Banner: Dar Motion Pictures, BVG Films
Production: Vikram Bhatt, Rangachari
Direction: Vikram Bhatt
Story: Amin Hajee
Screenplay: Brent Robinson
Star-casts: Mahaakshay Chakraborty, Tia Bajpai, Achint Kaur and others
Music: Chirantan Bhatt
Cinematography: Praveen Bhatt
Editing: Kuldeep Mehan
Action: Abbas Ali Moghul
Aathma (3D) is a spine-tingling 3D Horror that will leave you breathless in many places. Vikram Bhatt has let his hand of experience into various genres of movies in Bollywood amongst which many were either dubbed or remade in Tamil. His horror trilogy Raaz- 1920-Shaapit was big hits with the Tamil versions ‘1920 Gayathri’ and ‘Saapam’ doing good business here. Now he is back with a horror flick, this time with 3D technology.
Let’s get clear with few factors here. 3D doesn’t mean that, it’s gonna be a superb effect like ‘Avatar’ and other Hollywood films. This one is all about an Indian standard, but definitely needs special mention for the good efforts.
In simple words, ‘Aathma’ is a mind-boggling horror that will frizzle your nerves and you’ll hear your hearts crunching at places.
Set in the misty mountains of a hill station, the film revolves around the straggling Bungalow with a secret past and a haunted present. Rehan comes to the place to sell it as his father, who initiated this business is ill. As Rehan starts spending his time there, he experiences some paranormal activities and starts investigating to unravel the mystery. Yes, as you might have assumed, it’s all about a secret that is haunting the place. But then, it’s not just about the truth unveiled, but Rehan has to accomplish the most speculative and biggest challenge of his life.
How can he save her when she is already dead?
Perhaps, this very punch dialogue has been drawing everyone’s interest into this film much prior to its release. Having made so many horror films in the past, filmmaker Vikram Bhatt along with his team of writers must have taken up a resolution of giving something different for the audiences to experience.
The usual structure of a horror film would proceed this way –
Act 1 – The protagonist would head to a new place, experience something paranormal
Act 2 – A Flashback reveals that an innocent was killed.
Act 3 – The vengeance would be retaliated either by the deadly ghost or the protagonist would become its representatives.
But with ‘Aathma’, it’s completely different as the narrative structure becomes a new challenge for audiences themselves as they cannot predict anything. Say for instance, the mystery is broken by 30 minutes of the film, which would actually be part of second half in many horror films. But the challenge that comes through the intermission point is really awesome, though it reminiscences of penultimate sequences of Vikram Bhatt’s ‘Saapam’.
There are some minuses in the film, but they are not blatant as the ‘spine-chilling moments’ would never let you notice them. Especially for the last 30minutes, you’ll have to hug yourselves to escape the eerie feeling. Of course, the theatres are sure to be flooded with more applause and whistles.
On the performance, Mahaakshay Chakraborty looking like a hot model tries doing justice to his role while fresh face Tia Bajpai grabs our attention with our transfixing beauty.
Three scenes in the film will leave you speechless…
1. The disfigured ghost torturing Tia
2. The chasing scene across the woods among the lead pair and Margaret (Needs an additional star rating for this particular sequence).
Hats off to the technical team, especially cinematographer Praveen Bhatt as he plays a vital role in giving the eerie feel through slow camera movements and the background score by Chirantan Bhatt. Screenwriter Brent Robinson and Ameen Hajji (Story) deserve grand round of applause for a praiseworthy job.
What works: Story, Unpredictable screenplay, performance, cinematography, extraordinary thrill moments, Action, Direction
What doesn’t work: Songs are unwanted, some portions could have been avoided in second half like dancing by protagonist
Verdict: Miss it at your own risk