Bhushan Patel brings yet another cliché horror story with only a few things to look for
A dilapidated mansion becoming the fancy of a loving couple- this done to death premise is back yet again and as a result you get hardly anything new. Amavasis a film that boasts of a freshly baked concept, but what you get is the same conventional sound effects put to use to send chills (that too harping on it with intentions misplaced) with a story not even worthy enough to be recalled. Infact, it brings back memories (not so exciting already) of all such films that consider themselves horror, but are infact not.
At insistence of Ahana (Nargis Fakhri), her partner Karan Ajmera (Sachiin Joshi) agrees to take her to their summer house, now a secluded mansion (also haunted) to spend some quality time on the occasion of their 2nd anniversary. Strange things start happening. The mansion and Karan have a past, haunting the lives of people involved.
A young loving couple leaving the hustle-bustle of the city to move into a secluded corner of a strange location- Why? You would ask. The film in its very average writing never really answers this basic question. Infact, it asks you to believe, no questions asked. And ofcourse, that’s not how you would like your film.
The films begins with a ghost singing- reminding you of Gumnaam later moving towards resembling Woh Kaun Thi at one point. Yes, such ancient is the approach. There are elements done away with by even Ramsay brothers after a point in their heydays. Same religious symbols, same talks of atheism, Om symbol coming to rescue, spirit possessing a body, looking for a motive, and so on.
Jody Medland’s story and Tanya Pathak and Aparna Nadig’s writing is very comfortable in its presentation and motives. You are made to behave passively and accept whatever happens without questioning a single thing. That would still have been fine had it been entertaining. A lot of the times, your energy is invested in finding logic hence the fear and thrill is never felt.
Something will happen, something will happen- you keep waiting. But nothing actually happens. Absolutely nothing except jarring sudden sounds made to scare you, but they don’t even raise heartbeats. At times, they are so predictable that you know the next shot would be accompanied by a sudden loud sound.
Sachiin Joshi is fake and caricaturish. Nothing in his act lifts the film up. So is Nargis Fakhri with minimal expressions on her face, like always. In a film that is otherwise too shallow on its feel, it atleast required good line up of lead actors for some confidence in the plot. At one point, you even feel why you are even watching the film. The actors are so plastic that even their lip-sync in songs seems like it is done at gunpoint. Such half-hearted and forced is their performance.
Navneet Kaur Dhillon although looks pretty, acts shabbily. So does Vivan Bhathena.
Its only Mona Singh and Ali Asgar who blow some sense in the screenplay, making you feel that instead these two should have been leading the story.
Music collectively by four composers isn’t able to give even one suitably placed song. Background score is still manageable with some highs within the plot to scare you.
Cinematography by Amarjeet Singh is reasonably good and the camera especially during low light sequences does give you a spooky feel. There are sequences however that could be shot in a better way, evidently avoiding shaky camera and unnecessary extreme close ups. Editing by Devan Murdeshwar is good, as per the script. There wasn’t much scope than what’s done.
Production design is very good. Probably its the best part of the film, something that the film can be tolerated for its runtime.
Even after Tumbbad that seemed to open the gates for horror-thriller-fantasy recently in 2018, some makers just don’t seem to evolve. Amavas is one more addition to easily-forgettable flicks, something that even the faint-hearted would comfortably watch. If a horror film that evokes laughter more than scaring, there is serious problem. Hoping to see some sensible makers taking up horror in times to come, its an advice- erase Amavas from your memories.