Alone review: Hardly horror!
Alone review: Hardly horror!
By: Sonia Chopra
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Friday 16 January 2015
Bipasha Basu, Karan Singh Grover, Zakir Hussain
The film begins with a thunder-and-lightning type scene complete with howling wolves and creaking doors. We see the deserted bungalow where this scene is playing out. The inhabitant (Neena Gupta) is found unconscious on the steps of the bungalow's locked outhouse.
Her daughter Sanjana (Bipasha Basu) arrives in Kerala (a place she dreads) to look after her mother.
Sanjana dreads the place as it has memories of her conjoined twin Anjana who died during their surgical separation.
The outhouse, a playing ground of the conjoined siblings, now remains locked. The house-help insists that Anjana still exists there.
The alive sister Sanjana's husband (Karan Grover) insists it be opened, akin to opening a Pandora's Box. Signs like the infinity symbol that the two sisters used to draw appear on mirrors. And then Sanjana begins to have other abnormal experiences, including hearing the piano play coupled with weird, laughing noises. She notices someone else's breath beside her, and then comes the lift scene where she sees a scary reflection for the first time.
Bipasha's character too gives the erring spirit ample opportunity to spook, as she strolls around the dimly-lit bungalow at night in lacy, barely-there nightwear.
Night after night, she wakes up screaming, having encountered the troubled spirit, but the husband dismisses it as gibberish. He consults a psychologist who begins treating Sanjana.
Apart from the psychologist, a loyal maid who finally decides to do a pooja in the house, her ditzy daughter-in-law, and a formidable pundit make up the peripheral characters.
The dialogue, mostly functional throws up unintentionally hilarious lines like Karan's character exclaiming, Is ghar mein kuch na kuch hote rehta hai.
For a horror film, even by Indian standards, the film is surprisingly tame. Especially coming from Bhushan Patel, who has earlier directed Ragini MMS 2 and 1920 - Evil Returns.
Usually for horror films, one advises not to watch it 'alone', but feel free to sample this one solo. There are hardly any scares, intended one guesses, unless you find Bipasha Basu with white paint and matching white eyes spooky. Yup, that's how basic it is, as also clich?d with all the mandatory horror regulars from flickering lights, no electricity, possession by a spirit and a swing going to and fro.
With a fantastic storyline such as this (the film is a copy of a Thai film Alone that released in 2007), there was a lot of scope for some real chills and thrills. But the film focuses less on the spooks and more on the strained chemistry between Bipasha Basu and Karan Grover. The second half is replete with songs that have steamy scenes between the two, but the chemistry seems a tad labored.
Bipasha Basu, who has made this genre her own, does reasonably well. She looks swell, has perfected the frightened look by now, and carries off those super-short nightclothes with her trademark sensuality. Karan Grover does well too, and has a fairly interesting role ? that of a loving husband who also suffers at the hands of overzealous love.
This is a below-par film - an unabashed copy, relying on a few lame thrills and the erotica to sail through. Whether it will, is for the audience to decide.
Rating: 1.5 stars