“The supernatural tension builds up slowly but surely.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

The wide eyed girl returns to Mumbai from Woodstock filled with apprehension and regret. She treads on broken glass in every conversation with her mother and everything about the film star mansion that she inhabits shrieks ‘poltergeist’.

Her brittle mother is married to a screen idol with overwhelming body odour who keeps referring to the wide eyed girl’s past and has his wife in the grip of his sweaty hand. Presiding over it all is an ominous Hummer that takes Aliah to college and back and which embarrasses her with every spin of its wheel.

Gradually Karishma Attari keeps upping the creep quotient with escalating incidents of violence and shadows in the night. Aliah has moments of mind absence and visions of apocalypse in the middle of a bus congested Mumbai road. Add to that the fact that she also has the dishy Sid on her mind. Sid and she are love at first sight and it seems like a match made in heaven because he has a show business background as well, but Aliah’s ghost at home keeps her tightlipped to the point of self-destruction about everything.

As a mix teens and horror works well together, simply because kids on the threshold of adulthood discover all kinds of horrors – that pimple on the eve of a date for example – and balance precariously on the edge  of new experiences. Aliah is the textbook disturbed girl, though she is aware of what it is that disturbs her. She is also aware that fame and money come accompanied by all kinds of evil and it makes her skin crawl.  The supernatural under cuts the social and makes all those things like first love and first date even more difficult – especially since she is given the freedom to run out or black out on occasion.

At the heart of it is the pact that Aliah’s stepfather has made with her mother which is sealed by yellow diamonds and other priceless stones. The pact demands a price and brings ghost child into a clash with troubled teen.

Underlying this too is the social stigma of mental illness which is a no no as far as patriarchal society I concerned. The happening set can manage to get away with drugs but nervous breakdowns are unacceptable.

One can trace Attari’s influences, Twilight, Stephen King, Frankenstein which is part of Aliah’s college text.

 

Reviewed by:

Anjana Basu

Added 18th December 2015

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Anjana Basu

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