|Cast||Kiran, Poonam Das Gupta, Monali Singh, Reeta Bhaduri, Disco Shanti, Roshni, Anil Dhawan, Paintal, Dharam Veer, Prem Kumar, Ramraj, Ravi Menon, Vijay,|
|Screenplay||K A Sivadas|
Chudail is a Bollywood horror movie that released in 1997. The movie has absolutely no relation to the Hollywood horror movie VVItch that released years later. This movie released in 1997. By then, even the makers of a small budget horror movie knew that only the Ramsays could make a movie about old mansions and zombies and make them work. This is a 1997 release, so, nearer to the time Raaz hit theaters in 2002.
And by 1997, Indian audiences had seen movies like The Mummy and the Indiana Jones franchise in the manner they were supposed to be – either on a DVD or in the theaters. So, they weren’t very averse to fantasy screenplays migrating into the world of horror. And its not like we didn’t have modern fantasy movies. The seventies were ripe with fantasy movies and some of them were set in contemporary times as well. Doing something like this in 1997 would require great production values from the boot up – insane action sequences, mind-boggling set pieces, so on and so forth. Did the Chudail makers have all that? Check our Chudail review to find out.
An archaeologic survey reaches a village. While their survey, they come across a coffin with a body that still has a pulse. Baffled, they send the coffin to the local hospital and see that it is a body of a woman. The woman is grotesquely disfigured. Three nails are hammered into the back of her head.
As news about the strange, living corpse reaches the village, a strange man arrives, trying to get all the information that he can about the corpse. And with this, young men start dying, with the local authorities wondering how to keep a hold on all this.
Chudail starts out on an interesting note. It also continues on to a more interesting note. It is the climax that disappoints. The movie has some interesting aspects when it comes to characterization as well. A young, rich woman who falls in love with a tantrik and then wants to take his power and become immortal – that’s a character we haven’t seen in a long, long time. The idea of a tantrik falling in love with a woman he sets out to help is not new to Bollywood. But we have generally seen story arcs that the woman doesn’t agree and that forms the rest of the story. In Chudail, the story is very different from the normal trope.
That being said, with such a refreshing concept, Chudail disappoints when it comes to the climax. After nearly decades of the same climax, Chudail should have offered something else. In fact, the backstory of Chudail is quite elaborate and reads out like a fantasy story. And in stark contrast is the staple climax that doesn’t really gel with the high-fantasy/horror genre that Chudail pricks into. In fact, Chudail hit theaters in 1997. The Mummy started out in 1999. So, there’s little chance that the scriptwriter got their inspiration from the Hollywood flick. The original Mummy hit theaters in 1932, almost 60 years before Chudail. There’s another movie that’s about a treasure beneath a mansion, that’s our beloved Tahkhana.
Poonam Dass Gupta fans will be disappointed as well with this Bollywood horror movie. She has nothing more than a cameo and has very little screentime. The star of the movie is Kamini, who plays the titular character. She has the oomph factor of playing a naive woman who turns into a witch. As for the titillation factor, both female actors have enough rain songs to entertain the audience.
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