Bhoothakaalam Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Shane Nigam and Revathy.

Director: Rahul Sadasivan.

(Pic Credit: Youtube/SonyLIV)

What’s Good: Shane Nigam & Revathy create an atmosphere that is eerie enough that you don’t need ghosts to be afraid of. Their acting skills are hauntingly impressive.

What’s Bad: The ghost part of it. The jump scares and the origin story is filled with clichés. There is a possibility that it was done purposely, but that does come through clearly.

Loo Break: You won’t want to till the final 15 minutes or so.

Watch or Not?: Yes, you should. If not a masterpiece, this is at least a decent step in making films about trauma without the compulsion of having lighter elements.

Language: Malayalam (with subtitles).

Available on: Sony Liv.

Runtime: 105 Minutes.

User Rating:

A D Pharma graduate Vinu (Shane) is looking for a job in his hometown but the opportunities are more away from home. He stays with his mother (Revathy) as they both share a rough bond and struggle to make ends meets. The hell breaks loose when his grandmother passes away and his mother goes into depression. Situation doesn’t spare Vinu either and he slowly succumbs to depression himself. Then begins the real game and you aren’t really prepared for it.

(Pic Credit: Youtube/SonyLIV)

Bhoothakaalam Movie Review: Script Analysis

How does one process grief of losing a close family member? Crying, being sad all the time, or just blaming themselves for the passing away of the deceased? Bhoothakaalam is written to take us to the dark side of dealing with grief and longing. The title meaning The Past, is about people stuck in it, one voluntarily, and the other without choice. The coping up mechanism for this mother-son duo is either crying or ranting about their situation.

Writers Rahul Sadasivan and Sreekumar Shreyas write Bhoothakalam with all the darkness and no ray of hope. Here are three people who are staying in a house that looks far away from any kind of happiness. The sense of sadness is multiplied when the senior member dies and the two are left to spend their lives with the memories. The mother played by Revathy quickly succumbs to clinical depression and is sad all the time.

(Pic Credit: Youtube/SonyLIV)

She blames her son, her existence and everything she can for where she is. But the writing acknowledges the fact quickly that the film exists in 2022 as she seeks help from a professional doctor. She has suicidal tendencies, wants to run away and more. Amid all this is Vinu who is watching his mother battle her mental health (not the right way) and also his life that is slowly crumbling. This leads to him getting depressed and anxious as well.

The domino effect of darkness engulfs this entire home and the problems double up. Soon Vinu starts seeing some unnatural elements in their rented home and that is where the writing weakens a bit. The techniques used to scare us are some old clichés and they don’t really scare you enough. My observation says that the ghost part is just a hallucination both of them have and that somewhere also serves as an ice breaker for them. But if that is the case, it wasn’t clear enough.

(Pic Credit: Bhoothakaalam Poster)

Bhoothakaalam Movie Review: Star Performance

Revathy is a seasoned actor and knows her craft. Portraying grief on screen is tricky. Entering the melodramatic arena is quite easy. The actor plays the mother with such finesse that you start believing in her. A key scene where she takes a very drastic decision for both of them and I won’t spoil for you, has her in the best form.

Shane Nigam, who is also the producer is an actor who believes in wearing his characters. His Vinu is slowly getting depressed and in that journey Shane makes sure his body language changes with every scene. He breaks into a weird dance at one point and you know he is completely into the character. Together both of them create a world just with their acting. Even if the ghost wasn’t introduced, they had enough elements to be afraid of just with their acting calibre.

Bhoothakaalam Movie Review: Direction, Music

Rahul Sadasivan’s direction is like you are watching a documentary about a few days in the life of these two individuals. He doesn’t take refuge under the general methods but tries to bring newness. DOP Shehnad Jalal captures this world to its smallest details.

Be it that sweat on an afraid Vinu’s neck, or Revathy’s dark circles, it all adds up to the story quite nicely. Even the last frame, an empty house that awaits the next family it will probably doom the same way. The imagery is created to stay with you for sometime.

The music by Gopi Sundar is apt in parts and missing in some.

Bhoothakaalam Movie Review: The Last Word

It isn’t an easy watch. There is not a minute of happiness in this world. Get into it if that is a genre you can digest. But you must try and give it a chance.

Bhoothakaalam Trailer

Bhoothakaalam releases on January 21, 2022.

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