Would Like to Send You Push Notifications. Notification may includes alerts, activities & updates.

OTP Verification

Enter 4-digit code
For Brands
MouthShut Logo

MouthShut Score






I feel this review is:


To justify genuineness of your review kindly attach purchase proof
No File Selected

Ghosts of past
Nov 16, 2008 01:02 PM 9399 Views
(Updated Nov 16, 2008 01:07 PM)





Vikram Bhatt, the brat that broke away from the Bhatt camp and gave us films like RAAZ, Footpath etc has done a volte face and come up with a sizzler of a film, 1920.

Ghosts are a plenty. Generally they are swept and kept away stowed in that deepest part of your memory which you don’t want to reproduce at all. Life moves on and then suddenly you find things changing…

Cupboards move, drawers rattle, you feel a smoky presence that woos you softly to shake your halo, goose pimples and then a scream. Distant, piercing and very very frightening!!

We are taken back to a beautiful castle in Palampur where an architect has been summoned by Raisaheb, owner of this castle, to renovate it into a grand palace hotel. The architect starts his work in the dead of the night. The castle is quiet, no electricity, rooms lit with candles glowing softly and eerily quiet. Suddenly a movement, a whisper as soft as a caress which turns into a wail of a man in agony… And then the architect is sprawled on a staircase of the castle… Dead!

We then meet a couple, apparently in love to the extent of the boy going against his family to get the girl!! After a showdown, we are taken to Mumbai and the trams and the VT building that brings a smile on your face!!

Arjun (Rajneesh of Raymond’s ad fame) and Lisa (Adah Sharma) tie the knot to settle in Mumbai. Love is obviously that keeps them together and we have Arjun being transferred to Palampur to renovate the same castle.

Now, this is where we are treated to a classic act from the Director. We would generally expect loud music, abrupt jerky surprises and gory faces of monsters trying to kill for the heck of it!! Here we are treated to silent almost eerie happenings that tend to grow on you as each frame lit only by candles on the walls glowing yellow and throwing dark shadows on the windows greet your heightening sense of fear!!

A door which has been kept closed for decades opens itself like a well oiled door as soon as Lisa touches it. She sits on the piano and strikes a soulful tune. Little does she know that with this tune she is actually waking up the demons that have been swept and kept locked in the room for decades together!! The director here just takes a sweeping shot of the castle’s exterior and a swoosh of the wind that tells you a story which will make you witness an arrival. Arrival of an uninvited guest. A guest that you will feel, which will make its presence felt but never to be seen!!

Lisa goes through waves of emotions staring at the portrait that is hung in this locked room. The director again has cleverly given the actress a get up that is distinctly different. The portrait being of a demure, lively yet matured lady and Lisa a lively, practical very married and in love girl!!

The incidents that take place in the castle are studied and have a flow of being the most logical next steps in being scary and wanting more. The atmosphere that is created by Vikram is that of a lady besotted by the fact that there is a presence that can be felt and also of a consumed body! Such is the ambience created that you can feel that palpable fear of what is going to happen next gnawing at your gut…

Impressive lighting done by Vikram. Mind you its not easy to show a room lit by candles with external set lighting. It has to be just right, not too bright, not to dull but that impressive candlelit glow that gives you the feeling of eeriness, pulsating with the hovering presence of eyes watching your every move and ready to pounce your back catching you unawares. The scenes that got my attention were;

  1. Lisa getting exorcised by the ghost of Mohan Kant.

  2. The priest chanting a verse from the holy bible and using the word test and the ghost repeating the same word ‘test’ ‘test’… repeatedly in a very scary tone and fast… It resembled a fierce mock that told me that the ghost was actually telling the priest that in no way was it going to be defeated…

  3. The flip that Lisa’s body does with the bed being propelled towards Arjun, Priest and Balwant.

  4. Arjun confronting the ghost and then the ghost eerily chanting ‘test’ walking up and down the pillar.

  5. Balwant going around the house in search of Lisa and seeing a shadow against the window of the dining room. He goes around the door and sees no one there but the shadow is still casting its scary presence.

  6. The scene where Arjun first witnesses Lisa being possessed by the ghost. Lisa is shown running across the castle in a patter of feet across the quiet of the night and then eating a dead cat and then the eerie laughter ending in Lisa lying virtually dead on the floor of Gayatri’s room like a cat!!

I wish I could talk about the entire story in giving you the in depth impact that this film had made on me, but I will resist this temptation.

People have mentioned that it’s a lift off from Exorcist! Yes some part is, I ask why not?? Is it such a crime to lift a theme and then depict it in a manner for our audience to accept it? I give full marks to Vikram for really taking the effort with virtually unknown star cast and making a real horror film. After the Ramsay debacles, this has come as a brilliant film that really scares you particularly if you are watching it during the night.

The lift off is not only justified but his creative team has put together a face to the ghost that is impeccable. The stretch lines, the thickened blood capillaries along the cheeks and eyes. The purple patches on the mouth and corner of lips with the battery that the body receives are just brilliant. Add to it the transition of the ghost asking Arjun if he wanted to see Lisa for one last time, and the dark jet black eyes give way to green of Lisa and the desperate plea in Lisa’s eyes asking Arjun to save her are shot brilliantly.

Rajneesh as Arjun is fantastic. His chanting of Hanuman chalisa is flawless and his movement in portraying the character is very confident. Being new hasn’t fazed him from taking a horror film as a genre. It’s difficult to portray the emotion of fear, helplessness and then the transition to a realization of his beloved being possessed. He has done it effortlessly.

Adah Sharma as Lisa and Gayatri is awesome. A new comer again and her portrayal of the character of Gayatri pre independence and Lisa consumed by the ghost is impeccable. Her emotions and expressions convey fear, fearlessness, mockery and fierce strength combined with the reralisation of being thrown out of the comforts of the possessed body are done with the élan of a lady being possessed and fiercely determined to make her mark in this competitive industry. Raj Zutshi and others have supported this horror of 1920 very well.

The music is too good. Never too loud but always very eerie and very gloomy reminding you that there is more to come. Adnan Sami is magnificent!! Pandit Jasraj sung Vaada is soothing and coveys the commitment between the two lovers, Rakhi Sawant performed Bichua is typical and will find its listeners. Kailash Kher has rendered Tujhe main Pyaar with a silent gusto conveying the determination and the strength and belief that establish the characters very well.

I can go on and on but see this as an Indian effort and you will applaud it. Go with a prejudiced mind, I am sure you hate the world that you are living in right now!!

p.s. Shalu you insisted. I did it!

Upload Photo

Upload Photos

Upload photo files with .jpg, .png and .gif extensions. Image size per photo cannot exceed 10 MB

Comment on this review

Read All Reviews