Director Tanuj Bhramar gives a loose film that doesn’t cater to any one genre; keeps oscillating between a number of them
Packing in some family drama topping it with trust, love, betrayal amid a background of Indian army with supernatural ghosts and zombies is what Ateet is. Right from the first five minutes, the plot becomes heavily predictable and you watch the film in hope that you prediction will fall false. But sadly, it doesn’t.
Watch the trailer here:
Col. Vishwa Karma (Sanjay Suri) lives a happy life with his wife Janvi (Priya Mani) and daughter Sana (Deshna Dugad) in the hills. But their happy life is hit as a chapter from the past, Janvi’s ex-husband and Vishwa’s friend and colleague in the Indian Army, Ateet Rana (Rajeev Khandelwal) comes back from the dead.
Harsshil Patel has penned the story and screenplay while the dialogues are written by Chintan Gandhi. While the idea holds merit, it doesn’t do anything further after that point. The story packs in too much and never justifies any of it. It is never clear what the film tries to say, which it does to its level best. But doesn’t convey a bit.
At one moment, you think it is a family drama from where you start getting glimpses of a ghost. Then for some time, you think of it as ar army film, before realising that it is a tale of broken trust. But then again the makers attempt to give you some chills, and then again for some portion, it gets back to being a story about a man’s love for his family. What is happening and why is the biggest question here.
However, there are other questions as well; many of which arise in your mind while watching the film that are never answered. Things particularly relating to the horror angle happen randomly without a heed to the narrative or ultimate conclusion.
The 120mins film is excruciatingly slow despite covering so many aspects of one’s life. The writing is not only half-hearted but also tiring where the writers seems to have followed whatever path they could think of, without a wish to do it better. Apart from being predictable, it is also very dramatic.
What is good here is the effort the actors have taken to make this watchable. Had it been for totally unknown faces or even slightly lesser effort, this film would have fallen like a house of cards.
Priya Mani is the star of the film, not just in terms of the screen time but also the weightage of the role. She not only carries the film on her shoulders but also takes it forward. She looks graceful and elegant and also performs well.
Sanjay Suri is fine, mostly carrying that mysterious flair to him. That works for him since he does that very nicely. Rajeev Khandelwal too does the needful, but he looks the same in every film maintaining almost the same body language and expressions.
Vipin Sharma has a smaller but important role and he does reasonably fine. Neha Bam is also equally fine as a person who is obsessed with setting the vastu right.
Music by Harish Sagne is melodious with a fee soulful numbers by Sonu Nigam, Yasser Desai, and Neha Kakkar. Their voices bring an element of calmness to the entire narrative. Score by Andrew Mackay is just okay, nothing great.
Cinematography by Mukesh G is good in places, in long shot and routinely random in other sequences. However, you do feel good watching the film with its visual tonality never ruining anything for you as audience though. Production design is average and it could definitely be better.
Editing by Mayur Hardas is inclined towards the weaker side. There are many abrupt cuts and jumps and you feel a jerk when they appear. Also, the material is wafer thin. The editor couldn’t have done miracles.
It is a film that can easily be missed. Says nothing. Proves nothing. All this, when it tries really hard to become a maturely sensible affair.