you conned yourself into watching the movie.

As for Mallika Sherawat, she hisses, shrieks and strips, and lets the cheesy graphics do the rest. It's a wonder how Irrfan Khan got caught in this work of art, and he's visibly embarrassed. In fact, the whole cast will vehemently deny ever signing this on, unless there's a sequel being made, at which point the cast is likely to vehemently deny their own existence.

If you have friends who insist on taking you along for Hisss anyway, make new ones.
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