Shaapit - Movie Review

Mar 20, 2010, 07:42 IST | Hitlist Team

The recent spook-fest in Bollywood proves that the genre is back in business. Vikram Bhatt is slowly but surely moving in to own this genre.

Shaapit
A; Horror
Dir: Vikram Bhatt
Cast: Aditya Narayan, Shweta Agarwal, Rahul Dev
**1/2


WHAT'S IT ABOUT: The recent spook-fest in Bollywood proves that the genre is back in business. Vikram Bhatt is slowly but surely moving in to own this genre. It all begins when Aman (Narayan) gets engaged to his girlfriend Kaya (Agarwal) and they meet with an accident.

Kaya's parents then tell the couple why they've been against their marriage the family has been cursed over generations and any girl tying the knot is destined to die. Aman will have none of it he delves deeper into the mystery with the help of Professor Pashupati (Dev).



When told  that the curse is being carried forward by an evil spirit, he decides to put an end to it, even if it means risking his own life. Thus begins a journey into the world of occult, a haunted past and facing the wrath of an evil spirit.

WHAT'S HOT: You could argue that the backdrop of the subject is based on an archaic formula - past life, buri aatma and all of that. But what's interesting is the way Bhatt adds references from ancient cultures (Mayan and Incan) and offers reasoning that may not be rock-solid but it suffices.

The director's scare tactics work big time in the first half the sequence with Aman alone in the library is the most thrilling of the lot. Also, Shaapit is a combination of a love story and a horror flick and it works.

The romance also helps the script and forms a strong backdrop for all the proceedings. Vikram introduces two new faces Aditya is promising.

Given the right platform, the boy could go places. It's a difficult debut but he scores even in the most complex scenes. Shweta Agarwal has good screen presence and delivers for the most part.

WHAT'S NOT: The basic plot of the film seems lost somewhere the curse and the evil spirit are supposed to have a connection but that remains unexplained. It's almost like two separate tracks in the same film and that makes it hard to comprehend.

The characters should've been better established. It's unclear why the professor and Aman's friend follow the protagonist in his search to the extent of risking their lives.
 
In the second half, the screenplay loses track completely. In the initial portions, the evil spirit seems scary because it comes in flashes but in the most critical part (the climax), it evokes more laughter than fear (it looks like one of the Ghost-buster spirits).

The cast disappoints from the acharya who hams his way through to the expressionless friend to Natasha Sinha as the Maharani (we'd rather do without this comeback).
 
Cinematography by Pravin Bhatt is poor. It makes the film look jaded and even an otherwise confident Aditya is shot badly in most parts. With a better supporting cast, visual effects, tighter script and superior camerawork, Shaapit could've worked.

WHAT TO DO: Watch it if you're a die-hard horror freak and for the debut of Aditya Narayan, the future star on the horizon.
ST

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