'Pari' Review: A unique love story that’s creepy and tender at the same time

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Pari. Poster, Anushka Sharma

Pari is a supernatural horror film directed by Prosit Roy. It stars Anushka Sharma, Parambrata Chatterjee, and Rajat Kapoor in the pivotal roles. Produced under the banner of Sharma’s Clean Slate Films, Pari marks the directorial debut of Roy who earlier served as an assistant director on Sharma’s previous production venture Phillauri. The film is co-written by Abhishek Bannerjee and Roy himself.

As far as Hindi cinema is concerned, it is a given that horror films need to be big, loud and flashy. There is little scope for anything that's not over-the-top. The characters are supposed to be overly dramatic and performances theatrical. That's what Vikram Bhatt has achieved over the years with his horror films. He has pretty much attuned the viewers with what they should expect from their horror films every time around.

Bhatt's horror films are in many ways a continuation of the tradition started by the Ramsey Brothers in the ‘70s and ‘80s. However, one Indian filmmaker who did a lot of experimentation in the genre is Ram Gopal Varma, whether it is the psychological or the supernatural. But, in the recent years, it's been all Bhatt and his trademark stylistic, over-the-top horror films.

However, Prosit Roy's Pari marks a major departure in the style as far as the horror genre is concerned. Despite being a supernatural horror film, it is closer to Varma's psychological horror films. But it is even closer to the kind of horror we see in Nordik films. There is a flow and rhythm to Pari that's in absolute contrast to anything we have seen in the Indian horror films in the recent times.
Anushka Sharma as Rukhsana in Pari
Anushka Sharma as Rukhsana in Pari
Typically, the line between good and evil is quite well defined in a horror film but Pari doesn't abide by the same rules. The film can best be described as India's answer to Tomas Alfredson‘s brilliant film Let the Right One In (2008). Now, Pari has nothing to do with vampires but its depiction of its central character forces us to question the notion of what's good and what’s evil. It also reminds us of a particularly important question: what it means to be human?

Pari is a unique love story that’s creepy and tender at the same time. Producing an unconventional supernatural horror film like Pari is a nothing short of gamble for Anushka but probably she takes an even bigger gamble by choosing to play the central character of Rukhsana in it. But, to her credit, she doesn’t come across as someone who is scared to take risks. Her first two ventures, NH10 and Phillauri, were both unconventional films but despite the odds they fared reasonably well at the box-office. With Pari, she perhaps faces an even tougher challenge but regardless of the box-office returns she needs to be commended for daring to do different things, both as a producer as well as an actor.
Parambrata Chatterjee in Pari
Parambrata Chatterjee in Prosit Roy's Pari
Pari has its share of flaws. It runs for at least 15-20 minutes longer than it ideally should have.  The setup takes a major chunk of the film’s first half and it is only in the second half that the movie begins to pick some pace. Pari has very good production values and features brilliant performances from Anushka Sharma, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, and Rajat Kapoor. There is no denying that Pari is a different kind of a horror film but it is certainly worth a watch for those looking for something refreshing.

Rating: 7/10

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  

Pari - Official Trailer (YouTube)

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  

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  1. I liked it a lot. Anushka has proved that she can do the unconventional stuff too. Kudos to the director and producer.


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