Saturday, November 06, 2004

the feng shui of boredom

Vaastu Shastra, despite my best hopes, remains a tired exercise in the clichés of the horror genre: strange camera angles, ghosts, strange sounds, sudden cuts, dark moments, children who know more than anyone else, rain, and the miscellaneous inexplicable actions that were spoofed so wonderfully in the Scream corpus. J D Chakravarthy still doesn't manage to get a mooring on his filmic characters, and Sushmita Sen, regrettably, has precious little to do, with even less to redeem herself. Peeya Rai Choudhury (seen in Darna Mana Hai and Chupke Se) is easy on the eye, but joins the list of people with not much to do. Rasika Oak/Joshi (who was splendid as the harridan mother in Gayab) barely registers credibility. When I put down my notes on the preview, I had noted references to The Shining. The other echoes include Poltergeist, The Others, The Sixth Sense, A Nightmare on Elm Street and miscellaneous zombie flicks. With so many references, the film is in grave danger of being a pandora's box of low-level inspirations (see also: Fida). Amar Mohile's background score swings from the sublimely appropriate to laugh-inducing moments (like that repetitive cherubic giggle). I will concede that the film could have been a lot worse; its technical merits are mostly up to par except they fail to contribute to the essence of the story and the atmosphere of the narrative. Perhaps this film worked better in the theatre. But Bhoot worked well for me on the small screen. It makes me wonder. And pray that the magic of The Factory has not disintegrated into a sack of pixie dust.

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