Naina (2005)

DVD Cover (Allumination)
Genres: Horror, Psychological Thriller, Supernatural Horror
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Shripal Morakhia Shripal Morakhia
Urmila Matondkar Urmila Matondkar
Anuj Sawhney Anuj Sawhney
Malavikka Malavikka
Amardeep Jha Amardeep Jha
Kamini Khanna Kamini Khanna
Movie Connections:
The Eye
> The Eye (2002)
> The Eye 2 (2004)
> The Eye 3 (2005)
> Naina (2005)
> The Eye (2008)

4.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: June 20, 2006
When even Bollywood hops aboard the horror remake train, you know that the world is coming to an end. This is a remake of a pretty good film known as The Eye, a movie that is also slated for an American remake sometime soon, but if you want my advice... just watch the original and ignore the flood of remakes. For those of you who haven't seen the original film or were just too lazy to click the above link, the storyline goes a little something like this:

Mun Naina (Urmila Matondkar), a lady who has been blind since she was two, receives a cornea transplant so that she'll be able to see again. After having the transplant, she does indeed regain the use of her eyes; however, she also sees things that other people can not. At first, she's not even aware that she's seeing ghosts, as she believes that the people she sees are just normal humans who happen to want to talk to her... but after one particular incident, she realizes what's going on and goes back to her doctor - Samir Patel (Anuj Sawhney) - for help. From there, Mun Naina learns where the corneas came from and what happened to the person who originally had them... and she also finds time to get a relationship blossoming with her doctor, much to the delight of her eccentric grandmother (Kamini Khanna).

Those of you with a keen eye may have noticed that by changing the names and tacking on the pointless romance stuff, I was able to copy the synopsis from the original and apply it to this film with no changes other than grammar. This is both a good and a bad thing, because in my opinion, remakes have to have a nice balance of new material to go along with the original ideas. If you're going to remake a film and change every last thing about it, then why bother... but on the flip-side of the coin, if you're going to make a scene-for-scene replica of a film, why bother? This movie does have a few "original" ideas (mainly borrowing from a certain other Asian horror film) along with a new ending which had the same basic idea as the original, but which was toned down due to (I'm guessing) budget concerns.

Yes, this is the biggest problem with the film: for the most part, it's exactly like the original except for the obvious fact that it stars Bollywood's finest instead of Asia's. When I say that it's nearly identical, I don't mean that the storyline is the same and that some of the scenes are redone; while both of those statements are true, I'm referring more to the fact that the scenes are the same, shot with the same camera angles, shown through the same type of "blurry-blue" view, but it was all done with half the budget. It's almost as if there was no script handed to these actors and actresses, with the director instead opting to hand out copies of the original film on DVD for everyone to study.

Then we have the acting... wait, before I write this paragraph, I feel that I should point out that this was my first foray into the world of Bollywood, so I have no idea how good of a representation this film was. You see, I've found that films from different parts of the world (Japan, Thailand, China, UK, Australia, and yes, even the good ol' USA) have radically different styles of acting. With that in mind, this could be the style of acting that is most common in India, or it could simply be what is known world-wide as a shit performance. I'm no expert on Bollywood cinema, but I will say that in my view, the lead actress in this film sucked... and not in a porno way, either. Urmila Matondkar goes through the film with one of two expressions on her face: a blank stare, complete with a gaping mouth that looks to be barely holding back the drool, or an expression of pain that looks more along the lines of a valley girl throwing a fit in front of her father because he dared utter the word "no" to her.

I've heard rumors that Bollywood horror (and cinema in general) is not for everyone, and if this is indeed "the film that will take Bollywood horror to the next level" as the promotional material claimed, then yours truly will make an effort to stay far, far away from those films. 2/10.
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