Gruham - Movie Review

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 08:00
Gruham - 2017
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Gruham
Cast:  Siddharth, Andrea Jeremiah, Suresh, Atul Kulakarni, Anisha Angelina Victor, others
Dialogues: Kiran Kumar
Music: Girishh
Art: Sivakumar
Cinematography: Shreyas Krishna
Editing: Lawrence Kishore
Action: Shakti Saravanan
Producer: Siddharth
Directed by: Milind Rau
Release date: Nov 17, 2017
CBFC Rating: A

What’s it about!
Newly married surgeon Krish (Siddarth) and his wife Lakshmi (Andrea) have moved to a beautiful house in a Himalayan town. A businessman Paul (Atul Kulkarni) who works for a power project moves to his next door with his family. After seeing the businessman’s teenage daughter Jenny’s peculiar behaviour, Krish introduces his psychology professor (Suresh) to her. During his interviews with Jenny, the psychologist feels that the girl is falsely believing herself as another person. He brings a pastor to conduct exorcism. This exorcism incident changes all their lives.

Of late, trend is dishing out horror comedies, not horror movies in South India. Breaking this monotonous trend, Siddarth and his team have come up with a thriller that honors the horror genre to the fullest. “Gruham” begins with a Christian quote that depicts that everything is there in front of our eyes to see, you have to notice it properly. Then it begins with a black and white episode where a Chinese mother and daughter in the 1930’s, the daughter combing her hair. Then the story proceeds today’s times. The incident that happened in 1930’s will have impact in the lives of Dr. Krish and his wife, which we know in the second half of the movie.
In the beginning, the director shows how Krish and Lakshmi fall in love, and get married in a jiffy and move into a beautiful house in a Himalayan township. More than the horror elements, the story, it is the setting that is quite interesting. The setting: Himalayan Mountains. This has created creepy mood (this reminds us the setting of snow-capped Colorado Rockies in Stanely Kubrick’s iconic horror drama ‘The Shining’).
Although “Gruham” is different horror thriller among the regular horror dramas that came in India recently, it doesn’t have anything new in terms of story or scenes. The haunted house, the possessed girl, pastor, exorcism, phycology professor, some spooky moments and devices that give automatic sounds (here it is Dictaphone)….all familiar tropes of a horror movie can be seen here too. But the treatment, the sound design, the environment, the pace has made the horror drama as one of the better handled horror thrillers recently.
And the director shows Siddharth and Andrea hugging, kissing and making love in a matter-of-fact tone. This has also set Gruham apart from other Indian horror thrillers.  
The film’s major twist can easily be guessed though but the writer and director have woven the story in an engaging manner. As said, it is the Himalayan set up and the mood that has created scores over the predictable portions.
The effects (sound design and mixing, plus special effects) are major asset to this. The interval exorcism sequence is a major highlight too.
As far as performances is concerned, Siddharth is terrific. His acting in the final portions is superb. However, it is Angelina Victor who played the role of Jenny who score big as actress among all the cast members. She steals the show completely. Andrea as Lakshmi has given convincing performance. Atul Kulkarni and Suresh have done good job.
Technically, all the team members have put in best efforts but it is cinematographer’s (who captures Himalayan terrain and gnarled trees and spooky elements well) work and the work of sound designer that needs to be appreciated more. They are pillars to this thriller.
As director, Milind Rau scores big in this genre. He has presented the familiar story in engaging manner. The final message (gender selection) is more in-your face, it should have been handled in more subtle manner.
Bottom-line: ‘Gruham’ is a well-made horror thriller with some generic elements. The Himalayan setting, some spooky scenes have made the movie a good watch.

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