Banner: Etaki and Vaicom 18
Cast: Siddharth, Andrea, Suresh, Atul Kulakarni, Anisha Angelina others
Cinematography: Shreyas Krishna
Editing: Lawrence Kishore
Directed by: Milind Rau
Release date: Nov 17, 2017
After a long gap, Siddharth has returned to Telugu screen with his trilingual movie called ‘Gruham’. He has claimed that he has made purest horror drama.
Let’s find out how much truth lies in his claims...
The life of a young couple Dr Krish (Siddharth) and Lakshmi (Andrea) gets changed when a family moves next door. The girl next door Jenny (Anisha) develops a crush on Dr Krish.
At a party, Dr Krish notices Jenny jumping into the well and he rushes to save her and finds that she is behaving in a strange manner.
Dr Krish arranges for a psychiatrist (Suresh) for Jenny. The psychiatrist arranges a dummy exorcism by a pastor but it turns out that she really is possessed by a spirit. At the same time, the pastor gets shocked with what he sees at the scene.
What is that? What happens next?
Siddharth as newly married doctor and the guy who helps the girl Jenny is perfect. He still has boyish charm but at the same time he looks matured too. Though he is the lead actor, he lets the story get more importance than his character or his performance.
Andrea is perfect in the role of his wife. She has indulged in kissing scenes and clothed sex scene much like Hollywood actors do.
Atul Kulkarni as Jenny’s father and Suresh as psychiatrist are faultless. It is Anisha Angelina as Jenny who steals the show. She has given stellar performance as a girl who is possessed by a spirit.
Horror movies engage the audience only when cinematography, background score and sound design are top class. Here, the director has brought out the best from the technical team.
Cinematography is excellent. But the biggest appeal of the movie is sound design and mixing. The work of these guys is of international standard.
The Chinese backstory
Horror stories have become quite routine of late as many makers have attempted this genre and almost all angles in the genre have been covered.
After finding that the genre has lost its novelty, south Indian film-makers have started exploring horror-comedy genre by stressing more on comedy.
Even this sub-genre horror-comedy has lost substance now except for the one odd enjoyable film that comes once in a while like the recent ‘Anando Brahma’.
Siddharth wanted to present us again with a pure horror drama, not jumping into comedy part.
‘Gruham’ doesn’t offer anything new in terms of story, but the team has succeeded in offering a horror drama that doesn’t deviate from the genre anywhere.
The big twist in the movie can be easily predicted by any ordinary moviegoer who has penchant for horror movies but the team has created right mood for viewer to sit through it till the end.
The new director Milind Rau has focused on creating atmosphere -- the Himalayan mountains, some romantic scenes, the girl having crush on hero, some scores aided by terrific sound design and moody cinematography. So till the interval, the viewer would definitely give a thumbs up to this movie.
Post-interval too the director keeps the suspense element but the guessing of the twist depends on the viewer’s understanding of this genre. The final portions are not perfect.
The horror movie has a message about the girl child, but the Chinese angle does not gel with this story properly.
Overall, ‘Gruham’ is a decent horror drama that gets it right mostly.
Bottom-line: Scary Movie