Review: Amavas

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The spirit in Amavas if anything is dedicated to its craft, and like most undead, it does seem to have a thing for women.

The ghoul flickers the lights hoping to get women’s attention when they are alone in the corridor, or silently stands behind them when they walk from one room to another. However, when the heroine of the film, Ahana (Nargis Fakhri) all but ignores her in her bubbly obliviousness, the ghoul resorts by making a play for her man.

Luring the man, Karan (Sachin Joshi, also the producer), away to a cobwebbed room with a squeaky rocking chair, or boo-ing him when he’s fast asleep, the ghosts’ tactics, again, fall on deaf ears. Karan simply thinks it is his paranoia, and his psychiatrist (Mona Singh), tells him to double his medication.

The psychiatrist, though, is a believer in spirits, and before the final act of the film, comes to help unravel the hauntings. Ahana, being an atheist, is hardly affected by the entire ordeal – in fact, even during the climax, when the possessed body of an individual is burned by a Tatoo of the Hindu symbol Om, the heroine hardly realizes it as a religious calling.

At least, that is what I am assuming, because director Bhushan Patel doesn’t have a clear agenda on his mind. Amavas doesn’t have a credible story, credible acting – or credible anything.

Patel’s direction is lackluster, and the production tries to be as stingy as possible. Scenes mostly cut to and fro between limited locations, as if trying to wrap up the story as fast as possible. The only time we see some color – and quite literally, I am talking about stark, contrast-y color, because the production design has a muted tone – is when Karan and Ahana slip away to do a romantic song (the music is better than one expects).

Fakhri, although okay in a badly written role, has to bear the weight of the movie. Joshi, though, is appalling. One look at the two – and their three feet difference in height (Joshi is the shorter, stouter one) – and you ask one simple question: WHY, and HOW, are they together?

But then again, you ask the same question for every supporting character in the film. How, and Why, are they in the film? Followed by, Are some of them even necessary? Apart from a psychiatrist, there is a bucktoothed butler (Ali Asghar), and three ‘supposed’ youngsters who happen to have something to do with the narrative.

It’s a sorry state of affairs as scenes, supporting characters and songs offer an unrelenting succession of worn out clichés.

Far from scary, Amavas is rib-tickling and ludicrous. As a horror movie it’s a dud, however as a comedy (which it isn’t) it’s one fine entertainer.