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Upperstall Review


Official Site



Hindi, Horror, Thriller, 2008, Color

A house in the wilderness...A house with a curse...Whosoever has tried to tear it down has been destroyed. The year is 1920. Arjun (Rajneesh Duggal) and his wife, Lisa (Adah Sharma) move into the house. Arjun has been given the task of bringing the hosue down and making a hotel in its place. Strange and inexplicable events start taking place in the house throwing their life totally out of gear. The couple start to doubt each other. The game of death begins...It is now the love they shared versus the house and its curse...

1920 just leaves you gobsmacked. It is tacky, slipshod, stupid, corny, unintentionally funny and anything but the spine-chilling experience it presumably set out to be.

Firstly, you have no idea why the film is set in 1920. It could have been set anywhere and in anytime without making any difference to the story. One supposes the filmmakers thought that the setting alone would help them make a 'different film' which the film certainly isn't as it employs every known stereotype and cliche of its genre. The result is a plodding, uninvolving film that is totally bereft of thrills. Even the flashback section of 1857 adds nothing to the film as it is none-too-interesting a plot. In fact, if anyone might be happy with 1920, it's likely to be the staunch Hindu. After all, Hanuman finally achieves what Jesus Christ couldn't. Jai Bajrang Bali!

The actors try and do what they can with sincerity but it isn't enough. Rajneesh Duggal still has a long, long way to go as a performer and is extremely awkward in several scenes. But to be fair to him, some of the scenes would seriously challenge even the most seasoned of actors to carry of succesfully. Adah Sharma in the more obvious and showy part of Lisa does show promise as an actress were she properly utilized. She seems at ease in front of the camera and her unorthodox looks and charming smile are definite assets. However, her scenes as the possessed woman, rather than give you thrills and chills, fall flat and comes across more as unintentionally hilarious as she contorts her body and flies about or goes tick-tock tick-tock. Raj Zutshi, always a competent actor, does what he has to adequately enough as does Anjori Alagh.

Technically too, the film is woeful. The camerawork is most inconsistent and the look of the film further suffers with some of the worst DI (Digital Intermediate) work seen in recent times. The colours look most odd and the skin tones of the characters go for a toss. Effects like the trams on the streets of Mumbai look slipshod to say the least. Production design like the set of the town Arjun visits to find Radha is shoddy. The background score and sound design so important for a film of this type do nothing for it. Even Adnan Sani's music fails to breathe life into the film in spite of utilizing the vocals of legends like Pandit Jasraj, Asha Bhosle, Begum Parveen Sultana and Shubha Mudgal. The song picturizations are dull and uninspiring and the Bichua number with Rakhi Sawant has to be the most unsexy and unappealing 'item number' seen in a long, long time.

All in all, strictly avoidable.

Upperstall review by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan

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