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Film Review: Alone (2015)

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SYNOPSIS:

Conjoined at birth, Anjana and Sanjana were twin sisters who lived by one promise made to each other – ‘We will always be together. We will never separate’. Mysterious circumstances lead to the death of one while the other survived. Years later, the ghost of the dead comes back to haunt the surviving sister. Why was the promise broken?

REVIEW:

Sometimes its fun to review a bad film. You can just sit back and scream and bark about everything they did wrong; technically, doing that is easy as a reviewer. But every once in a while (and it doesn’t happen very often) a film is SO BAD that to tell the world about the scope of its badness is to relive the pain all over again!

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Released earlier this year, Alone is a Hindi-language film billed as ‘Erotic horror’. Now, I’m an American…..born-and-raised. My Hindi vocabulary spans about 15 words (and I’m rounding up just a teeny bit!) If you know much about Hindi, certainly in terms of modern Hindi, it’s very common for speakers to blend in a bit of English here and there. So, considering that about 20% of this film has English bits tossed in by the cast, that helped me follow things. But, I also must be honest and admit I needed to visit IMDB and Wikipedia a few times to make sure I wasn’t missing much with the dialogue flow…..so-is-life.

Inasmuch as I can gather, there’s certainly been no major US or UK release on this one yet, and I have my doubts that such a thing will ever happen. To jump right in, I’d offer a comment about the sound:  I’m no Bollywood expert, but it seems to me that sound-wise, the ‘Land of Many Mysteries’ has had enough decades now to get its audio mixing techniques refined. The blaring, over-wrought, speaker-crushing sound heard mostly throughout this whole film made me feel like I was trapped in a low-rent cinema in 1978!

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The general gist of the story flows pretty much like this: We open on a dark and stormy night. A tree branch falls and breaks through the roof of an out-building located near a house. Of course, the event releases an evil spirit (which reminds me….I need to call the tree trimmer next week!)….but I digress. One might think the writers could’ve done better than a mere hole in a roof, but one can never tell with these Indian evil spirits today…..they’re not what they used to be…one little structural crack in a storage building where they lurk in torment for decades and all hell breaks loose! It ultimately comes to light that the evil spirit has a, um, past connection with the lead character and holds a lot of bad feelings for her (which, of course, have been stewing in the great-beyond).

The lovely Bipasha Basu does a reasonable job working with her source material. Opposite her, Karan Singh Grover plays the needed hunky guy one would expect in something billed as ‘erotic horror’.  Of course, viewers probably guess correctly within the films’ first 3 minutes that there’s going to be an exorcism somewhere and of course, said exorcism does ultimately occur. In the US, exorcisms are usually linked up with ‘demonic possession’ but in Hindi films, the ‘bad’ entity is usually some odd amalgamation of demon and ghost, and this case is no exception.

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I’m sorry, but I couldn’t stop myself from laughing at times, considering that 30% of this movie is laid out more like a music video than anything else.  Case in point: early in the 3rd Act, the young lovers are seen dancing on a giant raft as it floats along a huge river and seconds later they’re parked in a car which is stopped on a dirt road, then we flit to them kissing near an embankment, then back kissing in the car (with the actress making sultry eyes right at the camera)….then standing and kissing in a forest, then lying down kissing in a forest………..all this within about 90 seconds’ time. Yes, I suppose visually the whole mess is fairly pretty to look at, but there is hardly two ounces of a story that might ever hold you in this silly exercise in banality.

With a climax that falls somewhere between confusing and silly, Alone is certainly worth skipping (no matter one’s country of origin). Just because the visual presentation is mostly pretty at the right times, I’ll give this one 1.5 yawns out of 5 with a suggestion of ‘don’t bother’.

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