Zarine Khan, Karan Kundra
Vikram Bhatt boasts about being the b-grade horror film maker, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to do his best in the limited means (him being the producer of the film too) could allow him.
1921 is supposed to be an upgrade from his 1920 prequel, and mostly it is, however does it boost the horror genre? Well, read on to know....
Ayush (Karan Kundra)’s aging boss (Vikram Bhatt, himself) gives him a chance of his lifetime when he allows him to go live in his palatial house in Europe, and even funds his education when he learns of Ayush’s gift of music. With a grand chance like that, Ayush sets off to take care of his boss’ property and begins making a little dough at the side by giving passerbys some music to remember him by. While most of his audience leaves, Ayush is left behind with his many candles and a shadow that seems to be hell bent on harming him. He seeks help from Rose (Zarine Khan) who is a medium and also his fan. Together they set out to figure who is haunting Ayush... but the journey isn’t as simple as you think it would be.
Vikram Bhatt being the writer and the director has insisted that this sequel of the franchise be unadulterated horror, so we have a lot of spirits coming in and out through the course of the film. The most important factor in a ‘B-grade’ horror film – sex -- is completely missing from 1921 which makes you want to applaud Bhatt’s grit and faith in the genre’s capability to enthral his audience. He has really made an earnest attempt to refrain from diluting his story and ensures all the thrills come only and only from the horror elements. 1921 has so many twists and turns along with all the special effects that has your head reeling.
Bhatt insists on keeping the cards close to his heart through the film so the pre-climax does come as a shock, the horror element is excellent despite the fact that Bhatt hasn’t really spent too long trying to get the era he chose correct. Bhatt’s idea of getting into the history of the era was handing Zarine Khan a laced umbrella and getting vintage cars in some of the sequences. But that’s Vikram Bhatt, once his mind is set on scaring, he thinks of little else. Thankfully for him, he manages the fete in some scenes excellently, but towards the end, the gimmicks grow exponentially, marring the effect he was trying to create.
Given a horror film needs few basic checks in the acting department and the special effects department, we will go into some little details here.
Firstly, let’s begin with Zarine Khan, the senior most actress on the sets of the film - her dialogue delivery, her expressionless scared look and heaving bosom take the entire load of the film. There is not a single scene wherein her acting manages to push the bar, she simply exists in the film; like her laced umbrella... she looks pretty and ornate through the film, without jarring your senses or moving your heart.
For Karan Kundra, this was a big chance. He got a solo film and shot it in Europe, what more could he ask for? Well, nothing. Karan counts his blessings throughout his horror outing and gives no thought to his performance. His shudders and stutters are pitiful and his acting at par with Vikram Bhatt’s!
The only one who seems to have worked doubly hard is Shantanu Akerkar - the sound engineer. It is half his work that makes us jump-up in our seats with fear. The music and songs are not half bad, but not really at par with the Bhatt’s usual. All and all, 1921 is a B-grade horror film, which might work well for audience after a few drinks on an off day with nothing much to do.