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Some chill, some frill

By RANA SIDDIQUI



Spooky affair... a scene from "Vastu Shastra".

VAASTU SHASTRA

(At Chanakya and other theatres)

IF GHOSTS scare you, this one will kill you, thus goes the caption with Vaastu Shastra. Scare it does, at times with clichéd situations, like when you turn and look into a body with deadpan expression on its face. It kills too; irritatingly with a dim-witted, unjustified, oft-repeated end. Ram Gopal Varma has fallen flat with this film. Director Sourabh Usha Narang's songless affair could have been a real chilling affair if only it had concentrated on a little more justified and logical conclusion.

But that is what Varma's bad characters and situations are all about. "Why should I always explain why a villain is a villain? He is one and that's it", is Varma's reaction if you ask him to explain the logic. And Vaastu Shastra attempts to do just that. It is here to tell us that there is something that exists beyond human comprehension. So one should leave it at that, rather than trying to discover its logic. It also attempts to break certain myths aboutVaastu Shastra. You might start living in a `perfect Vaastu' house but that does not save you from something unnatural or paranormal that has to happen in your life. It tells tales of a happily married couple, Virat and Jhilmil, played by Chekravarthy and Sushmita Sen, their five year old son Rohan (Ahsaas Channa) and Sushmita's college-going sister Radhika played by Peeya Roy Choudhry. The family shifts to a `Vastu perfect house', 20 kilometres away from the main city. The house, virtually in a jungle, has a lot of space and a strange and terrifying looking tree, the crux and climax of the film. Rohan's doctor mom has to go to the hospital every day and the writer father needs isolation to pen his moorings. Unable to handle so much of space and loneliness, the child gets befriended by intangible friends - Manish, Jyoti and his family. Now begins the spooky events in the house. The roaming souls don't like their presence in the house, which was theirs once. And what follows is a series of unnatural deaths and subsequents mess. What mars the excellent camera work and a perfect location is to create scare through background music, which is more annoying than frightening. Yet, the messages through incidents are clear. Don't always take your child for granted. Don't leave your child at the mercy of servants or a young girl alone at home and of course, don't live in a place away from humans.

Glamorous, seductive and yet a very dignified Sushmita easily overshadows other characters in the film despite her almost-without-make-up looks. Chekravarthy and Peeya are quite acceptable in their respective roles. Rajpal Yadav as a mad man has done his job well. The only reason that might induce you to watch the film is a very charming, innocent and scene-stealing Ahsaas Channa who also provides some comic relief in scenes with the maid Rukma.

Watch the film if you want to get "occasionally" scared, watch it if you are a perfect believer of Vaastu Shastra, and watch it if you love Sushmita and is attracted by the cherubic child Ahsaas.

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