Pari Movie Review: A Good Concept That Doesn’t Cover The Distance
First things first, I wonder how did writer-director Prosit Roy actually convince Anushka Sharma to not just act in Pari but also produce it. Yes, the concept was actually interesting. One hasn't really seen a Hindi horror film set in Kolkata which has a Dhaka connection as well and actually narrates some urban legends back from the 1990s. In that aspect, the film gets full marks for originality as it goes beyond haunted mansions and brings horror right into the cosmopolitan, something than Ram Gopal Varma had done so very successfully with Bhoot. That one was a revenge drama, this is about a cult with evil intentions. However, beyond a one page concept outline, it must indeed have one powerful narrative given by Prosit to Anushka which convinced the actress-producer to go ahead and invest in the film. After all, when you watch the film, you realize at multiple junctures that the narrative is going nowhere and ultimate boredom too sets in. You look forward to a roller coaster but there is none. You look for some highs in the storytelling but they just don't come. You expect some horror round the corner but there isn't anything scary. You wonder if there would be some spine chilling moments but then Pari is devoid of that. And that when it was expected that Pari would be a horror film of a different kind that would take the genre to the next level! The film takes a good start though. The coming together of Parambrata Chatterjee, an everyday man in Kolkata, with a mysterious woman Anushka Sharma is done well. Then there is third angle to the film too with Parambrata's fiancée Ritabhari Chakraborty having a role to play as well. Most interesting character though is that of Rajat Kapoor who plays a professor and knows more than just a thing or two about evil spirits. Each one of them contributes to the gradual building of suspense and by the time (a rather underwhelming) interval point arrives, you do hope that the mystery will begin to resolve in the second half. Well yes, the mystery does get solved but it takes its own sweet time to get there. Moreover, yet again it’s the laidback approach in the narrative which contributes to you never really finding yourself on the edge of your seat. All that you do is wait patiently for some sort of drama to unfold and questions to be answered. This is the reason why the climax too is rather abrupt and you exit the theater in a bored, and not really a stunned silence. What works for the film though is the consistent mood that is maintained from the technical aspect. So right from the color palette to the sets to the locations to the sound to the props, everything allows good amount of consistency in the storytelling. Moreover, the performances is good too and apt as per the characterization. Anushka has hardly 10-12 dialogues in the film and she conveys her emotions primarily through facial expressions and body language. Parambrata's character is monotonous in the film and he plays the confused and under-confident part well. Rajat Kapoor is confident while Ritabhari is adequate. What is not adequate though is the kind of promise that Pari had made when it was announced and then later promoted through the screamers. It did boast of a good concept but then the execution doesn't really cover the distance.