Kaali Pahadi (2000)
|Cast||Poonam Das Gupta, Satnam Kaur, Mahnaz, Amit Pancholi, Brij Gopal, Ali Khan, Neelam, Updesh Khanna, Mohan Joshi|
Kaali Pahadi is a Bollywood horror movie that hit theaters in 2000. The movie is a low-budget movie and stars a mixed bag. Mohan Joshi, who has nothing to prove stars in this movie. Along with him, we have the small budget staples, Amit Pachauri, Poonam Dasgupta and others. Kaali Pahaadi is a surprising movie. That’s because not just the plot, even the screenplay is a direct lift of the iconic Bollywood horror movie, Bandh Darwaza.
In fact, for most of the scenes of the movie, the only difference are the dialogues. If you haven’t seen the movie, or don’t know about it, you wil be baffled how the movie hit theaters, how nobody took notice of an exact scene to scene lift of another movie. In fact, you can actually go to my Bandh Darwaza review to know the synopsis of Kaali Pahadi. But if you don’t want to, here’s the review of Kaali Pahadi
Kaali Pahadi Synopsis:
Kumar and Sapna are a couple. In the same town lives a Thakur with his daughter, Kamya. Kamya is interested in Kumar, but Kumar loves Sapna. One day, Sapna comes across a woman asking for a lift in the forest to Kaali Pahadi. Sapna gives her the lift, but the woman forgets her book in her car. When Sapna goes in the Kaali Pahadi, she sees the woman’s murder. She tells this to Kumar and their friends, but nobody believes her. Meanwhile, Kamya meets the people who live in Kaali Pahadi, who promise her that they will help her get what she wants – Kumar.
But the younger generation doesn’t know the grim secret that haunts Kamya’s family. What happens next? Will Kamya get what she wants? Will Kumar be free of her clutches? To know this and more, you will need to watch Kaali Pahadi.
If you have read the synopsis, you know by now that the movie is a blatant rip off of Bandh Darwaza. Getting that out of the way, there’s only the screenplay, performances and the production values to talk about. And these three are typical low budgets ’00s fare. The Ramsays shot Bandh Darwaza in the way it was supposed to, away from the city and in locations that matched the screenplay. Looks like the producers of Kaali Pahadi had to make do with a resort of some kind that had enough greenery for it to pass off as a forest.
The dialogues are equally low-ball. I see what some low-budget dialogue writers do. For some reason, they stay away from the colloquial language and use archaic words. Kaali Pahadi has a lot of that. The production design is off as well, and perfect for low ball cinema. The women wear garish colored, over the top outfits. The camera seldom has two characters in a frame. And there’s lot of skin show.
In the Bollywood horror movie Bandh Darwaza, we had Aniruddh Agarwal play one of the most memorable characters with a getup is a harkback to the classic Dracula one. In Kaali Pahadi, the director once again clamps down a human being in a gorilla suit to go around haunting and hunting. I am seeing that the brown and black gorilla suits were quite in demand in the post Bandh Darwaza world. I recently saw another movie that had a man in a gorilla suit killing people.
At this point, I should tell you. By 2000, broadband Internet was a reality in India. Those who could afford it bought it . So, the well-heeled and the technocrats no longer needed Adult Rated movies for their fix. So, the audiences of these movies changed. Many of these movies secured releases only in suburban areas and even villages. The very sensibilities of sensuality changed. Though the Ramsays also added titillation to their movies, they had a kind of an innocent charm. By the nineties, horror had become exploitation cinema and it shows. The intimate scenes are much more crass, the cleavage is more visible and the gyrations are more middle-of-the-road.
In a nutshell, Kali Pahadi is one of the many Bollywood horror movies that are the very reason the audiences hungered for something like a Stree and a Go, Goa, Gone for redemption.
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