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Chehra (2013) Movie Review

There is excruciatingly little good that can be said of Deepak K. Bajaj’s Chehra- the Unknown Mask. It is one of those movies that reminds people that there is so much yet to be done for the welfare of the world and that there are resources available for it but they are blatantly wasted on what can only be classified as nonsense. It does so not through any sublime moral message but by its very existence. Simply put, the movie is unbearable, fit not for the “horror” but “horrific” tag.

It is a supernatural movie about a string of mysterious murders based in a nondescript Indian village. The tumultuous events suck in a couple of youngsters embroiled in a sleaze-fest of a love story and replace their pleasure-filled world with one of horror and fear. As the promotions suggested, this love story is not one blessed but cursed (much like the audience!)

The mystery leaves opinions divided. Speculations range from a possible man-slaughtering bear to a tormented spirit. Each group accuses the other of being either superstitious or stupid. The only ones left blaming themselves are the viewers!

The scares are too tacky to have any effect at all. In fact, most of them might have been funny, though unintentionally, if they hadn’t first annoyed the viewers so. What Indian horror films most need is innovation- the stereotypical ghost scares us no more. As in the present case, dead ladies roaming about in white sarees are too common to shock or scare. So are mad tantriks and quiet villages.

The dialogues are penned with least employment of imagination and delivered without any skill or effort. The acting too deserves no applause. The main role actors, Sheetal Pathak and Saheem Khan, will find no fans stalking them after their appearance on the big screen (though some may come seeking revenge for the torture!)

The direction too is amateurish and worthy of mention only because of its epic failure. The story-telling is as ludicrous as the story told. The employment of sleazy dance numbers and vulgar love making scenes may grab eyeballs of the perverse but gather no praise.
The songs of the movie leave a rather unpleasant effect on the psyche while the background score borders on being dangerous for the ear-drums.

The movie deserves the empty seats it mustered. It may or may not eradicate the superstitions prevalent in society but it definitely calls for a reform in the “horror” section of Indian cinema.