Written by Sameer Sharma and Lalit Marathe
Running Time: 1:55
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Look at that, a good, Indian film with no music or dancing... just a well-made psychological thriller that ultimately leaves you satisfied.
Vishal and Swati are looking for a place to live in Mumbai. Vishal is shown a very nice apartment, but there is one problem; the previous owner killed her son and herself. Vishal isn't superstitious and doesn't care, but he also doesn't tell his wife. She ends up finding out and then things start happening. She sees people who aren't there; she starts to sleepwalk; Vishal thinks she is just upset by finding out the news of the previous tenant, but then things start happening even he can't explain. Modern medicine can't help his wife as he connection to the dead woman starts getting stronger and stronger until Swati is no longer in control of her own life. And then things really start to get interesting.
I've never seen an entire Indian horror film before. I caught part of one once and I found the acting to be horrible. So I went in thinking that Bhoot (which means 'Ghost') would be the same. But what I found was a rather well made film with genuine thrills and creeps throughout. Granted, it's not as slickly made as American films, but for what it was, it kept me interested throughout, and even had me jump a couple of times.
The opening credit sequence was rather cool, for a film from any country. The one thing I did notice about the direction of the movie however, was that the director had this strange need to document too much information. How many times do we need to see the husband leave the apartment, go down the elevator, walk to his car, drive out of the garage, get to work, park his car, walk down the hallway, go into his office and sit down? Those same shots, in sequence, we shown at least 4 or 5 times. It's little things like that, that make movies feel extremely long. Even though this movie was a shade under two hours, when scenes get repeated over and over again, you start to feel as if the movie is dragging.
The sad thing is, if those extraneous scenes were cut out, and you had a movie that was a streamlined hour and forty-five minutes, you could have had a really great movie on your hands. Well, that and the horrendous sound problems throughout. Fix those couple of things and Bhoot was a great psychological/supernatural thriller. Swati's slow decent into hell was done incredibly well, and her husband's reluctance to accept her problems slowly turning into fear was also done well. The cop, with a penchant for saying his name like he was James Bond, added a little bit of lightheartedness into the film, whether it was intentional or not. And the popular film star Rekha still looks incredible after all these years.
The movie has a few twists and turns you don't see coming, and if there was one problem with the script, it was just that: there was no way to see it coming. In a lot of thrillers, you can at least see where the ending is coming from, based on what happened earlier in the film. But there really weren't any clues given out as to what might have happened; why this dead woman was haunting this couple. And it wasn't as if the ending was so far out of left field to be credible; the exact opposite in fact. The ending made perfect sense and once you figure everything out and look back on the film, it works rather well. I just wish more information had been given throughout the movie. One last thought, there's a really cool scene involving the watchman that was equal parts funny and horrible. Definitely the best shot in the film.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, if you're a horror fan or an indie film fan and you haven't seen an Indian film before, Bhoot may be a good one to start with. Get past the sound issues and the extraneous footage and you'll have a good time.
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(Widescreen Special Edition)
© 2003 Wolfpack Productions