Cast: Myra Vishwakarma, Prema Vishwakarma
Director: Vinod Kapri
Rating: * * *
This Siddharth Roy Kapur and Ronnie Screwalla bankrolled small budget thriller has its heart in the right place even if it doesn’t seem a very ‘sound’ proposition to make. A rather precocious 2-year-old, Pihu (Myra Vishwakarma) wakes up in her bed and finds her mother lying beside her, ‘dead’ to the world. Her Dad has already left for Kolkata and will be back only by the end of the day. It’s a scary proposition for any child and even scarier for the viewer because the house is a royal mess with celebratory festoons and presents strewn all across the well-appointed, duplex apartment situated high-up in a high rise society. The balcony door is not locked and neither is there a grill for protection, the gas gauge is not turned-off for protection, the iron has been left on and the hot water geyser is also on while water is shown running all through the day. Now, what does that say about the couple anointed as parents to this lovely defenceless child?
It’s basically ‘Trapped’ in a ‘Home Alone’ construct and it’s rather scary even though not gripping enough to blot out the doubts. The handheld digicam follows the little girl around as she plays out her day-long efforts at ‘survival.’ Kapri adds on the risks without thinking much about the challenges they throw up. The parents are said to have been exhausted after late-night revelry, followed by an all-night fracas leading to the mother having an extra dose of pills in a fit of spite and the father rushing off to Kolkata without turning off the iron.
By showing the parents as irresponsible and careless, Kapri, even while garnering empathy for the child, renders the filmed experience as contrived and judgemental. Kapri’s concept is derived from a real-life incident no doubt, but I daresay the child in real life would not have experienced such a near-calamitous series of incidents as shown here. This sort of scare-mongering might have been more believable if Kapri had made the screenplay more inventive – with the adult characters doing more to redeem themselves, and relied less on the two-year-old’s largely implausible spirit of adventure. Even so, there are a large bouquet of heart-stopping moments woven into the narrative, to give the thrill seeker a fair amount of joy!