17 October 2011 | khayaal_e_yaar
Distasteful Creature Feature
Kaalo was much hyped for being the first creature feature to have ever emerged from India. May be Wilson Louis wanted to earn some fame by talking about his own movie. Kaalo doesn't have the taste of Wilson's other movies like 'Mallika' and 'Ho Sakta Hai', but rather seems closer to an awe inspiring folklore. The synopsis and scares have been heavily copied from Victor Salva's 'Jeepers Creepers' and then blended wisely with an unheard Indian lore. The locations are superb and arise horror in the broad day light. Perhaps this was the reason behind 'Horror in broad day light' punchline used during promotions. The actors are big time stragglers, namely Paintal, Aditya Shrivastava, and Sheela David, who couldn't make it big on screen. Some others are regular ad patrons or have got into this film through a placement agency. The budget is negligible with the major share, as it seems, goes to the make-up of 'Kaalo'.
The film begins with a narrative about 'Kaalo', a witch who resided years ago in the now abandoned village of Kulbhata in western Rajasthan. The witch was lynched and burned alive by the angry village-men. The vengeful spirit of Kaalo returned and soon the village turned into a cemetery. The remaining ones had to abandon the village to save their lives. Since then nothing has changed in Kulbhata. The government projects couldn't be carried out after the workmen themselves witnessed the wrath of witch. Till date, Kulbhata remains deserted and devoid of any signs of inhabitation.
A young man Sameer (Aditya Shrivastava) is returning to his home town in a bus. The bus is full of people from different backgrounds. Few young men are regular hash smokers and it looks that they are only looking for fun and women. A newly wed couple is on the way to their honeymoon destination. A sanely priest and his wife are awaiting reunion with their grandchild. A small girl is on the way to her grandparents and finally a photographer, who is with his model, taking her pictures in the desert. The driver and conductor try to give the best of their humorous attitudes but constantly fail to woo the audience. It so happens that the road to the final destination is closed and the driver decides to take the bus via Kulbhata. The sanely priest warns all the passengers of Kaalo, but they reject his story. The bus begins approaching Kulbhata. Soon a series of horrendous murders begin. Most of the people die brutally at the hands of witch. Kaalo is looking for the small girl, who is traveling all alone to her grandparents. Sameer protects her and finally manages to subdue Kaalo.
Most of the scares and even the monster are from Jeepers Creepers, but where Jeepers Creepers succeeds in creating an 'atmosphere', Kaalo seems lost in arranging the details about the witch. Nobody is interested to know how a monster came to existence but what can it do. The film is slow and lack of content makes it distasteful. Some SFX are quite genuine and lead the viewers succumb to the might of witch. However, the story has nothing new to promise. Kaalo seems to mimic The Creeper of Jeepers Creepers expecting to send the chills down to the viewers' spine. Unfortunately, these tries go in vain and what finally remains are the junkie actors and an effete witch struggling to give the best they could. The flick loses pace when the viewers are left to sympathize with the victims before they are killed. However, as already mentioned, no character seems capable of capturing the viewers' attention and that's the reason why they fail to earn sympathy and care. Watch it only if you have a good taste for slow paced flicks or have the heart to believe the dumb newcomers.