Four bachelors move into what they think is the house of their dreams in Mumbai only for it to turn into nightmare central in this MX Player horror-comedy miniseries.
It’s not funny or scary enough
Horror comedy is a tricky genre to master; something about balancing the laughs and the scares. In recent times, two Bollywood titles, Akshay Kumar-Vidya Balan starrer Bhool Bhulaiyaa and Rajkummar Rao’s Stree come to mind. What worked in their favour was good storytelling, great acting and genuine moments of mirth interspersed with requisite jump scares. Another thing they had in common – a compelling backstory. The reason we’re bringing this up is that while Aapkey Kamrey Mein Koi Rehta Hai is a decent attempt at a horror-comedy, it doesn’t quite nail it.
The story follows four bachelors – Nikhil (Sumeet Vyas), Varun aka Sanki (Ashish Verma), Kavi (Amol Parashar) and Subbu (Navin Kasturia) – who are looking for a new home to rent in Mumbai after being unceremoniously evacuated from their previous one. After lamenting about how nobody wants to rent to bachelors, they finally chance upon what appears to be a perfect setup for them – a swanky, fully-furnished apartment at Tughlaq Palace belonging to Mr Shukla (Ajit Kelkar). The catch is that the building is built on a plot that used to be a cremation ground and is entirely unoccupied save for the Roy family on the third floor. The desperate bachelors turn a blind eye to the red flags and move in.
Mr Shukla makes perfunctory comments about them enjoying their new home, leaves and encounters something spooky in the building elevator. The only reason you’re supposed to take note of this is that it plays an important role in the story’s denouement.
To celebrate their new home, Sanki throws a pool party on their terrace, which on a scale of one to disaster is an epic calamity. It is here that Nikhil meets Mausam (Swara Bhasker), their office colleague who, incidentally, is the woman Kavi stalks around the office. In keeping with the calamitous theme of the party, the night ends in a disaster when Kavi is found dead in the apartment. The problem is, he refuses to stay dead and comes back to haunt his friends. Kavi isn’t the only spirit running amok. There’s a whole backstory involving a poor hutment dweller, Ram Avatar (Shakti Kapoor), real estate developer, Malik Singh (Vishnu Sharma) and ghostly revenge. But that narrative is sidelined by the show’s focus on Sanki’s non-attempts at chatting up women.
The actors deserve better
There are a few moments on the show where we genuinely chuckled out loud and then gasped on cue. However, when you have stellar actors like Sumeet Vyas and Swara Bhasker, you take advantage of that fact and give them material that does justice to their talent. Bhasker does rise above the inconsistent writing and deliver the best performance on the show. Vyas has a really charming screen presence, and we would’ve loved to see his role fleshed out beyond that of a commitment-phobic pretty boy. Ashish Verma’s Sanki is the man-child who says all the wrong things at the inopportune moments and while he’s believable, this shtick gets old too quickly. The other characters are merely salad dressing and they do their part. And don’t even get us started on how Shakti Kapoor is utterly wasted; they could’ve just used an extra for that scene.
WATCH OR NOT
At five episodes spanning 20-odd minutes each, this one is a super-fast binge-watch. But go for it only if you’re a die-hard Swara Bhasker fan.
Director: Gaurav Sinha
Cast: Swara Bhasker, Sumeet Vyas, Naveen Kasturia, Amol Parashar, Ashish Verma
Streaming on: MX Player