Movie Review: Hum Kaun Hai?
Director: Ravi Shankar Sharma
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Dimple Kapadia, Hansika, Amman, Moushumi Chatterjee, Seema Rahmani, Abhijit Lahiri
HUM KAUN HAI? is inspired by director Alejandro Amenabar's eerie film THE OTHERS [2001; starring Nicole Kidman]. A film revolving around supernatural forces has the potential of being really different and HKH is no exception. It certainly provides a terrific and novel experience for those who haven't watched THE OTHERS.
Sandra Williams [Dimple Kapadia] lives with her two photosensitive children Sarah [Hansika] and David [Amman] in an isolated brick mansion set amidst thick woods and mist. David is a mama's boy and Sarah is a solid strong character. Her husband, Major Frank John Williams [Amitabh Bachchan] is at war. There has been no news of him for quite sometime.
Mrs. Pinto [the nanny; Moushumi Chatterjee], Edgar [the gardener; Abhijit Lahiri], and Maria [the cook; Seema Rahmani] are domestic helpers of the mansion. Sandra has set a lot of old-fashioned rules and norms for those who move around her house. These include moving around silently and making sure that all curtains are drawn at all times.
All three employees stick to the rules obediently. Sandra and her children lead a calm life until some strange things happen in the house.
Sandra's daughter Sarah starts hearing strange things. Though Sandra doesn't hear it, she is worried that her daughter is frightened because of the sounds she hears. Who is creating these sounds? Domestic helpers? If so, what could be their motive? Do some evil things really creep around within the walls of the house?
Sandra decides to consult Father D'Souza, but surprisingly she meets her husband Frank when she comes out of the house.
The whole family is thrilled on Frank's return. Frank, having come to know the peculiar problem prevailing in his house, feels quite uncomfortable and decides to leave the house. However, he wants to settle the problem for which he seeks the help of his friend Viru [Dharmendra].
Finally, Frank takes it upon himself to unearth the truth beneath the mystery...
The movie is definitely a refreshing experience to the average Indian audiences associate eerie films with skeletons, graveyard, blood and spear. In avoids all these stereotypes and brilliantly creates a thrilling mood. Some supernatural moments and a few sequences, lifted from the original, make the proceedings quite interesting. Thank god! There are no songs or the mandatory romantic interludes.
The sequences between Amitabh and Dimple lack excitement, as it gets very talk-heavy. Dharmendra's character doesn't jell with the plot. Though the film is engaging, it loses the grip towards the post-interval portions. The film moves at an unhurried pace right from the beginning.
Director Ravi Shankar Sharma has skillfully handled the eerie sequences. But the deviations from the original make the venture less impressive. Cinematography [Ishwar Bidri] is not of the mark. The lighting, in particular, is disappointing. It could have been darker in some scenes keeping with the mood and demand of the story.
Dimple Kapadia's is the central character of the film and she has fully justifies her role. Her performance is of top class and one of the highpoints of the venture.
Amitabh Bachchan is quite impressive while Dharmendra fails to make any impact in a relatively weaker character to play with. Moushumi Chatterjee steals the hearts with her threatening smile and mysterious appearance.
Baby Hansika is highly talented child artist, who amazingly portrays strength and vulnerability. Master Amman looks charming.
On the whole, HUM KAUN HAI? is a welcome experiment in Indian cinema. It would have been a far better film if the writers have stuck to the original till the end.