Dobaara: See Your Evil

‘Dobaara: See Your Evil’ is a horror film starring Huma Qureshi, Saqib Saleem, Adil Hussain, Lisa Ray, Rhea Chakraborty and Madalina Bellariu. The movie is a remake of 2013 American horror film ‘Oculus’, said to be one of the scariest movies of all times. It has been directed by Prawaal Raman, who has previously scared and thrilled audience with films like ‘Darna Mana Hai’, ‘Darna Zaroori Hai and ‘404 – Error Not Found’.

The film deals with a haunted mirror that destroys the life of a happy family of four based in London. Alex Merchant (Adil Hussain) is a successful sculptor and lives happily with his wife Lisa (Lisa Ray) and two children – Natasha (Rysa Saujani/Huma Qureshi) and Kabir (Abhishek Singh/Saqib Saleem). Trouble begins when Alex buys an antique mirror and sets it up in his work place. Alex’s behaviour changes and he starts behaving strangely and becomes violent and the happy family slowly falls apart. After some strange and inadvertent incidents, one day Alex shoots Lisa with a gun. The kids are witness to this and a young Kabir rushes to Alex and manages to take hold of the gun and points it at his father. Suddenly, Alex realises that he was under the influence of some unexplained and unseen power, and forces Kabir to shoot him while warning the kids about an evil power. Natasha is convinced that it is all the doing of the mirror and makes up her mind to destroy it. In the meantime, police arrive and take away Kabir to a correction home, but before leaving, the kids promise to meet again as adults and destroy the actual culprit, the mirror.

When Kabir is in the correction home, Natasha spends the years doing research about the haunted mirror and learns about a woman’s spirit captured in the mirror, which has already killed many families which owned it at some point of time. Her aim is to prove that her father and brother were innocent and the mirror was behind all the unfortunate and strange incidents. She brings the mirror home and sets it up amidst surveillance cameras and other gadgets to collect evidence. When the time comes a decade later, Natasha gets Kabir released with the help of a lawyer, but he is a changed man now and refuses to believe in any supernatural power and thinks that their father was a sick man. But Natasha reminds him of his childhood promise and he decides to co-operate. They check the cameras for the recorded footage and discover shocking things. They decide to destroy the mirror but it tricks them and saves itself. Whether the siblings are able to destroy the mirror or their fate turns out like its other victims, forms the rest of the movie.

‘Dobaara: See Your Evil’ is set in two different time spans with the gap of a decade and the narrative is non-linear. It keeps oscillating between the present and ten years back when trouble started in Alex Merchant’s family due to the evil mirror, unfolding the eerie things as the film proceeds. There are most of the cliched scare elements like dark and gloomy rooms and corridors, a dog barking for no reason, strange whispers etc, but they have been cleverly used and manage to send chills down the spine. Interestingly, unlike most conventional Bollywood horror flicks where the ghost is in a white garb with dishevelled hair, blood-stained face, white eyeballs, in this film the ghost Ana (Madalina Bellariu) is a sultry seductress wearing cleavage-baring outfit who seduces her victims leading them to kill themselves. The plot-line, though a remake of a Hollywood movie, is fresh in Bollywood and even fresher is its screenplay and narrative. Although the first half is a little sloppy, it picks up pace in its later part. The film isn’t unnecessarily stretched and ends in a run time of one hour and forty-five minutes. The dialogues are also intent and powerful. However, more than a horror film, it can be termed a thriller as it provides thrills by keeping the interest alive till the end, while scaring less.

As for the performances, real-life siblings Huma and Saqib get most of the screen time and of the two Saqib is more convincing in the role the complex character of Kabir. Huma too has done a good job of showcasing her desperation and fear in a realistic manner. However, it is Adil Hussain who has performed the best even in his small screen presence and his mannerisms and expressions are utterly convincing. He is a performer above par and has proved it time and again. Lisa Ray is underused, but does her part well while Rhea Chakraborty has very less to do as Kabir’s lawyer Tanya. Madalina Bellariu is gorgeous as the evil spirit of a witch Ana.

Overall, it is a well-made film with spooky and intense scenes that gives chills, but more than being scary, it is thrilling as mentioned before. ‘Dobaara: See Your Evil’ is not disappointing.