Udayavni Special

Review: Netflix’s not so scary ‘Ghost Stories’

Team Udayavani, Jan 7, 2020, 2:27 PM IST

‘Ghost Stories’ is an anthology movie directed by Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap, Debashish Banarjee and Karan Johar. This movie is not a complete horror film, however, as the title suggests, the stories chosen in the film features the elements of ghosts in the films.

Nurse is the first film of the lot directed by Zoya Akhtar. In this film, a young nurse, Sameera (Jahnvi Kapoor) arrives to take care of an ailing bedridden lady (Surekha Sikri) who keeps on asking for her son who is not in town.

Sameera later finds out that the old lady died due to starvation and she was talking to her ghost. This is a well-crafted film that connects two people from different generations with performances by Jahnvi Kapoor and Surekha Sikri being top-notch.

Anurag Kashyap’s segment Bird is set in the 90’s centres around a pregnant woman (Shobhita Dhulipala) who babysits her nephew (Zachary Braz). The affection of the kid and obsession of a childless woman reach different proportions. Anurag Kashyap’s tale of miscarriages in young women is a unique approach as it keeps the viewer guessing what happens next. Kashyap also tries to connect the abortion of women to the broken eggs of a bird. However, it struggles to find a sense of cohesion between the bird and the young woman. Shobhita Mohapatra’s performance is impressive in this film.

What we loved in the entire Ghost Stories is Dibakar Banarjee’s Monster, in which, the director takes us to a deserted village – Bisgarah, a place that has only two unnamed survivors, a boy (Aditya Shetty) and a girl (Eva Ameet Pardeshi). An anonymous man visits the village and finds out that there are only two survivors in the village and they explain to him the law of the land, how people in the village turned Zombie-like monsters. As the story progress, we see the fate of the three.

Monster is perhaps one of the unique content of the lot and this film has a lot to offer than just horror. Dibakar Banerjee constructed this story and connects how the majority of people take away the life of a minority in the real world.

Karan Johar’s film ‘Granny’ is about Ira (Mrunal Thakur) marrying to Druv (Avinash Tiwary), who has an unhealthy obsession with his (dead) grandmother. Ira is furious about Druv and the family members as they keep on praising their grandmother and her husband. They even talk to the old lady. The inmates of the house reveal the secret of the house to Ira at the end of this film. The plot of this film also reminds of Tamil film ‘Yaamirukka Bayamey.’ In this sequence is a comedy-drama.

After watching the entire film, we felt that the makers forcefully tried to bring in the horror elements to the film. The choice of different themes to tell each story is applaudable. The camera angles of long shots, the suspicious music in the background, the appearance of the crow in each sequence – either directly or indirectly shows that the makers wanted to make this in the genre of horror, however, this movie is horror without the scares.

-Madhukar Bhat H

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