Aatma - Review
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Aatma leaves you with many questions. Why are most horror films all the same? Why are they oh-so-lame? Why do they have to involve an artist who's a child? Are horrified adults too mild? These are not rhetorics, they are genuine questions.
Aatma starts out, right from the trailers, with the premise of a dead dad wanting to be with his child. Aatma stays there pretty much right till the end. There is very little in terms of movement from this baseline. Sure, there are doctors, priests and murders, but they are pretty much predictable. And what's a horror film going to horrify you with, if you know what's going to happen next.
Without that as a support, the audience has to more or less rely on the performances to feel for or against the characters. Nawazuddin Siddiqui does invoke disgust and anger even before he's shown on the screen. However, taking nothing away from his acting effort, those negative emotions are more directly correlated with the characterisation. Again, once it is invoked, it stays put. You cannot but ignore the fact that there was a decent chance of revealing his intentions gradually, thus building the drama to a high. But well, they let that cat out in the promos itself.
Bipasha Basu does the drill of being a very scared, concerned mother. But, she can do only so much if the screenplay has her sleep away from her child who seems to be in fatal danger. At the risk of revealing a little detail, the said scene has Bipasha Basu's Maya sleep with her mom and be comforted by her and the daughter-in-danger is sleeping in another room!
And what about our concern for our child artists? Should any human be put through the ordeal of acting in roles that require them to be possessed and murder people brutally (Doyel Dhawan) - at age 6! And this is not specific to this film, or even just Hindi films, why should any child be put through first giving those performances and then watching themselves on the screen. What kind of a messed up race are we, if we need to use the tenderness of age to entertain us? (I can only hope that the said artists aren't allowed to watch such of their films until they are of age. But, I know that is highly unlikely.)
And the sad part is, it doesn't even spook us. We've seen it so many times over that we are now immune to possessed children. Oh well.
I am nit-picking then when I point out a "Whhaat?" moment, when I see a school teacher sitting on her desk, while teaching - one-leg-over-another in a short skirt! Yeah, petty me.
If I had to pick one positive in the entire film, it would be attempt at mood. The gloomy blues create the right atmosphere, even if it is pretty dark during day time. However, the background music and all the other elements bring the film down to below average.
So, a courtesy tip towards science and God later, the film and your miseries end. Aatma is short, and even if it is certainly not sweet, you thank the writers for small mercies.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: Loads of murders and brutal ones at that.
- Language: Clean
- Nudity & Sexual content: None unless you count Bipasha Basu dressed in short negligees.
- Concept: A dead father wants to be with his daughter.
- General Look and Feel: Gloomy blues. An attempt at spooky.
Aatma - Movie Details
- Official Sites: YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Wide Frame Pictures
- Producer: Kumar Mangat, Abhishek Pathak
- Director: Suparn Verma
- Lead Cast: Bipasha Basu, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Doyel Dhawan
- Supporting Cast: Darshan Jariwala, Shernaz Patel, Jaideep Ahlawat, Geetika Tyagi
- Story: Suparn Verma
- Screenplay: Suparn Verma
- Dialogues: Suparn Verma
- Cinematography: Sophie Winqvist
- Editor: Hemal Kothari
- Choreography: Adil Shaikh
- Music Director: Sangeet Haldipur, Siddharth Haldipur
- Lyrics: Kumaar
- Costume Designer: Rocky. S, Abhilasha
- Art Direction: Pronita Pal
- Running time: 90 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Horror
Aatma - Trailer
If you cannot see a video above, click here to see it on YouTube