Friday, December 18, 2020

Evil Eye: Reincarnation Across Continents


Do you believe in reincarnation?  Or, if not, are you open to accepting it as a premise for a taut, slow-burning family thriller that builds up to a clutched-by-the-throat ending?  If yes, you're in for a rewarding 90 minutes with Evil Eye.

This is the third Blumhouse production my wife and I have seen on Amazon Prime Video in about as many nights.  The Blumhouse "program" on Prime Video is presented in the promotional trailer as a quartet of "horror" stories.  But, The Lie was straight-up crime.  Black Box was science fiction -- nothing supernatural.  Both were excellent, but neither was horror.  I haven't yet seen NocturneEvil Eye was also excellent -- and, at last, horror!   So, if that's your cup of strange tea, come and get it.

Here's the set-up:  Usha in India is worried that her daughter Pallavi, in the U.S., is 29 and not yet married.  That may soon be corrected, though, when she meets a cool, well-spoken, good-looking guy.  But Usha has increasing misgivings, which we eventually learn derive from her being attacked on a bridge when she was pregnant (with Pallavi) by a ten-years former boyfriend.  Usha survived the attack by pushing her former boyfriend off the bridge.   Has he come back in America, transcending space as well as time, in the body of Sandeep, Pallavi's suave boyfriend, to exact some kind of revenge all of these years later on Usha?

Ok, that's all I'll tell you about the story.   I will say that it's fleshed out by a family of appealing characters including Usha's husband, Krishnan, a man of science and therefore not a believer in reincarnation  (good job by Bernard White, whom you may have seen on Homeland), Pallavi (well-played by Sunita Mani) who of course doesn't at first believe in reincarnation, either, and Usha, played by Sarita Choudhury, every bit as impressive as when we first saw her on the screen with Denzel Washington in Mississippi Masala way back in 1991.

Written by Madhuri Shekar, directed by Elan Dassani and Rajeev Dassani, Evil Eye serves up a narrative that blends current Indian and American flavor with ancient belief, in a story that would have fit well in any issue of the late, lamented Weird Tales.




 



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