Hats off for at least the ambition — and there are plenty of those to doff, this being early England and all. Few films, fewer still with the limited scale of a Vikram Bhatt horror, swing as frequently between 1920 London and 1920 “somewhere in Mewar, Rajasthan” — on streamers no less. An infinitesimal number, hopefully, do so chasing an “aatma” that resides in a locket.
This is the third in Bhatt’s series of films with 1920 in the title, and the locket finds our couple, Shivangi (Meera Chopra) and Veer-sa (Vishal Karwal), on one of those afternoons that they spend lovingly having tea together in a castle that should give the Queen something to think about (or at least Will and Kate). During a song sequence establishing both that love and that wealth, Veer-sa acquires a barrister degree.
And then the locket arrives, the “aatma” possess Veer, and he is left a contorted mess, literally. When Shivangi rushes her husband to hospital, an unflappable English doctor (thank god for those) takes one look, and rules: tetanus.
The “Kesar-ma” (Sushmita Mukherjee), a know-all caretaker back from Rajasthan, says it has to be black magic. Shivangi, exchanging her English clothes and minis for elaborate lehngas, travels home, and over long conversations involving “sandhya kaal”, “peepal ka pedh”, “pavitra Gangajal” and “rudraskh” finds that the only one with the cure is none other than an old love, Jai (Sharman Joshi). He is but a Gujar, or shepherd, and so their love had to be sacrificed on the altar of “Rajwada”.
Jai protests but eventually does go to London, where the no-longer unflappable English doctor is subjected to a scene of Veer consuming raw meat to show that a bad spirit is consuming him. You see, those kinds do not lose their love for meat or liquor even when dead. Jai never gets around to explaining what draws a good spirit out.
As for your downed spirits, there is Kesar-ma. Even when adorned in a dowdy gown with a dowdier scarf, Sushmita Mukherjee aka Kitty keeps us hoping there’s more behind those still-twinkly eyes.
Star Cast: Sharman Joshi, Meera Chopra, Vishal Karwal, Sushmita Mukherjee
Director: Tinu Suresh Desai
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