Horror is a problem, evidently

Horror is a problem, evidently
Houston, we have a problem. Bollywood seems to have lost the plot completely when it comes to horror. It is tragic. For either the movies straddle the gore and the shrill shrieks or they manage to get a semblance of a decent plot and then completely botch it up by the end. Aatma’s problem lies in the second case.

Two parents fighting over the custody of a child. One dead and one alive, who would have ever guessed. No need for a spoiler alert, the trailer gave it all away.

Maya (Bipasha Basu) is trying to get her life in order after a nasty divorce from Abhay (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and his death. Escaping from a violent, abusive marriage things would have been better for Maya had her daughter Nia (Doyel Dhawan) not been so convinced that her beloved father is still alive. While Abhay is a monster of a husband, he strangely is an over-loving father and thanks to his hero-worshipping little daughter, the angry spirit returns to claim his paternal rights.

All is not well. People who irritate or reprimand his darling daughter end up dead. Some freaky spirit possessions follow, some predictions and some more deaths and it all comes down to the final battle. Maya must stop Abhay from killing Nia and taking her away.

Bipasha seems to have made her place in horror films. She is either scaring the daylights out of some pouting actress (Esha Gupta in
Raaz 3
) or getting petrified herself (Raaz). However, in Aatma, the actress just looks troubled. Like any parent would look during a raging custody battle. And especially when your daughter is this sulky child who lights up only when she talks to her dead father. Shudder. Maya loves her daughter, but with Abhay’s spirit haunting matters, there is no getting through to the child. No family trips, no gifts and no overtly pink birthday parties work.

Nawazuddin seems at an utter loss in the movie in certain scenes. As Abhay he is convincing and borders the psychotic. Shadows of Faizal Khan still overpower the actor as he tries to fit in to a role that is not exactly his forte. He aces it in so far that he makes Abhay look freaky. He looks odd next to Bipasha, but then he had held his mettle with Huma Qureshi. Jaideep Ahlawat and Shernaz Patel’s acting prowesses are wasted. The story does not allow them too much.

Though one must admit that Aatma doesn’t play on clichés. Fair. But the movie simply disappoints by the end. It becomes ludicrous to the point of actually being painful. What could have been quite a chill fest dribbles down to some emotional bullcrap. Pardon the profanities! Miss it. Really.
Jhinuk Sen

Jhinuk Sen

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