Pizza: Slice of suspense

Still from the movie Pizza

Still from the movie Pizza   | Photo Credit: 19dmc pizza

No longer just thirsty for blood, the Indian ghost seems to have become a gourmet. Ram Gopal Varma brought it to the urban space, and this week, the ghost has come knocking at a pizza parlour. After a long time, we have a horror film that is not bursting with cheese or sleaze. A remake of Tamil hit of the same name, you can’t give marks to debutant Akshay Akkineni on originality but when it comes to execution, he has got the recipe right and has added some new ingredients to the original, which has already been remade in Kannada and Bangla.

Genre: Horror/ Thriller
Director: Akshay Akkineni
Cast: Akshay Oberoi, Paravathy Omanakuttan, Rajesh Sharma, Dipannita Sharma, Arunoday Singh
Bottomline: Oven fresh, “Pizza” revitalises a genre losing its bite in Hindi cinema.

A pizza boy goes to deliver an order at a haunted house and gets trapped in a ‘spirited’ conspiracy. It sounds like an urban version of a Ramsay story but Akshay has multiple layers to play with. Kunal and his struggling writer wife Nikita are finding it hard to survive the demands of life in a metropolis. As they get into family way, life has other plans for them. Nikita writes horror stories and tells Kunal that you will believe in one when you come across one. In fact, she is talking to us. Invariably, a horror film works when both the protagonist and the audience start believing in the presence of the paranormal and one starts caring for the other. Here, Akshay succeeds in bridging the celluloid divide.

Interestingly, the wife of Kunal’s boss (Rajesh Sharma) is also in the family way but is possessed by a spirit, which is also expecting. Yes, it is scarily funny! Kunal happens to see her and it spirals a chain reaction of chills interspersed with dollops of red herrings. Of course, the smart ones doubt what they see but every time you feel you have nailed it, Akshay serves yet another slice of suspense. Often horror stories end up becoming claustrophobic in the haunted house but here it keeps breathing as Akshay doesn’t give up on intrinsic logic and sense of humour.

Akshay Oberoi and Paravathy Omanakuttan are efficient as Kunal and Nikita. They don’t let us know what’s on the characters’ mind. Editor Sreekar Prasad’s scissors are sharp as ever and the support cast — particularly Sharma as the miser owner of the pizza parlour — provides delicious topping to the crust.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 3:47:25 AM |

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