'Evil Eye' movie review: Intriguing tale, but sans horror
Evil Eye is the kind of movie you watch expecting something, but get something else instead. The film, co-produced by Priyanka Chopra Jonas and streaming now on Amazon Prime Video, promises to be a horror offering, but hardly manages to scare you. Nevertheless, it is intriguing enough to keep one engaged, thanks to its impactful writing. Here's our review.
Usha Khatri (Sarita Choudhury) dearly wants to get her daughter married. But Pallavi (Sunita Mani), who resides in New Orleans, USA, has no desire to settle down as yet. However, things start to change for her when she meets Sandeep (Omar Maskati), a charming and wealthy man of her age. Even as everything seems perfect, her mother has inexplicable doubts about Sandeep.
As Pallavi and Sandeep's relationship progresses, the mother is convinced that he is a reincarnation of a man whom she had been in a troubled and abusive relationship with, three decades ago. She goes to limits to find out about Sandeep's reality, even hiring a private detective to spy on him. But nobody believes her, and instead she is suggested to seek medical help.
While watching Evil Eye, just don't look for scares, because there aren't any. I had been sincerely looking for some quality horror scenes for a long duration into the movie, before I got scared by the outlandish Hindi accents of the non-desi lead actors. That is the closest this film comes to terrifying its viewers.
But once you forgo the need for scares, Evil Eye becomes a potent psychological thriller. The film's sharp and impressive writing (by Madhuri Shekar) lends it strength and a sense of intrigue. It makes you stick to the narrative, in the anticipation of what would unfold on the screen in the following scenes.
Sarita Choudhury is terrific as Usha Khatri. As a paranoia-ridden mother, consumed by her own past traumas, who just desperately wants to save her daughter from all evils, she puts a class act. At times when the film falters or starts to feel sluggish, the actor holds it together with her performance.
Evil Eye may not have managed to keep all its promises, but it offers plenty that should be appreciated. The film's writing, backed by superb performances, make it worth a watch. Plus, it imparts a good-old lesson that is often taught in Indian families: Always, listen to your mother. Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars.