'Chinnari', the dubbed version of the Kannada movie 'Mummy' hits the screens today. Here is our review of this horror drama.
Priya (actress Priyanka, who is Kannada superstar Upendra's wife) is a widowed, pregnant lady who stays in a villa with her 6-year-old kid Kriya (played by Yuvina Parthavi), her sister, and mother. The villa is haunted, and the innocent touch of Kriya stirs the dormant ghost into action.
Father James comes, but the stubborn ghost doesn't budge. The psychiatrist thinks that Kriya's abnormal behaviour (much to her mom's worry, the kid talks to her unseen friend; obviously, the ghost has befriended her) is due to bad parentage, until he witnesses the ghost captured by his clinic's CCTV camera!
The pre-climax and climax episodes are about the history of the ghost, why it's after Kriya and her elders, and how Priya raises to the occasion in the climax.
How does it feel when you are told that the interval episode was the dream of a character? How does it feel watching the pregnant mom taking the rules of hide-n-seek game too seriously, so much so she doesn't find it stupid to do a recce of the room with her blindfold on, all because her kid enjoys it? While you are watching 'Chinnari', only one thing is certain. The director is busy filling up his checklist. The bedroom door flaps rapidly. Followed by the kitchen door. Followed by the main door.
The mom is scared in the middle of the night, notices it's feeling suspicious, shouts for Kriya a dozen times, has no clue why are all the odd things happening. The mom's sister is scared in the middle of the night, notices it's feeling suspicious, shouts for Kriya a dozen times, has no clue why are all the odd things happening. Yet the mom and her sister (who is always seen in revealing clothes as a small mercy) don't talk about the scary experiences even once! As if all this was not enough, one bad day, it's the turn of the mom's mother to be scared in the middle of the night, blah blah.
All throughout, you wonder why on earth is the ghost so patient, doing pointless things to no effect. While the effective editing, camera angles and the Vfx scare the audience here and there, the ghost doesn't cover itself in glory by resigning itself to doing inferior activities like riding on a horse toy here, breaking photo frames there, so on and so forth. All the while, every character keeps almost the same expression, with the honorable exception of the kid. Thank God that kids can't be misled into acting stupidly that easily.
The ghost doesn't have as much as a minimal flashback. The flashback comes and goes, becoming a footnote before the different characters search for Kriya by shouting her name a dozen times even while keeping the same expression they have been known for from the beginning. This is what you get in the climax.
Thus, while the technical departments do a very good job, the screenplay loses itself into more of the same.
Ajaneesh Loknath's music and HC Venu's cinematography are adept. They come out with flying colours in their job. The art work is another good point, so also the Vfx.
As for the performances, the kid Yuvina is nice. Priyanka puts that dull, gloomy expression and fits the bill of a widow, but that's all.
A horror with very good technical elements, 'Chinnari' is content with indulging in repetitious ideas. The emotional content misses progressively as the film progresses, making us feel that the mom-daughter drama is not leveraged at all.