Films | 1920, Evil Returns – Movie Review

1920, Evil Returns – Movie Review

Posted by Vivek on November 2, 2012 | No Comments

FILM – 1920, Evil Returns
PRODUCER – Husnain
DIRECTOR – Bhushan Patel
WRITER – Vikram Bhatt (Story), Rensil D’Silva (Screenplay)
CAST – Aftab Shivdasani, Tia Bajpai, Sagar Saikia, Vidya Malvade
MUSIC – Chirantan Bhatt

Bollywood’s (and Vikram Bhatt’s) pre-occupation with horror continues and together they bring a horrifying experience with unintended puns. As goes the Bollywood tryst with ‘sequels’ and the Bhatta camp, this one has nothing to do with the earlier film ‘1920’ except sprawling havelis, revenge, usual Bollywood horror tropes and of course lifts from Hollywood films.

Jaidev (Aftab Shivdasani) is a love-lorn poet living with his sister Karuna (Vidya Malvade). One day he finds a lost Smruti (Tia Bajpai) near a lake and brings her home without knowing she is the love he has been pining for. You see, their love blossomed through letters with none having seen the other. As fate would have it Smruti has no memory of her past or identity except Jaidev’s poems. Jaidev sense a connection with her and refuses to send her away on his sister insistence, instead takes her to Shimla for treatment where supernatural horrors unleash themselves on the couple.

Packaged with the usual Bollywood tropes we are then fed loud noises, red eyes, white-faced-and-shrieking-like-a-banshee possession in Tia. She levitates and spits nails and goes haywire as the evil spirit seeks his vengeance. The usual priest and graveyards then find the mandatory entry only to populate the film with more banality.

The film is based on a double intrigue of Jaidev-Smruti unidentified love and the story behind her possession. Unfortunately, debutante director Bhusan Patel simply doesn’t manage to tie both in a gripping narrative and the fault lies largely with a lack of imagination. Everything we watch, the sets, the horror sequences and the final outcome strikes as over-familiar, seen in numerous Hindi films before. The dialogues and Jaidev’s shayari are similarly inane taking off punch more than imbuing mood especially when a loud music score is ever ready to underscore every action, thrill and emotion.

In this scenario, the actors come together to only spoil the broth some more. Aftab Shivdasani simply doesn’t display any depth, intensity or vulnerability that could elevate a sense of engagement with his character. Tia Bajpai performs her possessed parts with stupendous energy but doesn’t strike the right lost-n-love-lorn note. Vidya Malvade is in a role as inconsequential as her performance.

There is simply too little to redeem this dull package.

 

FATEMA KAGALWALA

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