Prabhuraj’s film is not even for those who get scared with just a pat on their back in broad daylight
Horror in Bollywood. No matter how many films you put in this list, there’s always something lacking. With Ramsay Brothers, RGV and lately the Bhatt camp coming up with what they feel horror is, good horror films in Bollywood are fewer, simply countable on finger. Lupt makes no attempt to make your counting substantial. Given the standards of Hindi film industry at horror, it definitely is an addition making you cringe and say, ‘Not Again’.
A successful businessman and a workaholic, Harsh Tandon (Javed Jaaferi) is an insomniac, resulting from which he often sees strange faces. Advised by his friend cum psychiatrist, he agrees to go on a family vacation, which already his family was insisting on. He sets out on a holiday with his wife Shalini (Niki Walia), daughter Tanu (Meenakshi Dikshit), her photographer boyfriend Rahul (Karan Aanand), and son Sam (Rishab Chadha). Taking refuge in an out house owned by a suspicious person Dev (Vijay Raaz) who they meet when their car breaks down, they start experiencing strange things.
Written by Prabhuraj himself, this one scores on its story. While you are used to watching nonsensically foolish stories mainly where the actress is possessed by an evil spirit and the messiah uses moronic ways to get rid of it, this one actually makes sense. At-least the premise. Taking inspiration from real events, as the trailers suggested, the basic line of story involving a family’s holiday and the lead seeing dead faces seems logical. But that’s it. There’s a build up to the events, and just when you expect things to work charismatic-ally, they start to lose the nerve. To add to it, the presentation of facts, tense situations, and chilling sequences are not believable, with no attempt to give you a high. Its plain linear.
Little nuances, presence of minor characters, shades of suspense and thrill- aren’t enough to get the story together. Secluded road at night, car breaking down, no network in phones- are all conventional notions already done to death here in India. Seeing all of that again here bores you as you are in no mood to predict, especially when you are watching horror.
Also, a horror film shines bright through its production value. A direct thumbs down at it. All thanks but no thanks to technicalities, its an experience not even nail-biting, forget the suspense or thrill or spooks. Just like the characters, even you are on the edge expecting anything to send a shock wave or a chill down your spine, but it doesn’t happen. Just 5 mins into the film and even all across, there’s a deliberate attempt to incline your attention in one direction, and what do the makers use? Jarring sound design, sudden scare jumps which don’t even scare.
One thing that could and should have been easily avoided is the Ramsay type prosthetic. Its during those times when such caricaturish faces appear, that you lose the charm making the film lose its momentum. The film here becomes funny and you wonder if Bollywood is even ready to go a step forward in horror.
Yes, there’s a feeling of suspense when you think how will things take shape towards the climax and the story does follow a pattern, but it doesn’t convince you well.
Javed Jaaferi is good and suits the role. He does what the role demands and even takes you forward in the journey. But every time you see him in any role, you tend to feel for him with great fervor. He’s a brilliant actor and Bollywood has never been able to give justice to his talent and craft. Sad though.
Niki Walia appears on screen after long and she leaves her mark. Those who know her are aware of her skills and its a delight to see her back on screen. But she doesn’t contribute much given the thin plot line.
Vijay Raaz is good, infact the only one bringing in layers to the story. But also his character seems inspired from the Bhatt camp films where you have to have a third person coming to rescue. His characterization could have been better in terms of plot justification.
Meenakshi Dikshit and Karan Aanand are just okay. But Rishab Chadha is an absolute delight. He has been given great sequences to perform as an actor and he takes them to complete advantage.
Music by Sidhartha Parashar is okay with just a couple of spooky numbers doing their bit. The songs suit the album though. Even the background score by Amar Mohile could be much better. There are identifiable spots where evena a layman misses a good and smart music composer. Sound design is abrupt and not situational, but deliberate.
Camera by Prakash Kutty has been wasted. Sad. The way it becomes the eyes to the written words is what horror in cinema relies on. But you don’t see the story unfolding. No accentuation of moments. No suspense created through the lenses.
Editing by Devendra Murdeshwar is still okay. Sound and camera are utilized to their optimum advantage here on the editing table, whatever best it could. Had it not been thoughtful enough, you wouldn’t have felt the impact. Kudos to for bringing the minimal technicalities together for some relief.
Production design is reasonably good with locations, sets, and the overall aura correct for you. Although its majorly night, there are visible elements within the set doing magic for the plot on the larger front.
Those who say they don’t watch horror for they are faint-hearted, Lupt is definitely for them to make them feel good about themselves. There’s absolutely nothing to be scared about in this film. In theaters it is still a good enough watch. But the moment you watch it on any other screen, its a flat flick. It is entertainment with some loose horror moments popping here and there. Infact the film is like the funny scary house in malls these days. Javed Jaaferi, one more film gone down the drain. Disappointing.