Making a film, unlike writing a novel or making a painting, is a collaborative effort that involves a team of people working together. Which is why, when a really bad film comes along, you have to ask: Didn’t anyone involved in making this notice just how wrong it was going?
It’s a question that comes up more than once while watching Ghost, a hare-brained horror film in which doctors, nurses and ward-boys at a city hospital are brutally killed and dismembered by a vengeance seeking spirit. Shiney Ahuja is a detective assigned to the case, and Sayali Bhagat a doctor at the hospital who’s helping him with the investigation when they aren’t romancing over candlelit dinners and nightclub dancing.
Written and directed by Puja Jatinder Bedi, this staggeringly silly film has a plot so convoluted and far-fetched, you’ll be rolling your eyes more than the ghosts in this film do. Conveniently, the detective discovers he’s linked to the case himself…something involving an old flame, a sleazebag father, and memory loss caused by an accident. Lady Doctor, meanwhile, convinced that an otherworldly presence is responsible for the murders, takes to rattling off long passages from the Bible without a hint of emotion. All this is intercut with random cutaways of frogs, roaches and a tacky CGI version of hell with dancing skeletons.
The film doesn’t have any good scares to speak of, just lots of bad dialogue and a laughable background score. When the detective accuses his father of being unfaithful to his mother, the old dog replies: “Agar tum meri mardangi ko aiyyashi ka naam dena chahte ho, toh haan main aiyyash hoon.” ("If you want to describe my masculinity as promiscuity, then yes I’m promiscuous.") At another point in the film, when the detective arrives at a morgue where another killing has taken place, he delivers this corny gem: “Yahaan ke saare eyewitnesses ke toh waise bhi aankhen band hain.” ("All the eyewitnesses here have closed their eyes.")
Ghost isn’t even one of those films that’s so bad, it’s fun to watch. No, it’s utterly and entirely painful and tiring to sit through, because every inconsequential detail is repeated over and over again, and all that the characters in this film do is state the obvious.
I’m going with a generous half out of five, yes half out of five for Ghost. There’s even a seductive song filmed on a wooden-faced junior artiste wearing enough eye make-up to scare you in your sleep. It’s a miracle films like this get made!