You might want to stand there with a dagger in one hand and ask, “Why did you do that, Mr Vikram Bhatt?” after you watch this sequel
1920: Evil Returns is the story of Jaidev Verma (Aftab Shivdasani), Smruti (Tia Bajpai), Karuna (Vidya Malvade) and an evil spirit. And a castle, a picturesque location and hummable songs are all in place. Yet, this movie tells you how - even with all these aspects intact - a story can still go nowhere.
For starters, it looks like the poetic nature of Jaidev’s character has rubbed on to everyone, including the servants in the Verma household. Secondly, the dialogues are really, truly, totally at their cheesiest best. Thirdly…oh the list is endless. But you endure most of it thinking that the horrifyingly spooky moments might make up for such flaws. Maybe, just maybe, the possessed woman will make you forget the grouses growing steadily on your fingertips.
And you know what? Nothing, absolutely nothing of that sort happens. The possessed woman takes her own sweet time to make an appearance. And when she does, for a teeny-weeny moment just before the interval, you leave for the popcorn stand thinking that the second half will surely spook the corn out of its tub now that THE woman has arrived. Huh - what a mistake!
From the moment the movie begins you know something is lacking. You aren’t getting spooked. And this isn’t how a 1920-branded film is supposed to behave! But it does. So where did you goof up, Mr Bhushan Patel (director)?
And are the acting skills also to be blamed? Not really. Tia Bajpai does a decent job as far as her role is concerned. But after a while you wish the possessed woman’s manly voice (Sagar Saikia) would take over just to save you from her squeaky dialogue. Aftab Shivdasani manages to look impeccably dukhi throughout the movie, as if he’s lost all direction in life (something that shouldn’t have been a problem for someone like Aftab to portray, right?) but appears calm, composed and lost in some other world when the real ghost appears.
So what’s wrong? Direction? Overdose of poems? Cheesy dialogues? Everything! What’s right? The songs. Yes, they’re hummable. You don’t mind them playing in the background as the hero and heroine wander aimlessly by the lake, in the garden, under the tree, behind the walls...all in beautiful Sweden.
So in the end we would just like to say – watch the movie for…ummm….maybe some general knowledge on evil spirits? For example, how a crow flying out from a graveyard means trouble, how it’s God’s rule that one soul cannot exist in two bodies. And more such inanity. But then, Google might be a better option for that. So you can let this one pass.
Oh wait - watch 1920, the 2008 movie, on your laptop instead. That would be a much better option… really!
* Poor – Avoid!
** Average – Give it a shot if you are desperate!
*** Good – One time watch!
**** Very good – Must watch!
***** Excellent – Don’t miss!
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