Bipasha Basu’s ‘Raaz’: Redefining Horror in Bollywood Cinema

6th January 2024: When discussions arise regarding horror films, Hollywood productions like ‘The Nun’ and ‘The Conjuring’ often dominate the conversation. However, in the realm of Hindi cinema, one Bollywood movie managed to redefine the horror genre with its exceptional performance – Bipasha Basu’s remarkable film, ‘Raaz.’ This movie holds a special place in the series ‘Hit Movies, Superhit Kisse,’ marking a significant turning point in Bipasha’s career.

Bipasha Basu, who initially stepped into Hindi cinema alongside Akshay Kumar in ‘Ajnabee,’ attained substantial recognition through Vikram Bhatt’s horror venture, ‘Raaz.’ Her portrayal of Sanjana Dhanraj garnered immense praise, establishing ‘Raaz’ as a standout moment in Bipasha’s filmography and earning acclaim as one of her career’s finest offerings.

Upon its release in early 2002, ‘Raaz’ surprised everyone by emerging as one of the most successful films of that year. Vikram Bhatt took a gamble by casting Bipasha Basu and Dino Morea, turning ‘Raaz’ into a remarkable success story due to its compelling narrative and spine-chilling horror sequences. Not only Bipasha and Dino but also Ashutosh Rana and Malini Sharma impressed audiences with their stellar performances.

Standing tall among the horror films of Hindi cinema, ‘Raaz’ stood out triumphantly in terms of its success, surpassing many big releases of 2002. Notably, despite the failures of several major movies that year, ‘Raaz’ managed to achieve superhit status, becoming the second highest-grossing film of the year with box office earnings of Rs 21 crore.

Interestingly, Bipasha Basu wasn’t the initial choice for ‘Raaz’; the role of Sanjana Dhanraj was first offered to Canadian-origin actress Lisa Ray. However, fate intervened, leading Bipasha to land the pivotal role that transformed her career overnight. Notably, Mona Ghosh lent her voice to Bipasha’s character in the film, while director Vikram Bhatt dubbed Dino Morea’s voice.

In addition to its gripping storyline, the music of ‘Raaz’ remains timeless. Songs like ‘Itna Main Chahoon Tujhe’ and ‘Jo Bhi Kasame Khai’ continue to captivate audiences even today. Composed by the music duo Nadeem-Shravan and sung by renowned artists like Udit Narayan, Abhijeet Bhattacharya, and Alka Yagnik, these tracks remain etched in the memories of fans.

Despite horror not being a dominant genre in Hindi cinema, ‘Raaz’ set a milestone, laying the foundation for the Raaz film franchise from the Bhatt camp. Sequels like ‘Raaz – The Mystery,’ ‘Raaz 3,’ and ‘Raaz Reboot’ followed, establishing a legacy inspired by this successful venture starring Bipasha Basu.