Review: The film starts off with a promise and a distinct flavor but becomes redundant after a period of time. Aatma is a predictable horror film with an effort to interlace the story with an emotional bond between a mother and a daughter. The premise of the film is predictable yet effective which skilfully sets the tone of the film.
Starting with a video footage, depicting the eccentric love a father has for a daughter, the narration is simple and in the flavor of the usual horror films which is quite acceptable to the audience provided it works well. The effort to express a tale which has its roots in the emotional relationship of a family is quite visible and could have been utilized with much better craft and scope. But over the course of time, the film loses its potential and grows into becoming another horror tale of a regular kind. Classical approach stands for the wisdom that whenever a story is told through the lens of human relationships, irrespective of the genre it is told in, it has to be based properly on the organic evolution of the story and the major aspects of the film needs to be explained properly. This is a major flaw, where a lot of plot points are left unexplained which seriously interferes with the gradual narration.
The director tries hard to provide the right kind of treatment for a story with an awareness for the compensation on behalf of an original script. The visual style has a distinct flavor and the cinematography certainly shows potential. The background score switches between jarring tones and instead of supplementing the film, it disrupts the natural flow. Although there are few occasions where there is relatively good use of sound and one intelligent scene depicting a metaphorical death (school teacher getting killed in front of mirror). On the acting front, Bipasha delivers a nice performance and there is an obvious spontaneity in her work. Nawazuddin Siddiqui has few scenes and performs well with one exceptional sequence (where he is talking in front of the judge).
Audiences won’t find this movie upto the mark and Aatma is quite susceptible to be called a staple horror film. There is nothing wrong in making that kind of horror but the approach has to be clear and defined. There is a lot of confusion here arising from the effort of arriving at a decision of either trying to make classical horror or pulp horror.