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11-13-2010, 02:46 AM #1
Exclusive Movie Review A FLAT (November 12, 2010)
Call it a coincidence, most Hindi films focus on haunted homes when it comes to the horror genre. A FLAT is no different. In fact, it brings back memories of various films, including BHOOT [was it shot in the same housing complex?] and also Chetan Anand's multi-starrer KUDRAT. Of course, it wouldn't be right to compare A FLAT with BHOOT or KUDRAT or even VAASTU SHASTRA or 13-B or PHOONK/PHOONK 2 because the plotline of each is different, although you can't ignore the uncanny resemblance with the finale of KUDRAT.
A horror films works if it scares the living daylights out of you, if it succeeds in giving you goose bumps at vital points of the narrative, but barring a scene or two in A FLAT [I'd like to single out the elevator sequence involving Jimmy Shergill], you don't break into a cold sweat or bite your nails in anxiety. The writing is clearly the problem here, which follows the beaten path in its post-interval portions.
A spate of unexpected events jolts Rahul [Jimmy Shergill] as soon as he lands from U.S. to pacify his lost love Preeti [Kaveri Jha]. First, the mysterious death of his dad [Sachin Khedekar], when he visits the flat, followed by the baffling disappearance of Preeti… and now Rahul finds himself trapped in his own flat, completely cut off from the world. The only companion he has is a ghost.
Debutant director Hemant Madhukar's choice of subject lacks novelty, which explains why the film doesn't hold your attention after you are introduced to the characters and setting. Besides, the director uses the usual tricks that are mandatory in horror movies - hand-held camera movements, loud background score and sound effects, a scary looking spirit - but let's not forget that these factors work only if the written material is convincing, which, unfortunately, isn't the case here.
The film also suffers due to miscasting. Hazel doesn't look like a village belle from any angle. Besides, the rural accent makes it worse. Ditto for Sanjay Suri, who tries so hard to look the evil guy, but he doesn't. The romantic relationship between Jimmy and Kaveri Jha is half-baked, while the conclusion, though well shot, is similar to KUDRAT. Musically, nothing to hum about. The cinematography is striking; the scenic locales of North India are well captured on celluloid.
Talking of performances, Jimmy does reasonably well, while Sanjay doesn't look convincing. Kaveri Jha seems confident. Sachin Khedekar is alright. Nasser Abdullah is strictly okay.
On the whole, A FLAT fails to create an impact.