Supreeta Singh

Film: Haunted
Director: Vikram Bhatt
Cast: Mahaakshay, Tia Bajpai, Achint Kaur, Arif Zakaria, Mohan Kapoor, Sanjay Sharma
Rating: Poor

A ghost film is the perfect opportunity for couples to cosy up in a darkened hall. At the first show of Vikram Bhatt’s Haunted, the number of boyfriends and girlfriends that turned up could give fair competition to any public park. But giggling school girls with their teenage lovers seemed to enjoy the antics of the ghost the most. At every shriek, crash and boom, they burst into peals of laughter and settled back into the arms of their boyfriends. Unfortunately, Bhatt himself would not be so amused if he heard the comments that they made. Even without the 3D option, the film is scary for all the wrong reasons.
To be fair, the plot has a twist to it. Haunted by the screams of a young woman, our hero, Rehan (Mahaakshay), goes back 80 years in the past to save the girl from the clutches of an evil professor who tries to rape her, when alive. In his bid to change the destiny of the girl and free her from her sorry state, Rehan must put his own life at risk. Unlike other romantic ghost tales, the story has an unusual end as well. But like most Bollywood films centering on the supernatural, the film turns a turkey.
After giving a stylish and slick film like Raaz that employed scare tactics to its right effects and boasted of hotties like Bipasha Basu and Malini Sharma, Vikram Bhatt has steadily deteriorated in his casting choice. Mahaakshay looks like a kid and consistently carries just one expression throughout the film — whether he is sad, happy, angry or romantic, his facial muscles seem to go on a strike. Tia Bajpai as the victimised girl Meera, should have worked on her appearance. Her plight too fails to arouse pity. Mahaakshay does not look mature enough to shoulder the responsibility of saving a girl and Tia does not look worth saving!
This is largely due to the character of the villainous professor, Iyer (Arif Zakaria) — a lecherous man with an enormous sexual appetite. Just imagine, he traps Tia’s soul when she commits suicide and rapes her for 80-long years! It is torturous to watch a spirit undressing another spirit and deflowering her again and again!
Moreover, the otherwise serene, chiseled and artistic face of Zakaria was hardly suitable for portraying a beastly character.
The background score is jarring and loud. Even the songs are average and do not leave any haunting impression. Bhatt has also unnecessarily dragged the plot. Check the film out only if you have no other place for PDA!

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