Evil Eye Review: Priyanka Chopra Jonas backed horror reincarnation film takes too long to scream 'boo'

Blumhouse Productions and Priyanka Chopra Jonas' banner Purple Pebble Pictures co-produced Evil Eye releases today. Before you watch the movie, check out our review.
Evil Eye Review Evil Eye Review: Priyanka Chopra Jonas backed horror reincarnation film takes too long to scream 'boo'
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Name of the movie: Evil Eye

Evil Eye Cast: Sarita Choudhury, Sunita Mani, Omar Maskati

Evil Eye Director: Elan Dassani and Rajeev Dassani

Evil Eye Rating: 2 stars 

Before you proceed, warning: SPOILERS AHEAD

When I first watched the Evil Eye trailer, I was intrigued as the age-old superstitious horror genre was getting an international twist. Also, Evil Eye has been co-produced by Blumhouse Productions and Priyanka Chopra Jonas' banner Purple Pebble Pictures, which made me a tad more curious about the venture. However, the thrills seem to be limited to the trailer. Evil Eye revolves around a mother-daughter duo, Usha and Pallavi, who are on a lookout for Mr Right for the daughter, you know like every Indian family. Usha (Sarita Choudhury) resides in New Delhi, while Pallavi (Sunita Mani) works in the US. 

Usha has her feet deep in the superstitious beliefs. Since Pallavi's childhood, Usha was convinced that Pallavi is cursed. From rushing Pallavi to tie the knot because a pandit informed the family that she wouldn't get married at all if she doesn't marry by 29 to storing a number of evil eye merch - chains, bracelets and home decor - because she's paranoid. A sight that's common in many Indian households even today. 

However, there is more than what meets the eye. As the movie unfolds, we learn that Usha's paranoia is attached to an incident in the past. The past catches up with the present when Pallavi bumps into a man at the cafe and starts falling for him. When Pallavi informs Usha about the man, Sandeep, the mother senses something's not right about the man. Just as we see her tackle the new addition to her daughter's life, events of her past start becoming clearer. 

We learn that the mother was in an abusive relationship and she's worried her daughter might land up in one too. The uninvited flashbacks take her paranoia a notch higher when she does a background check and finds red flags. While Usha deals with the private investigator, Pallavi quits her job and moves in with Sandeep. Their relationship turns serious and the mother's anxiety escalates. In an attempt to help her mother come to terms with her daughter's man, Usha ends up talking with Sandeep. 

During the conversation, Sandeep throws a few lines that Usha's abusive ex would tell her when they were dating. It then hits her that Sandeep is the same man from her abusive relationship. But how? The old flame died the same night as Pallavi was born and reincarnated as Sandeep. How will Usha convince her daughter that Sandeep is the former lover? Will she save her from him? You'll have to watch the movie to find out. What we can tell you is that it is a long watch to the end. 

No, no, the movie isn't long duration-wise. Evil Eye is a little over one and a half hour. However, the underdeveloped plot, half-baked horror and the uneven pace has the movie feeling a tad exhausting. The movie doesn't have a well-established sub-plot, Instead, it adds a number of elements to make up for it. These elements, unfortunately, lack depth. The movie starts as a thriller but as it progresses towards the middle, it suddenly feels like a movie focusing on science vs age-old belief in Karma before the movie attempts to take a horrific reincarnation turn. This approach had me wondering what exactly is the movie trying to be? 

To top it off, there were a few plot holes and questions that Evil Eye throws at you which leaves you head-scratching. How abusive was this relationship for it to have scarred Usha? The patches of the incidents shown do not highlight the amount of chaos the abuser is capable of causing. Why did she turn towards this superstitious belief? Was it a coping mechanism gone wrong? Usha experiences severe headaches, which the family deems as migraines, when her past flashes in her head. What causes them? The trauma or the wound she suffered while being abused by her ex-lover? 

Shifting to the performances, Omar Maskati makes for a weak villain. Blame it on the lack of platform to bring out the sinister Sandeep, Omar did not ignite a sense of fear until the climax. By then, the blow is too late and the sense of surprise is lost. In all honesty, I would have enjoyed watching a little more of Omar's inner demons taking over and Sarita dealing with him while protecting her daughter. Speaking of Sarita, she shines as the distressed mother. Sarita manages to get under your skin with ease. Sunita complements her well. She shuffles from being battling her mother's expectations and seeking her approval to a girl next door that you can't help but fall in love with conviction and is a sight to the eye. 

Final Verdict: Evil Eye is caught in the crossfire of being a horror-thriller and a lesson on abusive relationships and the impact of it on people. The treatment weighs down this otherwise interesting twist to the reincarnation concept. Had there been more scenes between Usha and the reincarnated Sandeep, the movie would have had a better impact. 

ALSO READ: Priyanka Chopra’s ‘Evil Eye’ all set to have an OTT release

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Anonymous 2 months ago

nobody cares

Anonymous 2 months ago

They should have cast kamwali bai in the movie to add the horror element