Hawa (2003)

  |  Horror, Thriller

Hawa (2003) Poster

Sanjana lives in a big city along with her husband and two daughters. But things are not quite rosy as the couple faces a disastrous situation in there life which leads to divorce. Sanjana ... See full summary »


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13 May 2005 | FieCrier
| uncredited remake of The Entity (1981); plagiary thy name is Hawa
A small car drives along a long barren road through mountains dusted with snow. A real estate agent is taking Sanjana, her younger brother, and her two young daughters to see an isolated house in the woods. She wouldn't be able to afford it, but for some reason the agent has had the house for some time, and again it is very isolated. There also is, or will soon be, a ghost there.

This is rather a classic opening. The last movie I watched with much the same setup was The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), though that ghost was considerably friendlier.

The young woman is separated from her husband, though I think not actually divorced. She runs an antique store in town, where a Tibetan lady hands her a metal charm of some kind, saying that she'll need it. A moment later when two tourists see it, they buy it, and she lets them, even though the Tibetan lady had said she didn't want it sold. She looks for the Tibetan lady to give her the money, but doesn't find her until later, and not without incident.

When first driving to the new house, they get a flat tire on a long one-lane bridge so narrow that it doesn't allow the car doors to open enough to get out. They slowly drive on, and there are other bad omens. When the agent puts his key in the lock of the front door, it won't open. This is one of a number of CGI scenes, in which we get a view of the key turning inside the lock from the inside.

They have a dog named Tram, and they say his name dozens of times, or "C'mon Tram!" in English. They frequently slip between English and Hindi or whatever dialect it is. The copy I watched was subtitled in English, except for the English spoken dialog. The dog knows something is wrong.

Sometime after a lightning strike, Sanjana is raped by a ghost. This movie is largely ripped off from The Entity, but does not have any of the nudity that film did. That's OK, but unfortunately the first rape scene comes off a little silly at least initially, which is the wrong spirit entirely. A pillow weakly flies over her head, like a puppeteer was having trouble lifting it. She then holds the pillow over her head by keeping it between her forearm and bicep. Ostensibly, she was using that arm to try to push the ghost off her, and it pinned her arm against the pillow and her face. That's not what it looks like, particularly since the pillow is just on top of her face and not pressed against it. I was reminded of Bela Lugosi wrapping a limp fake octopus's arms around him to make it look like he is fighting it in Ed Wood.

One could argue from the above that some ambiguity is meant, i.e. that perhaps she is only imagining the attack. However, we actually see some ghostly hands running over her by way of CGI. I don't recall that we ever actually saw the ghost in The Entity, only the signs of it.

In a later scene, her bed starts rocking around along with other poltergeist activity. On the soundtrack, there is rhythmic whomping straight out of The Entity. I don't know if it was a direct steal, or if they simply duplicated it, but there really is some brazen plagiarism going on here. She flees with her family, and takes refuge at a friend's house, where the friend's husband is quite angry to have guests, just as in The Entity.

She also gets raped in the bathroom, as in The Entity, and the ghost also has sex with her more gently while she is sleeping, fooling her, as in The Entity, and it also attacks her right in front of her family as in The Entity. If I were involved with that earlier film, I'd be looking for some of the profits from Hawa.

Definitely not a movie for the kids! The kids in this movie are there largely for comic relief, it seems, and to provide some drama towards the end. One of the girls often tells her sister "I told you to call me didi!," which is what their uncle calls their mother ("big sister" I think). They get some chocolate cake, and both pound their utensils on the table quickly shouting "cake cake cake!" or something like that.

Sanjana sees a doctor, who thinks she may have multiple personalities. He's a pretty bad doctor, with really bad bedside manner. Nevertheless, she never makes an effort to see someone else.

The movie does go into some territory not covered by The Entity when it explores the origin of the ghost, and also when the ghost kidnaps someone. Unlike the parapsychologists in The Entity, who try to attack the problem from a (supposedly) scientific angle, the parapsychologist (he is called that) in this movie is more of a psychic/exorcist.

This movie ends on a more positive note than The Entity did, which had a real downer of an ending, but it also has some ambiguity so it's not clear how well things really turned out after all. The Entity is much more disturbing and more depressing overall. I wouldn't recommend this one except mainly for the scenery and that crazy bridge, although Tabu is fairly good in her role.

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