Cast: Nushrratt Bharuccha, Mita Vashisht, Rajesh Jais, Saurabh Goyal, and Yaaneea Bharadwaj
Director: Vishal Furia
OTT: Amazon Prime Video
Rating: 2.5 Moons
Five years after setting a new benchmark for the Marathi horror genre with Lapachhapi (2016), Vishal Furia returns with Chhorii. The film, streaming on Amazon Prime Video, is the official Hindi remake of Lapachhapi. While the original film starring Pooja Sawant was a landmark project for Marathi cinema, let's see how well does its Hindi version fare.
Chhorii's core story orbits around Sakshi (Nushrratt Bharuccha), who runs an NGO. She is married to Hemant (Saurabh Goyal). They are happy in their own space and are preparing to welcome their first child. Without further ado, the story takes a crucial turn when it is learnt Hemant suffered losses in his business. Forced by circumstances, Sakshi and Hemant relocate to a small village and the cottage positioned in the middle of a large sugarcane field owned by their driver Kajala (Rajesh Jais) is their abode for the next few days.
Kajala's wife Bhanno Devi (Mita Vashisht) takes up the responsibility of looking after a heavily pregnant Sakshi while Hemant is busy sorting his own business problems. Bhanno's maternal affection and care draw Sakshi closer to her. While things in the surroundings look normal initially, the fields are ridden with many haunting secrets of the past. Sakshi, soon, realises that the village and the household are not ordinary. As she digs deep into the problem, she finds herself and her unborn child in danger. From visualising three young children to finding a radio that plays a lullaby, Sakshi fails to understand whether it is illusion or reality. The story of Chhorii takes the audience on Sakshi's journey to protect her unborn baby girl.
Vishal recreates his popular Marathi film for the Hindi audience but it is indeed questionable. Though Bollywood is yet to make a masterpiece horror film, we have seen scarier, thrilling and engaging works in the past. In comparison, Chhorii is too basic. It would be wrong to say that there are no jump scares in the film, but they are not enough to send shivers down the spine. Fans of the horror genre will be left a tad bit disappointed. On the story front, Vishal infuses an important message in the film and wraps it with age-old superstition. The overall ambience of Chhorii transports you to the location and the sugarcane field plays an equally important role in plugging in some decent spooky moments.
Nushrratt is earnest as Sakshi but the half-baked and plain story doesn't allow her to shine to her best ability. Despite putting in efforts to live the character, her performance, sadly, doesn't resonate. Mita as Bhanno gets lesser screen time comparatively but she is the main highlight of Chhorii. Yaaneea Bharadwaj puts up a good act. She shares equal credit with Nushrratt in the second hour of the film. Rajesh Jais and Saurabh Goyal are simply wasted.
Chhorii comes across as a half-baked attempt that's just too plain to satisfy lovers of the horror genre. Even if the horror aspect is kept aside, the story is neither hard-hitting nor mind-bending. It presents important facts but refuses to suck you into the tale. Despite earnest performances, the film misses the mark due to an unconvincing narrative.
PeepingMoon gives Chhorii 2.5 Moons