Bollywood has a fair share of horror films. It has sub-genres that Hollywood doesn’t know about, like reincarnation and shape-shifting snakes.
One genre that Bollywood lags in is sci-fi. There have been only a handful of sci-fi films in Bollywood, and most of them have been failures. That hasn’t been for the lack of trying. Sci films – in some way or the other – have been around in Bollywood since the 40s. Today, we bring to you a sci-fi film from the House of Ramsay, Andhera.
Andhera is the story of a race car driver Deepak. Deepak meets Asha, a girl who’s brother, Ranjeet has some in shady deals. Deepak and Asha fall in love. Ranjeet and his partners do not approve of this and dissuade from meeting her. Unfortunately, Deepak impregnates Asha. Furious, Ranjeet and his friends cut off the race car driver’s hands.
Deepak moves in with his mother, who takes care of him. She commits suicide when she cannot see her son’s helplessness. Deepak creates artificial hands and kills of the people who cut off his hands.
Mainstream Bollywood fans do not have a good opinion of Ramsay films – and therefore, of the fans of these films. You’d be surprised to know that most of these fans don’t even know why they don’t like a Ramsay film. Most of them are born after the 80s, so it’s difficult to stumble upon these films in the late
Most of them are born after the 80s, so it’s difficult to stumble upon these films in the late 90s, when they’d be able to buy a DVD or something. Some who have ‘heard’ about the films simply reject them because they have seen other ‘Indian horror films’ that were badly made, terribly produced and a notoriously illogical storyline.
But speak to a genuine Bollywood horror fan and you’ll find out the virtual gems that the Ramsays had in their scripts. When we met the Ramsays at the launch of their book Don’t Disturb the Dead: The Story of the Ramsay Brothers, we asked them how they came up with the stories of their films. They told us that they usually hired a writer to come up with the stories. So, the Ramsays should be doubly respected – they allowed a writer to come up with such fantastic stories and brought them on screen.
To put it in a nutshell, Andhera is a true-blue Indian sci-fi film. Compare it to the sci-fi films that Indians film-makers gave us later. Koi Mil Gaya was kid’s fantasy that found it’s way to the screen. In the modern era, apart from Mr. India, the only other film that we consider true sci-fi is Andhera.
It’s not just the concept that’s blown us away, it’s the main character. Bollywood millennials keep speaking about the anti-hero arriving only in the nineties, but one look at this film proves that the anti-hero had long arrived, but nobody actually paid attention to him.
What’s amazing is that nobody ever tried anything else like this in Bollywood. Reading the synopsis, you wouldn’t be faulted to think of Iron Man. That comic first came in 1963 and this film came in 1975. We don’t know any other film where the character replaces a limb or the heart with a mechanical replacement.
On the performance front, we have Sameer, Vani Ganpathi and Imtiaz completing the cast. It is also one of the few Ramsay films that has ‘the’ Helen putting in an appearance. Imtiaz is Amjad Khan’s brother. Vani Ganapathi was once married to Kamaal Haasan.