A haunting journey of a single mother Maya Verma who finally starts her life afresh with her six year old daughter Nia in the film Aatma.
Aatma is the story of a woman forced to face her fears and fight against a force over which she has no control and her biggest enemy is her own mind.
Abhay (Nawazuddin Siddique) is a psychotic husband who at every given opportunity, abuses and harasses his wife Maya (Bipasha Basu). He even suspects his wife of having an affair with her office colleague.
For Maya, her life has become a hell, and then she decides to get separated. Now comes the problem, the couple’s divorce is fine, but it is their subsequent fight over their daughter, Nia’s (Doyel) custody which sets out bitterness between them. The magistrate orders Maya to have custody of the child as the husband is found to be a psychotic person.
As Maya starts to pick up the pieces of her life, strange things starts happening around her. Maya’s six year old daughter Nia starts to speak to her dead father but Maya initially feels that she has created an imaginary father to fill the gap in her life.
The father is allowed to see his daughter for a couple of hours only in a week. Abhay is dejected and in a state of shock and resentment meets with an accident while driving his car.
He is killed in the accident, but it is the soul of this desperate father which refuses to rest in peace. It has been his desperate desire to be reunited with his daughter. He frequently appears at his home and Nia begins to talk to her father, who has actually departed from this world.
Nia is now possessed by her father’s “Aatma”, and due to her affection towards him, she even starts disliking her mother. The father’s aatma makes the child do certain things which could lead to ending this child’s life.
Maya is now apprehensive of losing her daughter’s life, while the departed father’s desire is to take away his daughter along with him to the other world.
Slowly, Maya’s life starts to fall apart and the reality gets darker when she realizes that her husband is back to take that one thing he loved-his daughter. As the horrific journey unravels the battle to save her only daughter gets tougher and challenging. But she denies defeat even if the stakes are impossible.
Maya shares her anxiety with her mother (Shernaz Patel) who brings in a priest to perform some rites which could free the child from the possessed spirit. Maya even takes Nia to a psychiatrist for getting rid of this problem in the girl.
Yet it is the paranormal existence of the father who eliminates everyone who comes in the way of separating the girl from her dad.
On the performances front, it is Bipasha’s film all the way. She is a natural actor, and the fear is evident in her eyes in those scary moments. It is nice to see her play roles of her age, and she aptly carries it out. Her role as Maya, a single, caring mother is well etched out. This lady, otherwise a sexy siren, has accepted this non glamorous role.
Nawazuddin as the psychotic husband, always abuses and harasses his wife is fine in his part. The girl Nia played by Doyel Dhawan is cute and very natural in her role. Shernaz Patel as Bipasha’s mother too has acted out her character very well, and so is Darshan Jariwala as the priest and Jaideep Ahlawat as the investigating officer cop.
Except for a few really scary moments, rest of the horror scenes appear over dramatized. The movie begins well and the first half is quick enough to establish the departed father and the realistic scary incidents. Post interval the scary moments appear repetitive and then comes a time when one feels amused instead of getting that scary feeling.
Credits / Crew:
Banner – Wide Frame Pictures
Produced by – Kumar Mangat Pathak, Abhishek Pathak
Co Producers – Inderjit Chadha, Neelam Pathak, Amita Pathak
Director – Suparn Verma
Lyricist – Kumaar
Music Director – Sangeet Haldipur, Siddharth Haldipur
Editor – Hemal Kothari
Story – Suparn Verma
Screenplay, Dialogues – Suparn Verma
Production Designer – Sukant Panigrahy
Background Music – Hitesh Sonik
Costume Design – Rocky S, Abhilasha
Production Design – Sukant Panigrahy
Sound Design – Nimish Chedda
Bipasha Basu – Maya
Nawazuddin Siddiqui – Abhay
Doyel Dhawan – Nia
Darshan Jariwala – Priest
Shernaz Patel – Maya’s Mother
Jaideep Ahlawat – Inspector
Geetika Tyagi – Akansha
Shiv Subramaniyam – Maya’s Father
Tillotama Shome – Nia’s Teacher
Mohan Kapoor – Doctor
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