By Arun Sajnani
DURGAMATI – This movie was originally going to be called for “Durgavati”, but then for personal Indian sentiments the producers changed the name of this supernatural thriller to “DURGAMATI”. It is a South Indian remake, with story, screenplay, and direction by Ashok. Yes just plain Ashok. And that is how this film is – plain. After “Bhool Bhulaiya”, “Stree”, and “Tumbaad”, the Bollywood horror genre is a time-tested affair. With this new release on Amazon Prime this week, it falls flat on the scary meter.
The plot is far fetched and all over the place. I ask as a viewer many questions about its narrative. Why would the CBI send a prisoner for interrogation in a haunted type mansion in middle of nowhere??. Why….why..why?? – Ofcourse why not… Bhumi Pednekar who plays the lead character, gets possessed by the ghost there. She becomes “DURGAMATI’. Very predictable indeed. But on the flip side the plot thickens towards the end for this IAS officer who has been sent to jail for killing her husband.
Pednekar plays this dignified IAS officer, whose career gets ruined after that. She worked for a politician, played by Arshad Warsi, who appears to have charges against him on land-grabbing, stealing of religious statues, and having 1800 crores of offshore money. Bu is this true? You will have to see till the end. The only saving grace is the climax and the acting of Arshad Warsi, and Pednekar towards the end. Warsi when he does serious or complex roles, he does deliver. I feel he is still very underrated.
As for the horror in the movie, it looks mechanical , and fake with no emotions. At the end you get that mixed bag of emotions feeling. The film gets a 2 star recommendation.