Anushka Sharma’s Pari – Movie review
Director: Prosit Roy
Writers: Abhishek Banerjee (story and screenplay), Prosit Roy(story and screenplay)
Starring: Anushka Sharma Kohli, Parambrata Chatterjee,Rajat Kapoor
Alert: Contents below may contain spoilers.
Saibal Chatterjee on NDTV
Rating: 2 out of five stars
First-time director Prosit Roy gives a wide berth to subtlety. Like the heroine of the story, he goes hammer and tongs at the job of creating a full-on scare-fest. The effort falls flat because it stretches credulity to snapping point – and then some.
A more inaptly titled film there has never been. But that isn’t necessarily a smart sleight. Pari, which means fairy, is a horror flick that does not transport us to a universe of angels. The film may not be outright horrid in terms of quality. However, in seeking to deliver an unending supply of heavy-handed chills and thrills, it goes all out without a safety net. It comes up short and falls with a thud. The screenplay is the principal culprit. It is all over the place.
Dark, gloomy and dripping blood and gore from every pore, Pari is – without giving away the twisted plot details – about a chained, bruised and disoriented forest girl Rukhsana (Anushka Sharma) who is given shelter by Arnab (Parambrata Chatterjee) after his car runs over an old woman. Turns out that there is far more to the distressed damsel than the immediate, apparent cause of her anguish.
Pari will definitely be remembered for Anushka Sharma‘s spirited performance. It isn’t difficult to see why she has put her money on the film. It gives her a role of substance and she does full justice to it.
Renuka Vyavahare on the Times Of India
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Ram Gopal Varma’a iconic creep fest Bhoot came 15 years ago and since then there has been a dearth of well-made horror films in India. Not a single movie, barring Konkona Sen Sharma’s track in Ek Thi Daayan, came close to Ramu’s cult classics, let alone outshining it. Anushka’s third film and perhaps her strongest work as a producer-actor, Pari has the ability to redefine the genre as it’s refreshingly different, atmospheric and moody.
A headphone scene in particular will be remembered as one of the best sequences in a horror film for years to come.
Kirti Tulsiani on news18
It is a fact that Bollywood’s horror genre rarely ventures beyond rattling windows, creaking doors, thunder, lightning, rain, desi supernatural activities and chants except for one or two films. Prosit Roy’s Pari: Not A Fairytale tries to move away from all that but succumbs to the clichés soon enough and fails to deliver a spine-chilling experience. It actually ends up as a thriller of sorts.
A Bengali family is driving home on a rainy day after meeting a prospective bride. Arnab (Parambrata Chatterjee) is sitting on the passenger seat while his father is driving when they accidentally run over a burkha-clad woman. Rukhsana (Anushka Sharma) is a strange — pale-faced and more scared than scary — girl who they find in a chained state in a forested area while they start investigating about the woman.
while the first half intrigues, despite its slow pace, the second quickly falls apart and turns into an explainer.
Rohit Vats on Hindustan Times
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Spread his blood, spread his bloodline.
A car is moving through the jungles when a loud thud brings it to a screeching halt. A heavy downpour restricts the vision, but it’s obvious that the vehicle has hit a human. The driver doesn’t come out, but a fellow passenger does. Turns out, they have hit a gypsy woman who might have a past beyond their imagination.
There are spoilers ahead, so proceed at your own will.
From a bit of chainsaw to a dose of slasher drama, Pari throws enough blood at you. Apart from the initial scenes, the police are conspicuously absent and people, right in the middle of a metropolitan, get trimmed and slashed.
Shubhra Gupta on the Indian Express
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
The Anushka Sharma starrer fails to rise above its silliness
That this is an anti-fairy tale we know because the tagline tells us so. But Pari, which styles itself as a supernatural horror flick, takes the burden of its song very seriously indeed: right from the beginning, and in almost every frame subsequently, there is darkness, evil, blood, Satanists, satanic verses, bruised women in chains and men with hacksaws. It’s all drummed in. That’s your supernatural part.
The horror part of it unspools right alongside. Thunder, lightning, rain, women in black robes with rotten skulls for faces, noises off, creaking doors. What you don’t get, in all this blood-and-gore and groan-and-moan and slash-and-burn, is a film.
Anushka Sharma plays Rukhsana with a great deal of bloody enthusiasm. You cannot accuse her of not trying hard, but the film is so poorly-written, and so scatter-brained that nothing can rescue it.
Rohit Bhatnagar on Deccan Chronicle
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Pari is a delightful treat and it is advised that people with weak hearts should enter the theatre at their own risks.
