What is the story about?
Katha, a bored painter, is engaged by a mysterious writer, Avinash Roy, to write the paranormal stories that he dictates. As Avinash narrates one story after another, the characters start taking over Katha’s world, and she starts becoming distraught. Are they real, or is Katha hallucinating?
Following in the footsteps of Ram Gopal Varma’s Darna series in Hindi, Jaydeep Routh pulls off his own anthology horror film here. Instead of relying on gore, which a lot of filmmakers dabbling in horror do, Routh builds up the atmosphere superbly. Three different spooky stories are narrated, with Avinash and Katha’s story being a framing device for rounding up all of them. Each story is carefully plotted, and the amazing thing is that Routh achieves the scares without having to liberally sprinkle blood everywhere. However, the writing lags at a couple of places, and the VFX looks out of place in a scene. In spite of these lags, Routh’s anthology film is an engaging addition to the horror genre from Bengal.
In a scenery-chewing performance, Rajatava Dutta excels as the ominous author Avinash Roy. His dead eyes do most of the heavy lifting. Subashish Mukherjee gives you chills as the senior customer at the brothel, while Santanu Nath is decent as his protege. Rupankar Bagchi is good as the doctor who has a peculiar relationship with the ghost of an old woman he treats. Anindya Banerjee and Pritha Sengupta are all right in their own story.
The sore points in this entire ensemble are Katha Nandi and Rahul Arunoday Banerjee, who get saddled with one-note, half-baked roles.
Music & Other Departments
Pramit Das’ cinematography, together with the editing by Pratik Kar and Pabitra Jana, keep the mood taut and disturbing at the same time. Iman Maitra’s background score is suitably eerie.
The entire sequence between the two customers in the first story as they share a drink sets the mood for the rest of the film.
Avinash and Katha’s story, which is also the last story, ends rather abruptly on a hurried note. The ending feels half-baked.
Also, there are a couple of places where the plot makes no sense. The first story, set in the brothel, ends on an abrupt note just when things are getting more interesting.
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it?
Yes. This is a decent horror film that is sure to unsettle a lot of people, if not scare them.