Munjya Review: Abhay Verma, Sharvari flip pages of folklore with a chilling and humorous drama

Film: Munjya

Cast: Suhas Joshi, Mona Singh, Abhay Verma, Sharvari, Sathyaraj

Director: Aditya Sarpotdar

Rating: 4 Moons

Stories set in mythical lands, folklore and fantasy are often fascinating. While speaking so, Neil Gaiman summarised it in a quote, “Fairytales don't tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairytales tell children that dragons can be killed.” This plays a prominent role in Maddock Films’ latest offering, Munjya.

Set in Konkan's serene and lush greenery, Munjya tells the fictional tale of Gotya, who is obsessed with a girl named Munni. However, 10 days into his munja (thread ceremony), he meets an unexpected death. His ashes are buried near a banyan tree, locking his soul in there. Several years later, Bittu (Abhay Verma) returns to the dreaded and haunted village of Chetukwadi to accidentally unlock the menace of Munjya, which is nothing but the spirit of Gotya.

Munjya delivers chills, thrills, jump scares and occasional laughs. In just 2 hours, director Aditya Sarpotdar lays the foundation for an unique concept, builds it tall and paints it with vibrant colours that make the genre of horror-comedy exciting. Due to his masterful direction, there’s an urge for the film never to end. From crafting and positioning stellar action choreography to getting those jump scare and spooky moments to land correctly with the right dose of humour, Aditya hits the bull’s eye with Munjya. He uses the beauty of Konkan to his merit.

The film doesn’t promote black magic and superstition. It neither denies its prevalence even in modern times. Exposing the reality of ‘so-called tantriks’, the narration explains all the activities highlighted in the film. The eeriness created with the background score makes it a special experience. The 3D creature, Munjya, is crafted meticulously. The makers have paid attention to every minute detail. A fable-ish treatment given to the story structure makes it palatable for the younger audience. The absence of a spirit or a quintessential ghost brings along a fresh flavour and an interesting plot addition to the future horror-comedies produced by Maddock Films  

This horror-comedy, rather fantasy drama, has rare dull moments. However, some sequences seem repetitive and don’t excite and thrill beyond a point. Nonetheless, Munjya is a fantastic film with all the right flavours to draw your attention.

Abhay Verma might be a rather fresh face in the industry, his talent is of a veteran. His innocence and boyish charm benefit Munjya. Playing Bittu with an effortless elegance, Abhay is an actor who grabs your attention with his on-screen charisma. Sharvari surprises and how. She comes into her element in the second half and then, there’s no looking back. Mona Singh channels her inner Punjabi and adds weight to the plot with her expertise and candidness. Transforming into the typical ‘Punjabi mom’, the actress yet again proves her versatility. Indeed, the audience will be cheering for her with whistles and claps. Sathyaraj’s character might be loud but it’s worthy of a good laugh. Suhas Joshi is pitch-perfect and does add her magic to the film. Munjya has many surprises down the lane, don’t miss it!