By Sameer Wadekar, Bollywood Trade News Network
Fear could possibly the man's most menacing emotion, and it's inborn! Even the strongest of them fear something and that something could be anything, just anything! And ideally what horror movies must do is to tap that fear! It should strike on your darkest and deepest of the inhibitions! And I am using the word horror movie here coz' that's the easily recognizable term when it comes to scary fests! Actually HO SAKTA HAI is not a 'horror' flick, or more precisely it's not your regular standard horror movie! There are no haunted houses here, no looming ghostly spirits, no ominous graveyards, nobody is screaming their guts out, there is nothing 'typical' about this horror flick! Instead what HO SAKTA HAI does is that it plays with your psyche!
And for that it takes the 'help' of witchcraft! Not many (or hardly any) Hindi movies have attempted to handle this subject. HO SAKTA HAI revolves around black magic but is not 'about' the forbidden craft! The story interestingly uses the topic of voodoo as its focal point and focuses more on the situations, the characters.
Often horror movies are slammed of being devoid of emotions or drama. The general perception about scary films is that they are meant to jolt you, to shock the hell out of you and they should. HO SAKTA HAI doesn't disappoint on that front too, in fact a couple of sequences are simply chilling! But alongside, the film is also about character build-up, their relationships, their traumas and their specifications! Witchcraft is the standpoint of the film and is used brilliantly to the hilt!
The story of the film is not unique as such, but it has got a dash of good content and that makes it more absorbing. Dr.Mohan (Khalid) is the protagonist of the film, a medical student studying in America who rushes to India to meet is old grand-father (Victor Banerjee) who stays in a small village called Khetwadi. On reaching there, he learns that his elder brother and sister-in-law are missing and his nephew Tanya is not looking 'normal'. Something is strange about him and Mohan soon finds out that things around him are turning ugly. Then there is Parvati who practices black magic and is hell-bent on capturing their palatial house and not only that she has cast a spell on Tanya, who is at her mercy. Mohan is forced to believe in all these evil omens and must now fight it off if he has to save his people. And if there's a problem there's a solution and solution comes in the form of Kushaba Patil, a saintly man in the village who tells Mohan about the fifteenth door and that the door holds the key, the answer to all the problems.
This is Wilson Louis' first feature film as a writer / director and he has done a remarkable job. He has executed the story deftly and extracted fine performances from the cast. Acting-wise there's always a concern about horror movies i.e; the enactments could become loud or unreal. But the actors here do a wonderful job. Louis is thorough as a writer / director but shouldn't have given too much stress on the visual effects; it has reduced the tenacity of the movie. Might be having a SFX background has led him go a little overboard with the technical wizardry, but overuse of it has made the movie less vicious! He should have kept it simpler and straight. However he has come out with a polished product and displays good filmmaking acumen.
Sound plays a crucial role in a film like this. Jitendra Chaudhary is astounding to say the least. He has succeeded in enhancing the fear factor in the film. And further more there is Rahul Ranade whose background score is haunting and easily propels the proceedings. These two guys are worthy of a special mention.
Performances are impressive. Victor Banerjee plays the demented old man magnificently. We haven't seen enough of this seasoned campaigner and hence Bollywood should toss up more such promising offers to him. Khalid is fine in his work and he tries sincerely. The little kid Dharmik is speechless throughout the film and so has the most difficult job to do and he is convincing. His cold demeanor keeps you transfixed. But the stand-out of them all is Mohini, who plays the wicked Parvati with aplomb. Her glaring eyes pierce you incessantly and yes, she also appears nude (digitally!) Well to be frank she is talented and is uncannily attractive. The other supporting actors are all right and do well in their sizeable roles.
Go to watch HO SAKTA HAI not expecting your regular share of horror fest. Most of you might be watching this kind of subject for the first time (at least in Hindi movies), so let it grow on you, it'll just pull you in and take you in its 'spell'!