|Cast||Aaryan Vaid, Hina Tasleem, Pooja Bharti, Tarun Arora, Shahbaz Khan, Gufi Paintal, Agasthya Shankar|
|Writer and Director||Shyam Ramsay|
|Screenplay||Ashwini K Bharti|
|Producer and Co Producer||Shyam Ramsay, Anjali Ramsay|
|Executive Producer||Sandeep Gandhi|
|Associate Producer||Sasha Ramsay|
Ghutan is a Bollywood horror movie that hit theaters in 2007. This is a Ramsay horror movie. Its been seventeen years that they gave their last movie with multiple marketable names. Whether by design or by fate, by the 2000s the Ramsays had very few marketable names in their names.
In Ghutan, the familiar name is Aryan Vaid and to an extent Gufi Paintal and Shahbhaz Khan. But gone are the days when the Ramsays could and did sign up a plethora of familiar names like Kulbhushan Kharbanda Mohnish Bahl, Pradeep Kumar, Jagdeep, Rajendra Nath and others for one movie.
Maybe the Ramsays could never get away from their television hangover after minting money with series like Zee Horror Show. Be that as it may, this is a review of one of their last Bollywood horror movies, Ghutan.
A young couple face troubles in their married life. The wife, Katherine is filthy rich and has given the power of attorney to her flamboyant and flirtatious husband, Ravi. While Ravi is leading a great life, his wife’s constant nagging and suspicious attitude gets to him.
Ravi already has eyes on a new secretary, Priya. He begins flirting with her and she doesn’t reciprocate. Meanwhile, Katherine begins losing herself into an alcoholic stupor. She confesses to the Priest that her husband is a cheat and a liar.
Ravi makes some big transactions on the business account and Katherine takes away the power of attorney. Also, a loan that the company had applied for is rejected. Ravi and his friend Jaggi decide to teach her a lesson and accidentally kill her. Their house help, Nancy, sees the dead body. Ravi threatens her and tells her that she should never leave the house from now.
Ravi and Jaggi take the dead body to the cemetery as they have no other option but to bury her dead body. However, at the cemetery, they find out that Katherine is alive. Instead of killing her, they bury her alive in a coffin. Miraculously, Katherine breaks out of the coffin and goes to the Priest, telling him what her husband has done.
There, she realises that she is actually dead and is now in spirit form. She vows to avenge her death. There, Ravi and Jaggi start facing problems. Katherine’s uncle finds out about Katherine’s disappearance and files a police case.
The Priest visits Ravi and tries to convince him into telling him where they have buried Katherine. Ravi suspects that the house help has revealed something to the Priest. Meanwhile, Jaggi fools Priya into getting into a relationship with Ravi.
At Ravi’s house, Priya has a supernatural experience and demands an explanation from Ravi, who is already facing problems with Katherine’s uncle and a police officer who suspecting Ravi and Jaggi.
What happens next with Ravi, Jaggi and Priya is what forms the rest of the movie.
Ghutan hit theaters in 2007. As I have told earlier, every Bollywood horror movie that released post Bhoot vehemently tried to shake off the Ramsays hangover – including the Ramsays. This is a Ramsays movie, but the storyline is an episode out of Crime Patrol and Crime Library.
In movies like Ghutan and several more in the 2000s, the spirit is not someone who was wronged generations ago and has now just gone mad with rage. In these movies, the spirit is avenging its death at the hands of the characters in the movie.
But Ghutan has the world’s most angering grey character in Ravi. He’s a boozard, tries to have an affair with his secretary even though his wife is alive and threatens housemaids with death. There’s absolutely no reason why a sane audience would connect with Ravi.
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By now, the Ramsays have staunchly done away with too much of smoke and mirrors. In Ghutan, the ghost character is completely visible for most of the sequences. And taking a leaf out of the 2003 Bollywood horror movie Bhoot, this is another rare movie where the ghost gets her revenge and isn’t cowed down by some religious symbol.
The other character the audience is left with is Katherine, and the audience doesn’t know anthing about her to root for her – other than the fact that her husband is cheating on her. This is primarily because its 2007 and the concept of a female oriented movie hasn’t made its way into the production houses as yet.
The other sidebar characters aren’t etched out and nor is Katherine. This is the instant disconnect that alienates the audiences. What strikes you most about Ghutan is the inherent Catholicness of it all, and I wonder if the Ramsays ever got over their fascination of the Catholic aspect of horror.
I recently covered one of their early nineties horror movies, Purani Haveli, which actually has the Way of the Cross as the title cards. In Ghutan, again they have the Catholic cemetery. Of course, one understands the logic of setting a horror movie in a Catholic premise. Other religions burn their dead, its the gravestones and the cemeteries that are fodder for the horror concepts in the country.
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