Movie Review: Gruham
Siddharth, Andrea Jeremaiah, Atul Kulakarni, Anisha, Suresh and others
Director - Milind Rau
Producer - Siddharth
Banner - Etaki Entertainments
Music - Girishh
Siddharth's Gruham has been buzzing on the social media as its Tamil version Aval released two weeks prior to the Telugu version. It is a trilingual horror film directed by Milind Rau. Unlike the horde of horror comedies that have hit the theaters in recent past, Gruham is a true-blue horror film that checks all the boxes of the genre.
What is it about?
Dr. Krish (Siddharth) and his wife (Andrea) are invited to dinner party of their neighbors. Krish saves the neighbor's daughter Jenny (Anisha) after she jumps into a well. Jenny starts behaving awkwardly and Krish comes forward to help the family. But there is something extra ordinary that shakes everybody.
Siddharth still got that boyish charm, but he has excelled in a mature role. His character remains passive and also unseen at times, but Siddharth was okay with it. Andrea is good within her limitations. She didn't have any qualms over doing steamy bedroom scenes with Siddharth. Among others Anisha Victor's performance stands out. She is too good as a troubled teenager. Suresh and Atul Kulakarni are good in their respective roles.
Milind Rau knows his craft well and he has clear idea about how horror in films works. The film is quite similar to many Hollywood films that are based on possessed souls and exorcism, but Milind Rau gives it a unique touch with the emotional core. Milind's direction is the main highlight of Gruham that sends many chills down the viewers' spine at frequent intervals.
Cinematography is top notch. It is up there with the international standards. So is the music. Editing is sharp and VFX team has done a tremendous job. Siddharth didn't compromise on the quality of the film. He made sure to make a quality product without compromising upon the technical brilliance.
We are being served cliched stuff in the horror comedies lately. Filmmakers almost stopped making pure horror films and simply playing it safe by inserting comedy into the serious genre. Milind Rau had a different idea though. He has stick with the genre and made a technically slick film that spooks the viewers with real horror scenes. Gruham is a welcome break for genre lovers who have been bombarded with silly stuff.
The story is set in the backdrop of Himalayas, which gave it a fresh look despite the regular setup of a haunted house and an innocent family. Gruham's plot is not different from any of the recent horror comedies. However, what makes it unique is the unadulterated horror that never goes off track.
Director takes his own sweet time to introduce the characters. Everything is normal until we get the first shock. Horror gets intense as the story moves forward that it reaches the pinnacle by the intermission. Almost every important character is put to the test as the horror effect intensifies with every scene. Brain surgery scene that follows Andrea's water tank scene leaves us wanting to unfold the mystery.
Though the flashback portion is not so great, it is told in a riveting fashion in two perspectives. Director also made sure to have an important twist to set perfect platform for the climax. One would expect the ending to be a superior one after looking at the initial setup. But the climax turns out like a zombie flick without much tension. Director cleverly planted a scene right at the beginning for an open ended climax.
The film is serious and definitely not for the weak hearted. There are some gruesome disturbing images that would too much for a section of audience. Pure horror films like these will not be as successful as the so called horror comedies. Gruham will give the real thrill of a horror film and will get the thumbs up from the genre lovers. We can expect many such films if Gruham turns out to be a commercial success.
Verdict: This House will Haunt!