Dybbuk (2021) Review

This Hindi remake of Ezra is let down by poor storytelling

Rony Patra -

Dybbuk (2021) Review
Platform
Amazon Prime Video
Platform Icons Click To Stream
Format
Original Movie Review
Movie Rated
13+
Genre
HORROR
Language
Hindi

What is the story about?

Sam and Mahi are a young couple who migrate from Mumbai to Mauritus because of Sam's job as a nuclear waste management specialist. However, a pregnant Mahi brings a wooden box home one day, within which a demonic presence is trapped. The demonic spirit can only possess newborn babies, and once it discovers Mahi's newborn baby, it wreaks havoc. Can Sam and Mahi save their baby?

Analysis

At a certain point of time when watching Dybbuk, you feel as if you are not just watching a horror film parody the genre as a whole, but also its source material. Writer-director Jay K, who made waves with the original Malayalam film on which this is based, Ezra, seems content with a straight-cut lift of the original. The setting gets changed from Kochi to Mauritius, and just like in the original, Jewish folklore plays a huge role in the story. The setting of Mauritius, however, becomes problematic, because the Jewish presence seems forced in this regard. This also makes the film stick out like a sore thumb.
 
But a horror film needs to be scary, and unfortunately this is where Dybbuk falters. The allusions to demonism and the attempts at possessing Mahi's baby would've worked, if the screenplay was more invested in the overall world-building of the film. However, there is disinterest all around, from the writing to the performances, and the scares are not enough to keep you invested. This is an underwhelming horror film.

Performances

Both Emraan Hashmi and Nikita Dutta look disinterested as Sam and Mahi. Hashmi has done better work in the horror genre in the past, but he is strangely absent here. Manav Kaul and Denzil Smith are all right as a Jewish rabbi and a Catholic priest. The only one, ironically, who keeps your interest alive is Imaad Shah, who plays the demon, Abraham Ezra.

Music & Other Departments

Gourov Dasgupta's music is all right. Sathya Ponmar's cinematography is effective.

Highlights

Imaad Shah's performance and the background score are the only notable highlights.

Drawbacks

The screenplay is very weak, and there are not enough scares.

Did I enjoy it?

No.

Do I recommend it?

You are likely to be disappointed, because Emraan Hashmi's work in the Raaz films is way more entertaining than this.


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