Far away from ugly ghosts, black magic and many such tried and tested formulas of horror in our Indian films, Pari is not only a great horror film with an intelligent plot but also is technically very strong. Director Prosit Roy, who marks his Bollywood directorial debut with this spine-chilling film, shines bright with a ‘paisa vasool’ entertainer!
Arnab (Parambrata Chatterjee) hits Rukhsana’s (Anushka Sharma) mother while driving on a rainy day which leads to her death. In his guilt, Arnab decides to help Rukhsana but little he know about the consequences as the latter falls for him while the former is engaged to Piyali (Ritabhari Chakraborty).
Anna MM Vetticad on First Post
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Anushka Sharma and her film are scary as hell, heaven and everything in between
Two years in a row have brought unexpected gifts from Indian cinema for the national masochists club. Last year we heard of dybbuk and ruchim from Jewish folklore via the Mollywood production Ezra. 2017 also gave us the Tollywood venture The House Next Door, which tapped into our anxieties about what lies outside our windows in the still of the night. Now, in the first quarter of 2018, has come the discovery of ifrit and peri from Middle Eastern mythology courtesy Bollywood.
I learnt about these beings – the former demonic, the latter more ambiguous, says the Goddess Google – as I sat cowering in my seat with my scarf covering my mouth and nose and inching towards my eyes throughout the press preview of the film Pari: Not A Fairytale last night.
Everything in Pari – from its art design to the background score and sound design (refreshingly non-grating considering the traditions of the genre in Bollywood), even the sketches accompanying the credits – works towards sustaining our sense of foreboding about what is to come in that next shot, around that next corner, behind that next door, beyond that next street, after that final name rolls off the screen.
Lakshana N Palat on India Today
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Anushka Sharma is haunted by demons and a blotchy script
Bollywood horror films are usually considered a joke, (Bhoot, Darna Mana Hai, Krishna Cottage, the list can go on). So, when the trailer of Pari released, we were surprised. We were curious, and we wondered whether the pattern of horror films in Bollywood was finally about to change. It became quite a strong belief that Anushka Sharma‘s Pari would set a precedent for horror films in India.
But let’s be real here. Pari, with its jump scares and gory scenes, desperately tries to break away from the clutter. And in some ways, it does. But, for most of the film, you’re just wondering, ‘Uh, say what now?’
For the most part of the film, you’re trying to understand what on earth is happening, and the story. By the end of the film, you realise, ‘Oh right, this is the story. I get it now.’ Everything comes together at the end, albeit in a rather bizarre way.
Namrata Joshi on The Hindu
This Anushka Sharma-starrer makes even ordinary objects seem scary
Prosit Roy’s Pari is the kind of horror that gags and chokes you with an incipient dread. But only up to a point. The rainy, wet Kolkata; a beautiful inscrutable woman Rukhsana (Anushka Sharma) being hunted down by a group of cruel men; inexplicable unearthly presences; a strange, grotesque cult ; its equally cryptic opponents; an evil force whose menace you can’t see but only hear in the rasping sound of his breath and a kind, young man Arnab (Parambrata Chatterjee), possibly the only “normal” one around.
Roy builds a relentless feel of doom, the lobs of fear broken only briefly with tiny interludes of romance. There’s a terrible sense of oppressiveness that makes you want to run away to some fresh air yet enough to intrigue you to want to stay on and know more. Yes, there are many jump scares (can we ever escape them) but Roy does well in creating a suffocating atmosphere, invests some ordinary objects and creatures with a significant, pivotal eerieness, be it incense sticks, a bucket of water, an artificial eye, Boroline, a nailcutter, the cartoons on the TV or the dogs on the street. I am never going to look at them the same way again. A nailcutter sequence and one involving the pet neighbourhood dog almost left me with a myocardial infarction.
Udita Jhunjhunwala on scroll.in
Plenty of scares but not enough of a story
In an early scene in Pari, the camera zooms out from an image of a cheap toy hanging off a rear-view mirror. The dangling object is a plastic fairy figure. At that moment, you wonder if director Prosit Roy’s supernatural thriller is going to be filled with cheesy symbolism and tacky props (which Ram Gopal Varma famously overdoes).
The movie takes a whole lot of time to establish a morbid mood, with most of the thrills expended in the first hour. It’s the monsoon in Kolkata, and it’s dark, noisy, sinister. There is an eerie forest, wild dogs and a one-eyed professor (Rajat Kapoor) with dubious motives. Many things go thump in the night, doors bang and sudden loud sounds and growls make you jump in your seat. There will be blood, and plenty of it.
The cast, which includes Ritabhari Chakraborty as Arnab’s fiancée, contribute with wholehearted performances. Anushka Sharma, in particular, immerses herself into a physically exhausting character.
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