The Horror genre is slowy but surely dying in Bollywood. The genre that once could boast about films like Raaz, 1920 or even Tummbad, rarely has a film in this space these days if you discount the ones made by Vikram Bhatt. This is unlike the other industries that keep churning out horror films every now and then, sometimes in a multi-genre format. So everytime a horror film is made in Bollywood, there is a hope that it may revive the genre. So this week releases a new Hindi Film Dybbuk on Amazon Prime which is a remake of the Malayalam Horror Film Ezra that had released 4 years ago. And I was very skeptical as I had watched Ezra only a day earlier and realised that it had a story which may seem outdated in today’s times. That said, does Dybbuk manage to impress, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
An official remake of Ezra, Dybbuk follows a story of a couple who shift to Mauritius where strange events begin to occur in their house. The story is the same as Ezra and so nothing new to add here, if you would like to know my thoughts on it then do refer to my review of Ezra. The screenplay is a mixed bag. While it does a smart thing in reducing the overall length of the film by cutting down on the flab, it also somehow loses the plot in the second half. The buildup to the first half is pretty good and for people who may not have watched Ezra will be invested for sure. The problem lies in the second half where the makers try to rush through the proceedings. I wish there was a little more buildup like in the original that indeed had left a nice little impact. The backstory here was an eye sore as unlike the original where the audience had a chance in investing in the characters, there was no connection here. Ofcourse the religious elements were good here but again the twist in the final act and the events that followed did not leave a desired impact. Overall, you will somewhat like the screenplay only if you haven’t watched the original Ezra.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues here are well penned, some of them in Hebrew add to the authenticity. The film is devoid of any songs which is very unlike an Emraan Hashmi starrer but the BGM is top notch and really leaves a lasting impact. The cinematography is also exceptional here. Director Jay K who had directed the original Ezra too, does a fair job here. Maybe the writing or rather adapting the screenplay from the original was a challenge and that is where he faltered a bit.
The performances are decent. Manav Kaul as Marcus is good here but I did not lile the look given to him. Sujith Shanker who had played his part in the original was given a very gothic look that made him intimidating which wasn’t the case here. It did dilute the character here. Nikita Dutta as Mahi was decent here primarily because she had very little to do. And I feel sorry for Emraan Hashmi. He is exceptional here but the scripts which he picks does not do justice to the the kind of talent that he possesses. He is a great actor but definitely needs to be smarter with film choices as he hasn’t tasted success commercially from 2012!
Dybbuk is just an above average horror flick that can be watched once if you haven’t watched the original Ezra. Available on Prime.