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Bollywood’s tryst with Horror hasn’t been hunky dory, for ages now. Creaking doors, ill made up faces, or leading actresses possessed by evil spirits served as ingredients for this genre, inviting laughs rather than chills. Pari directed by Prosit Roy however attempts to break the stereotypes with genuine sincerity.
Arnab (Parambrata Chattopadhyay) runs a printing press in Kolkata. After meeting a nurse Piyali (Ritabhari Chattopadhyay) for an arranged marriage, while returning in the car along with his parents, he meets with an accident resulting in the death of an old woman. Cut to the old woman’s daughter Rukhsana (Anushka Sharma) who brings in twists in his life- twists that he loves.
Seemingly inspired by the Species series of Hollywood, the film is a philosophical take on humane and evil qualities within a person. Those expecting chills running down the spine will be left disappointed as this one is sinister and spooky but not horror. With the overall setting, it does keep you guessing on what will happen next but it won’t keep you at the edge of your seats.
Image Source: Google Images
The story is fresh and has logical sensitivities right in place. Not even for a moment can you term the script as humbug or nonsense- the biggest beauty of the film. Its the intelligent writing that keeps you invested in the plot- confused and amazed in the first half, and rooting for the solution of the conflict in the second half.
But blame it on the slow screenplay that a major section of the audience will outrightly reject the film. It moves at a snail pace making you feel for the characters (for it wants you to move along) but hardly would the audience be interested in that. They would want frequent junctures of horror and thrill, which sadly aren’t there. Also, the sound design isn’t how it should have been. The makers needsd to have more consistent sound effects which here are quite occasional. They are no doubt very good, but should have been more for a constant chilling effect.
The 136min film is a storehouse of good performers. Anushka Sharma keeps you confused of her traits. At once she scares you, and in the next moment you sympathise with her. She nails both the avatars. Deserving all the applauds, she’s here to say she’s not just the girl next door. Parambrata is in his best form. He plays a reticent caring kind man with finesse. A brilliantly written role performed with grace. Ritabhari is good too. She has a brief role, but makes her mark. Rajat Kapoor has a special and strong role in this one and he shines tremendously. Even he keeps you guessing on who he really is.
Music is just average. Song Tera Zikr adds the required depth and earthiness to the otherwise spooky theme is just bang on. Background score just like sound design could have been more powerful.
While the film should score high owing to its logic and sensibility, it won’t have a mass supporting for it. A little more effort on the sound could have done the job. Having said everything, its a film that scares you and even touches your heart.