Posted: 23 October 2004 at 10:26am | IP Logged
By Taran Adarsh, October 22nd, 2004 - 1600 hrs IST
When you market the film with statements like 'If BHOOT scared you, VAASTU SHASTRA will kill you' or 'Warning: The producers aren't responsible for the consequences after watching the movie', you expect VAASTU SHASTRA to scare the daylights out of you.
Besides, with Ramgopal Varma in the producer's seat and BHOOT still fresh in memory, expecting VAASTU SHASTRA to be the spookiest fare from the film factory is a foregone conclusion.
So, is VAASTU SHASTRA scarier than BHOOT? Or was it a clever marketing ploy to lure moviegoers with tall claims?
To be honest, VAASTU SHASTRA is no masterpiece. It's not as scary as BHOOT either. Nor is director Sourabh Usha Narang as accomplished a storyteller as RGV.
But VAASTU SHASTRA does appeal in parts. It does scare you intermittently, a few eerie moments do send a chill down your spine, the sound quality [so vital in a film of this variety!] only enhance the visuals and the mood is just perfect.
Yet, VAASTU SHASTRA doesn't leave you completely enchanted or spellbound. The feelings are mixed after the show concludes. You have witnessed all this [and more] in BHOOT and that's where VAASTU SHASTRA falls short of expectations.
Loosely based on Stanley Kubrick's acclaimed THE SHINING [1980; Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall], which was based on author Stephen King's best-selling novel of the same name, VAASTU SHASTRA also reminds you of the Nicole Kidman starrer THE OTHERS [Sush's child playing/communicating with the ghost-kids]. Of course, comparisons with BHOOT are also inevitable [a couple Sourabh Usha Narang shows a grasp over technique, with the lighting and camera movements contributing enormously in making the situations look eerie. But the writing [Charu Dutt Acharya] is not half as convincing as BHOOT [both have slightly similar storylines, you could say that!].
A pertinent question that crosses your mind is why do the ghosts take so much time to eliminate those living in the house? There were umpteen situations when each and every character was all by himself/herself and the ghosts had been loitering around, giving cold and angry stares. So, why go on a rampage and kill everyone in the end? Why not before?
Cinematography [Sachin K. Krishn] suits the requirements. The background score as well as the sound quality are first-rate. The visual effects are functional.
Sushmita Sen is competent, enacting her part with flourish. Chekravarthy continues to be stiff. Master Ahsaas Channa is the real star. The child is supremely talented and his expressions at most places contribute to the eerie atmosphere.
Peeya Rai Choudhuri impresses. Purab Kohli doesn't get any scope. Rajpal Yadav goes completely over the top. His character is the weakest in the film. Rasika Joshi is efficient. Sayaji Shinde is not half as convincing as Nana Patekar in BHOOT.
On the whole, VAASTU SHASTRA does the job of scaring you half-heartedly. At the box-office, the film has chances of faring better at multiplexes of metros, especially in Mumbai. But, in some circuits, its business prospects appear bleak!
Rating:- * *.