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Film / Hisss

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Hisss, aka Nagin: The Snake Woman is a 2010 Bollywood film that has attracted wildly divergent reviews and critical opinions.

A wealthy American man with only a few months left to live as a result of encroaching brain cancer comes to India with a plan: to capture one of a pair of Naga, magical shapeshifting cobras so that he can force the spouse left behind to give him the Naagmani, the magical jewel these serpents guard which can be used to cure his cancer. He succeeds in his plans and captures a Nag, causing its Nagini bride to come in search of her husband, seeking revenge on abusive men in general along the way.

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This film includes examples of:

  • Artistic Licence Biology: Nagini regurgitates her first human victim after she's done digesting him. Although snakes can throw up, the film implies that this expulsion is a pellet (essentially, dung, but thrown up rather than excreted). Snakes don't produce pellets.
  • Balloon Belly: One of the film's most notorious moments, being one of the earliest shots of it leaked, is Nagini, halfway between forms (scaly belly, a snake's tail for one leg), lying in bed with her hand sprawled after a huge, pregnant-looking gut. The result of her devouring at least one, and possibly both, of her attempted rapists early in the film.
  • Big Bad: George States, the American who starts this whole mess by kidnapping the Nag.
  • Black Comedy:
    • After Nagini swallows one (or both) of her attempted rapists, we see her lounging contentedly in her would-be assailant's bed as she sleeps off her meal.
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    • The police officer who gets involved in the story does so after having to poke through Nagini's dung after her initial human repast, complete with her victim's cellphone still ringing in the pile of crap.
  • Body Horror: Nagini's various "partially snake" forms are diffuse and often quite nightmarish in their inept blending of reptilian and human trait.
  • Bullying a Dragon: George’s plan is to essentially blackmail a man-eating, shapeshifting snake monster into giving him a cure for his cancer. It ends about as well as you’d expect.
  • Eagleland: Type two — George States is a racist, abusive, vicious, ruthless, all-round despicable individual who pretty much plays "Evil White Guy" to a degree even Indian viewers wince at.
  • Electric Torture: George States repeatedly does this to his captured Nag.
  • Jerkass Victim: Pretty much everyone that Nagini kills has it coming. Rapists, abusers, and the men who kidnapped and tortured her husband.
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  • Karmic Death: George States is electrocuted to death in the cage he kept Nag imprisoned inside and tortured him with.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Nagini's first kills are two men who thought she was an ordinary woman and tried to rape her. She also takes time off of her search for her husband and his kidnappers to kill rapists and domestic abusers, with her only female victim being a woman who runs a shelter for women and secretly takes bribes from men to turn a blind eye to their raping the women there.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Zigzagged. Yes, Nagini kills a lot of people, and in rather hideous ways involving painfully biting them to death or eating them, but the people she's doing to it pretty much all deserve it, and she takes pains not to hurt anyone who isn't guilty of abusing women or attacking her and her mate. Furthermore, the Naga are sought after by the film's Big Bad because they hold a magical jewel that grants healing, and he wants to force them to surrender it to him.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The whole plot of the story: a magical shapeshifting giant she-cobra hunts down the men who kidnapped her mate, pausing only to take revenge on various abusive men on behalf of women as she does so.
  • Snake People: The Naga, who can shift between the forms of regular and giant cobras, humans, or any combination in between.
  • Swallowed Whole: Nagini eats a number of her victims this way. If they're lucky, she crushes or bites them to death first.
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