• 27 Jan - 02 Feb, 2018
  • Omair Alavi
  • Reviews

Horror films have been quite common in Bollywood since the last few years but to have one that tries to deal with all other genres of film-making, you have to come up with one of the best flicks ever. Sadly, 1921 is not an ‘out of this world’ horror flick, although it tries too hard to be one. Veteran writer and director Vikram Bhatt goes back by 97 years but misses a lot of things that wouldn’t have been possible then but are possible now. In this film, three Indian men wouldn’t have been able to afford a place in a boarding school let alone three women (ok, I will count Zareen Khan as 0.5 Indian); they would have been subject to racism; they would have been singled out wherever they would have gone, yet in 1921, everything is as 2018 for the characters as possible.

The horror flick revolves around the life of an Indian pianist Ayush (Karan Kundra) who goes to England to study music; his father’s friend appoints him as his estate’s caretaker but things begin to go spooky when suddenly spirits start appearing on the estate. With the help of Rose (Zareen Khan), Ayush tries to solve the case of the spooky castle and finds out that there is more than meets the eye. The story behind the estate takes them back into the days of the plague as well as a case of mistaken identity, a murder, an attempted kidnapping and some supernatural stuff. Is Zareen able to save Ayush or does the evil spirit win? Watch the film to know more.

The film’s biggest flaw is its setting – in 1921, when Indians were treated as anything but equals in England. There were issues with the continuity of the plot because after the twist near the climax, you start doubting your own sanity, such is the case. Yes, the franchise has been doing well for the past 10 years but with every sequel comes great responsibility and Vikram Bhatt fails in fulfilling that responsibility big time.

The actors try their best to save the sinking ship from going down but when you don’t have the ability to keep the audience from laughing, that’s where you lose the game. Zareen Khan passes off as a British Indian but why does she live in a boarding school when she is a local remains unanswered. Karan has the potential to do well but as an action star and not as a romantic lead in a horror film. Some of the spooky scenes did jolt the audience but in a horror film, you don’t give jolts but thunderbolts to make the audience sweat. 1921 would have done well had it been released 97 years ago (as a silent flick); today it stands nowhere for both horror and Bollywood.

1921 would have done well had it been released 97 years ago (as a silent flick); today it stands nowhere for both horror and Bollywood.