Film: Geetanjali

Director: Priyadarshan

Cast: Mohanlal, Keerthy Suresh, K. P. Nishan, Swapna Menon

The immense possibilities of the ‘what might be’ holds the key to evoking horror, be it in literature, on screen or in real life. Even in all its irrationality, the adrenaline rush of a simple unexpected touch, a mysterious sound or movement or of ending up in a secluded space is unmatchable.

When Geetanjali , the sequel of the legendary psychological thriller Manichitrathazhu hits the screen after 20 years, it comes with the tag of a horror thriller. However, a clueless script along with fancy dress horror moments and worn out scare tactics fail to impress.

Remember, the amount of accolades Madhu Mutom’s script got for the original was second only to what Shobhana got for her spell binding performance.

So, what is the story this time around? Take the Thailand film Alone or its recent South Indian remake Charulatha , replace the conjoined twins with normal twins (Keerthy Suresh) and add psychologist Dr. Sunny Joseph (Mohanlal) to the plot.

In Manichitrathazhu , the characters of Ganga and her alter-ego Nagavalli, with all their psychological complexities manage to convince us that what happens to her could happen in real life. The most inconsequential of characters like the ones played by Sudheesh or KPAC Lalitha are still memorable. But here we have walking cardboard pieces as characters or caricatures of the original ones, Sunny Joseph included.

There is no ‘Vidamatte!’ moment either. Instead, there are ‘horror’ scenes involving human hair and dripping water, imageries which are borrowed liberally from films such as The Rin g and Grudge .

There are attempts to mimic Manichitrathazhu , mostly in the comedy scenes. Though it is unfair to evaluate a sequel based on the original, Geetanjali offers no hope.

As a standalone product (calling it so as it looks an idea which came out of the marketing possibilities of Sunny Joseph) too, the film is a mess of commonplace plotting tricks.

S.R. Praveen