Kanti Shah’s filmography shows that the Ramsays inspired most of his filmography. One of Kanti Shah’s films was ‘Virana’, and now we have ‘Darwaza’. The Ramsays made ‘Darwaza’ and ‘Bandh Darwaza’ both in their day. Two of the films we’ve seen till now use what looks like the same bungalow. The actors playing the characters are a merry-go-around of the actors that Kanti Shah has in his films. There’s, obviously, Sapna too.
Kanti Shah’s ‘Darwaza’ Synopsis
The film begins with a brother pranking his brother into believing that a demon is attacking him. The elder brother warns the younger brother against fooling around about spirits. He says that his life will be mud if he continues doing that. Like Godspeed, the young brother falls pray to a spirit. Under duress, he kills a woman, and of course he doesn’t know who’s killed her the next day. The next day, the two brothers find the corpse in their haveli. They decide to call a tantrik, believing that the house has bad spirits. The tantrik finds out that the spirit in the house is actually the younger brother. With the permission of the elder brother, he overpowers the younger brother and locks him in a room.
Meanwhile, a woman gets nightmares about a bloody claw trying to kill her. She realises that a old bungalow that her family owns features in the dream. She decides to visit the bungalow and see who the demon is. When she reaches the bungalow, a demon attacks her, and she goes to the same tantrik. The tantrik now captures the spirit in a bottle and commands his crony to throw away the bottle forever. Of course, that doesn’t happen and the demon releases himself.
Meanwhile, the woman starts a hospital in the village. The demon starts haunting the hospital and its employees – the one single employee that it has. Another rich man in the area calls his friends to spend the weekend in the same village, in his bungalow. The friends fall prey to the spirit one by one. Finally, the tantrik comes and saves the day.
Kanti Shah’s ‘Darwaza’ Review
SaamriCom understands horror and the state of horror in India. It is now that it is getting some mainstream attention in a good way. The Ramsays produced films on their own because of certain constrains. This sometimes translated into lower production values. At their lowest ebb, the Ramsay horror films weren’t logically or creatively bankrupt.
The audiences can only marvel at how illogical, uncreative and uninteresting Kanti Shah’s films are. This the longest hour-and-a-half I have experienced.
Kanti Shah’s Darwaza has one actor playing at least three characters. The film had what SaamriCom suspects is a template of Kanti Shah films. Actors speaking to the camera, even if it is a scene with four actors is the template. The production values are less-than-zero. It is surprising that Shah uses the iconic ‘skeleton dress’ in a bid to show spirits. The demon, when shown, wore almost the same mask that the audience saw in ‘Virana’.
This is not bad film-making. This is also ‘by any means possible’ film-making. This is lazy, unintelligent film-making. Let’s take a look at the issue of one actor playing three characters. The ‘friends coming to the bungalow’ scene tells us that Kanti Shah had at least three other males. The only thing they do in the film is get killed. Why couldn’t the film-maker decrease the number of on-screen kills? That would have allowed the available actors to play the other two roles.
You know you aren’t getting epic performances, iconic sequences or a great storyline. The least that he could have done is add some gore to the film. Kanti Shah goes all out on the sleaze factor with his thrusting camera angles on his lead actress Sapna. Unfortunately, there’s no blood and ooze and slashing. That’s missing when so many are four people are dying on screen.
Watch the film here: