Abhay (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is a doting dad but an erratic and suspicious husband. His love for daughter Nia (Doyel Dhawan) is as deep as his hatred for wife Maya (Bipasha Basu). After it becomes impossible to bear his violent nature and decipher his whimsical attitude, Maya decides to part ways. She hopes for a better future with Nia, but destiny has different plans. Her disturbing past comes haunting, pushing her to a breaking point and risking the lives of those involved.
Aatma is not a full-fledged horror film with ugly demons and gruesome deaths. It attempts to play with your mind and even succeeds, though partially. The film takes off swiftly, coming straight to the point. Burning candles, thunderous rain and sleepless nights, Suparn manages to subtly induce the ‘shock’ element, especially in the form of Maya’s eerie nightmares. It sets the mood perfectly for a supernatural thriller. The ‘Aatma‘ here is unconventional too, considering there is no over-the-top demonic ‘look’ to it. No typical background score is used to create atmosphere either. The film skillfully manages to be different from most in its genre.
However, it loses grip as it proceeds. The second half gets predictable, repetitive and formulaic, making the climax look a tad inconsequential in spite of the twist. The ‘fear of the unknown’ gets replaced by zombie-like killings, making you wonder what led to the random transition. The special effects are not up to the mark either. Those who have seen Andres Muschietti’s spooky horror ‘Mama‘ will be able to draw similarities between the two in terms of concept.
Bipasha Basu is impressive as the harrowed mother who shows immense patience in tackling this paranormal situation. She looks equally stunning sans makeup. The immensely talented Nawazuddin Siddiqui unfortunately looks out of place, a misfit in the role. The very cute Doyel Dhawan is perfect as Nia.
Aatma may not send shivers down your spine, but it dares to be unconventional.
A woman finds her and her daughter’s life in danger after her past comes haunting!