Movie Review: Kanika (2017)
Starcast: Sharad Ponkshe, Smita Shewale, Chaitrali Gupte, Kamlakar Satpute, Ananda Karekar & Phalguni Rajni
Director: Pushkar Manohar
Written by: Tejas Marathe & Kalyani Mitragotri
We continue to see slapstick comedies, romantic stories involving love triangle and movies based on social issues in Marathi, however, horror remains one genre, which is relatively untouched off late. Revenge is an ultimate emotion and the story in “Kanika” is built on the same premise. Knowledge can do wonders if used in a constructive way, but it can also be a lethal weapon when used for destructive or selfish motives. Kanika is a story of a girl who inflicts suffering and her spirit returns back. The poster of the movie gives a warning for the unthinkable horrors to come.
The film is set in a modern city where one of the renowned Dr.Kaushik Pradhan (Sharad Ponkshe) is felicitated for his enduring vision in genetics. His wife Vaishali (Chaitrali Gupte) is proud of him but is oblivious to the fact, that he is involved in some wrong practices. Dr. Kaushik and his colleague doctor soon start encountering unusual paranormal activities and they find themselves followed by an evil spirit of a small girl whose name is “Kanika”. Initially, they feel that it’s an illusion, however, soon they realize they are caught up in a mess. The team starts seeing the ghost randomly even in public places, apart from their own house. The situation soon becomes complicated when one of the lady doctors die, leaving the mystery unsolved. Is it Dr. Kaushik’s past and involvement of entire team for misuse of their knowledge and positions, the cardinal reason for this? How will Dr. Kaushik solve the mystery? And who is this girl Kanika who shows up, is that human or an evil spirit?
Sharad Ponkshe plays the role of a doctor was ease and is up to the mark and so is Chaitrali Gupte. It is the actress Smita Shewale who is underutilized in this horror story. Her mere entry happens when the audience desperately wants to unfold the climax and by then things are crystal clear. Kamlakar Satpute is average in his role as a police inspector. Director & writer Pushkar Manohar tries to come up with the theme of female foeticide around which the story revolves, but is hardly able to impress nor convey the message.
There are no songs in this movie and it barely makes any difference to the duration of 1 hour 52 mins film. The background score is given by Ameya Nare and he really helps in creating those scary moments. It is the makeup artist Jitendra Mhatre, who deserves an applause since the bhoot in this film looks scary but not gaudy. The white teeth which the aatma shows are uniformly colored without gaps or other marks. It is the ‘bhoot or dangerous aatma’ that seeks vengeance and keeps the make-up artists really busy, to give us a couple of frights.
The positive thing is this movie stays on its course and does not contain the sex element with a romantic setting, which usually a horror movie has to make the scenes more sensational before the ghost actually kills its victim. The ghost gets soon after every 5 mins before the interval, which actually dilutes the scary feeling which it initially creates. It soon starts appearing from everywhere including from a television set which makes it very comedy.
It would be right, however, to conclude that this average horror story has a mediocre script with a social message, however, it survives only on haunting music, the scary sound of doors, windows, insects, the flickering of lights and a good makeup artist.