DIRECTOR: Akshay Akkineni
CAST: Akshay Oberoi, Parvathy Omanakuttan, Dipannita Sharma, Arunoday Singh, Hussain Dalal, D Santosh, Rajesh Sharma, Omkar Das Manikpuri, Sonali Sachdev
RUNNING TIME: TBA
IT’S tricky experimenting with the horror genre. The intent, besides narrating a captivating tale, is to terrify, startle and provide those occasional jolts that one would expect from a film belonging to this variety.
A taut screenplay that keeps you on tenterhooks, coupled with a nail-biting finale, dexterous cinematography, spine-chilling sound effects and effectual background score are the other rudiments that make a paranormal thriller work.
Pizza, the remake of the Tamil supernatural thriller of the same name (2012), gets it right on some counts. If you haven’t watched the original or are clueless about the storyline, chances are you may be sucked in its world, but the loose ends – despite an unforeseen twist towards the end – cannot be ignored.
The film narrates the story of Kunal (Akshay Oberoi), who works at a pizzeria in Mumbai. The employees (Hussain Dalal and D. Santosh) at the pizzeria are his only friends and his wife Nikita (Parvathy Omanakuttan) is someone he trusts and enjoys spending time with.
Life is a series of regular uneventful days, until Kunal delivers a pizza to a woman (Dipannita Sharma Atwal) and the encounter changes his life for the worst.
The experiences in the haunted mansion make Kunal realise supernatural powers exist.To make matters worse, when he finally escapes from the house, his wife Nikita goes missing.
The recipe is just right – the constituents that make a blood-curdling supernatural thriller are all there – and to give credit where it’s due, debutant director Akshay Akkineni makes sure he startles you on a couple of occasions.
However, the film is not without its share of blemishes. The sequences in the mansion get repetitive after a point. Also, there are times when the on-screen proceedings try hard to send shivers down your spine, but you remain unaffected. Moreover, a couple of paranormal episodes have been stretched.
The conclusion too will be met with mixed reactions. Sure, the twist in the tale comes as a surprise, but it isn’t persuasive enough to make you feel elated.
The director’s vision is encapsulated exceedingly well by director of photography Jayakrishna Gummadi.
The atmospherics inside the haunted residence catch your eye and the movement of the camera enhances the eerie surrounding, which insights fear.
One witnesses a noticeable growth in Akshay’s performance and he interprets the challenging role with sincerity. Parvathy’s perkiness makes the goings-on lively. Dipannita and Arunoday Singh don’t really get much to do.
Pizza scares and startles in parts. A condensed, watertight screenplay in the latter half was much desired to create a hammer-strong impact. – bollywoodhungama.com
• Pizza is screening at Suncoast Cinemas.