7/G Movie Review: A promising start squandered by poor writing and execution

7/G might have worked better if there wasn't a good spirit and the family fought against the evil spirit on their own. The screenplay could have benefitted from brevity and simplicity
7/G-Sonia Agarwal
7/G review image

The first 20–30 minutes of Haroon's 7/G are refreshing, as he brings back horror to an urban setting, away from the abandoned palatial buildings of the village. Though not new, tropes like running from floor to floor and escalator malfunctioning strike a chord with our immediate reality compared to the bhoot bungalows we don't frequent, which requires an effort on our part to engage.
 
The strong beginning makes you feel like 7/G might join the league of celebrated Tamil urban horror films like Shock, Yaavarum Nalam, and Eeram. If only Haroon had maintained the momentum throughout. 7/G begins with the housewarming ceremony of Rajiv (Roshan Basheer), an IT employee, and Varsha (Smruthi Venkat), along with their kid in the titular apartment. Though smiles are flooding the place, their neighbour, played by Subramaniya Siva, gives an 'andha veeda?' look. Pretty soon, trouble brews, with people envious of Rajiv's professional and personal success devising plans to push his family into disarray. On the other hand, the 7/G apartment in itself is a problem. Whether this family survives the two-pronged crisis is what the rest of the film is about.

Cast: Roshan Basheer, Smruthi Venkat, Sonia Agarwal,  Siddharth Vipin, Subramaniya Siva

Director: Haroon Rasheed

Rating: 2/5

The plasticity in the characters, along with the ostentatious display of the 'IT employee lifestyle', didn't look too bad as long as the scare scenes were working. However, when the film decides to bring a good spirit and an evil spirit, the screenplay goes into a tailspin, and there is no recovery from then on. Films revolving around a benevolent spirit usually try to make us connect with said spirit through a heart-tugging backstory and make us hate the evil spirits by showing the extent of their malevolence. Despite complaints of being loud and gaudy, some of the Kanchana and Aranmanai films worked because the good spirit's flashback is poignant, the injustice meted out to that person is intolerable, and vengeance is justified. None of that could be said about 7/G. The murder of the person who ends up becoming the benevolent spirit, happens undramatically and in a hurry, only to rush to the present. 
 
The antagonist is poorly written and the actor seems to be miscast as well. Not a single character is worth remembering. All that would have been forgiven if they had delivered on the scare scenes. Also, the writers could have added more effort into writing the male characters, instead of just making them all lewd. This is done only to conveniently move from one scene to another in pursuit of carnality, which ends up serving as an excuse for unwanted sexually charged scenes. While the flashback already failed to evoke empathy we stop empathising with director Haroon for his problematic writing choices in the second half. Another glaring problem is the dialogue writing. With an excessive artificiality, the lines do not come off like they are spoken by real people, the issue is further aggravated by the fact that the lines are delivered by one-dimensional characters. It looks as though the director has decided that these actors cannot express anything without words, so he makes them express everything explicitly, with painfully obvious dialogues. For example, a character wakes up from a nightmare and says, "Oh, it's just a dream," as if we didn't get that.
 
The first thing that goes wrong in any horror film is logic, and 7/G is no different. A guruji, who was introduced as an expert in black magic, whose spell causes too much chaos in the first half, is reduced to a comic prop in the pre-climax scene, which both drains the intensity the scene requires and lets the effective first-half build-up, go down the drain.

7/G is a horror film that definitely has its moments and offers ample spooks in the first half. In a welcome move, the male characters in the film take the backseat while the women take over the ghost-hunting vocation. However, all the positives are quickly undone by shoddy execution and a lacklustre second half. More than feeling disappointed with this underwhelming fare, we are left frustrated by the fact that the film squanders the promise it had in the beginning. 7/G might have worked better if there wasn't a good spirit and the family fought against the evil spirit on their own. The screenplay could have benefitted from brevity and simplicity.

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