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Aatma  : God Save Our Souls
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Friday, March 22, 2013
Thriller
Aatma
Bipasha Basu, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Doyel Dhawan
An overly possessive man returns from the dead to claim his little daughter and it’s up to his glamorous wife to save her. She does it by piling up a heap of bodies but without the chills needed to give you the shivers.

The plot: Maya (Bipasha Basu) calls off her marriage to abusive husband Abhay (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and gets custody of their daughter Nia (Doyel Dhawan). Abhay can’t bear the separation from his daughter and flies into a rage, vowing to fight for her when he dies in an accident. Monster dad is now back to haunt his wife and claim his offspring.

The good:A good premise botched up all the way.

The bad: The very fact that it gives you no chills and makes you drowsy instead of keeping you wide awake with fear goes against the film. The writing is so loose that even an amulet given by a panditiji to ward off the dead man’s spirit turns up at convenience on the child’s arm and disappears most other times. The same amulet fails to save a victim in the car park but pops up funnily after death to fight the villain on the loose. Focusing on the child’s rather irritating giggle or Bipasha’s persistently familiar screams, toned legs and deep cleavage shift focus from what should have been a scare fest.

The atma (spirit) enters anybody’s body at random (even Bipasha’s at one point) and digresses from the initial logic it laid for itself which was that it can enter only Nia’s body only because she loved her dad to death (quite literally).

The story-telling is patchy and unrealistic – in spite of repeated attempts by the dead dad to take away his child, the little one sleeps on her own at night and the mother doesn’t even establish a close camaraderie with her daughter.

It’s all so staccato that the tension between the parents that led to an acrimonious divorce is awkward and never really established with the impact it deserved.
The story, screenplay and direction (all led by Suparn Verma) is a total let-down and cannot be added to your kitty of horror films.

Overall: More unintentional humour than horror, save yourself from this one.

– Pooja Thakkar
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