TheNational hamburger logo

Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 27 January 2021

Film review: 1920 London is a disappointment

More groans of despair than giddy screams of terror was probably not what actor Sharman Joshi and director Tinu Suresh Desai intended with the third installment of the 1920 horror film franchise.
1920 London. Courtesy Reliance Entertainment
1920 London. Courtesy Reliance Entertainment

1920 London

Director: Tinu Suresh Desai

Starring: Sharman Joshi, Meera Chopra, Vishal Karwal

One star

More groans of despair than giddy screams of terror was probably not what actor Sharman Joshi and director Tinu Suresh Desai intended with the third instalment of the 1920 horror film franchise.

The film has the unique distinction of being disappointing in not one, but two genres of storytelling: horror and romance.

The year is, of course, 1920, and average Joe, Jai (Sharman Joshi), a voodoo specialist-­cum-exorcist from Rajasthan, is in love with the rich Shivangi (Meera Chopra). Unintentionally humorous is that her family disapproves of him for being from a lower caste, and not that he dabbles in the dark arts.

Shivangi is hurriedly married off to the successful Veer (Vishal Karwal) from London and both move into a stately English manor. The couple receive a locket and its resident evil spirit possesses Veer’s body. Thankfully, the manor’s dowdy, old caretaker sees exactly what’s going on: black magic, of course. Shivangi rushes back home at her advice and somehow manages to convince her spurned ex-lover Jai to accompany her back to London to extract the evil spirit from Veer’s body.

The movie relies on every horror film trope that ever existed. There are creaking doors and floors, shots of dark haunted mansions, unoccupied rocking chairs that mysteriously move, a screaming hapless heroine, a flying exorcist, a man eating raw meat to prove he is possessed, a screeching witch and an evil spirit with a fondness for playing hide-and-seek.

The film is let down by a feeble script and a trio of performances that are just about passable.

Chopra has a troubled, pinched expression for most of the movie, while Karwal doesn’t have much to do except, well, act possessed.

It is Joshi, who has established himself as an actor with impeccable timing with movies such 3 Idiots, who seriously disappoints. His lacklustre display could set his career back immeasurably.

Give this film a miss.

Published: May 7, 2016 04:00 AM

Editor's Picks
NEWSLETTERS
Sign up to: