For over a decade, Bollywood horror movies have been more comical than horror. The cliché formulaic plot along with mediocre acting has taken horror films away from the audience’s heart. In this context, Prosit Roy’s Pari is a sincere attempt to take the genre back to the masses.
The movie begins with an introverted Arnab (Prosenjit Chatterjee) who’s on the cusp of getting married to Piyali (Ritabhari Chakraborty). A ride into the forest on a rainy day and a mishap creates the premise for his encounter with a chained Rukhsana (Anushka Sharma). Following this encounter, Arnab finds Rukhsana at his abode seeking refuge and the plot thickens from there.
Rajat Kapoor convincingly plays the role of a Bangladeshi professor who’s on a witch hunt to eradicate evil. The movie then goes on a tangent and what could have been the exploration of a tale of a chained woman ends up being the same old ‘flickering lights’ tale.
Maybe the makers felt that addressing the refugee crisis through the story of a chained woman wouldn’t stand alone and ended up spooking the plot. Who knows? Pari could do better with a tauter screenplay and stronger story and if the makers had resisted adding supernatural elements just for the sake of it, Pari could have been a masterpiece.
Jishnu Bhattacharjee’s cinematography has done a splendid job in portraying Kolkata as a grim grey city and tries to add authenticity to the supernatural elements peppered generously in the movie. Anushka Sharma, Prosenjit Chatterjee and Rajat Kapoor play their characters with utmost conviction.