Movie Review: Aatma
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- Prez Rule in Uttarakhand: Did Governor push Article 356? No answers in Centre’s affidavit
- Supreme Court dismisses PIL against 4G licences to Reliance Jio
- Ex-IPS officer DG Vanzara returns home to Gujarat after nine years
- Pakistan stirs the pot on talks and Pathankot
Cast: Bipasha Basu, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Doyel Dhawan, Shernaz Patel
Director: Suparn Varma
IE Rating: **
In the initial bits, Aatma pitchforks us into a nice case of thrills and chills. The mother of a little girl is troubled. Her daughter talks to someone no one can see, giggling conspiratorially. Sinister things start happening around this tiny unit, readying us for a solid spooky session. But Aatma soon begins to unravel in ways that lessen that fear, and leaves us with a film that could-have-been.
No time is wasted in setting up Maya (Bipasha Basu) as a young, beautiful mom conflicted about how to tell little Nia ( Doyel Dhawan) about her beloved father's (Nawazuddin) fatal accident. We are led up smoothly, after the fact, to a man who was abusive and violent to his wife and extra-loving to his daughter. A pesky classmate who bothers Nia is the first to go; a strict teacher is the next: till then the film handles itself well. Some well-executed sequences make you jump. And then the 'aatma' reveals itself, and from there it's all downhill. An old hag hobbles up with a prophecy, a pundit starts conducting a havan, and other predictbles pop up.
The space for little girls with curly locks who cause strange things to happen is a crowded one in movies around the globe. Dhawan is well-used and mostly effective, and is the high point o>f Aatma. Nawaz breaks through in some strongly-performed scenes but doesn't fit well with Basu, who is her usual svelte self, but not really up to the task of yielding to terror. And that, apart from the slack writing, is the film's problem.
With its somber palette and plot-with-potential, Aatma could have been a true scare-fest. But it winds down to being well begun, half done.
- India needs to rationalise capital controls, simplify its tax regime
- Talks must continue to be resilient against disruptions in the normalisation process
- No proof required: Fadnavis everywhere, and no water to drink
- For the first time procurement has been linked to production
- Pakistan has long suffered from this delusion which keeps the state from serving its citizens
- Angry populism against corrupt elites could grow. But in India, reaction will be muted