Star Cast: Sidharth, Andrea Jeremaiah, Anisha, Atul Kulkarni and others
Director: Miind Rau
Cinematography: Shreyas Krishna
Produced By: Sidharth
Banner: Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Etaki Pictures
Released On: 3rd November 2017.
Sidharth sets great store by this film, released in 3 languages – “Aval” (Tamil); “Gruham” (Telugu), “The House Next Door” (Hindi). He hopes to come back into Tollywood with this film. Let’s see if he impresses the audiences enough to make a come-back.
The film opens with a shot of a Chinese mother and daughter living happily in ancient China then cuts to the present. That is when we see Dr. Krishnakumar, alias Krish, (played by Sidharth) who is a brain surgeon. He and his wife Lakshmi (played by Andrea Jeremiah) live happily. One day a new family moves into their next door house. Within a few days of their moving in the new family sees strange things happening in their house and their daughter Jenny behaving very peculiarly. They suspect that the poor girl is possessed by some demon. In trying to help their neighbours, Krish and his wife also face severe problems. The whole story revolves around what exactly happened to Jenny, what are the strange occurrences in the house and whether the characters manage to get to the bottom of things and solve the problem.
The film is as good as the best Hollywood films of the genre just as the producer Sidharth claimed. The film makers’ intention was to make a pure horror film and therefore they refrained from adding any comedy scenes in it so as not to mitigate the horror impact. It has been a while since audiences saw a pure horror film and “Gruham” fills in the gap. Besides satisfying the audiences’ need to feel some fear, the film also has a social message to it.
The basic story line is not very novel. There have been umpteen Hollywood films in which the new tenants of a house are victims of occult experiences. However, the narration in “Gruham” by the director is superb and he manages to create novel characters. He succeeds in creating the right atmosphere that is required for a horror film. The atmosphere created in the film is one of the highlights. The Himalayas in the background of the house add to the sinister atmosphere. The music succeeds in adding to the tension of the scenes. Excellent cinematography creates a wonderful foreboding atmosphere. In short all the elements combine well to give us a genuine enjoyable horror film.
Performance of the Stars:
In his earlier films, like “Bommarillu” and “Nuvvosthanante Nenoddantana”, Sidharth came before us as a quintessential lover boy. But in “Gruham” he has gone in for a completely different look. Besides, his character was so underplayed that at times one gets the feeling that perhaps his character is not important to the story. But that changes in the climax when he becomes the most important character. He gave a brilliant performance as a doctor especially in the climax scenes. Andrea Jeremiah was very bold in the romantic scenes. But it was Anisha who stole the show with her brilliant acting as Jenny the possessed victim. Not only with her facial expressions but also with her entire body language she perhaps had the toughest role to play and she carried it off brilliantly.
The biggest plus point of “Gruham” was that every single aspect came together to give us a complete horror film. Background music was stunning and was a major highlight in the film. He succeeded in creating the scare and sudden shock that is expected of a horror film. Cinematography backed up the screenplay and story to the hilt. The makers did not indulge in penny pinching when it came to providing adequate and appropriate production values. The director was most successful in managing all elements and creating a wonderful film.
The Final Word:
If you want to see a genuine horror film you have to see “Gruham”.