- BOTTOM LINE: A Nailbiting Psycho-Thriller
|Platform: Zee5||Genre: Drama|
What Is the Story About?
The Barots are jolted by a series of deaths in and around their neighbourhood, two of them including their daughters Shruti and Shreya. Everyone is a potential suspect in this case including a disturbed father Amit, his abusive brother, a quarrelling neighbour Antony and a mysterious sibling Malhar. The cops leave no stone unturned to dig truths behind the murders. And the truth leaves the cops and even the viewers shook. A mysterious truth livens up the narrative. The criminal and psychological angle behind the killer’s motive is explored in detail in this compactly structured thriller.
Amit Sadh is well on his way to prove that he’s a digital star in the making. He couldn’t have picked a better project than Barot House as a follow-up to Breathe. As a troubled father, an insecure husband with a tendency mood-swings, Amit delivers a knock-out performance, always keeping things understated and staying true to the essence of a dark, complex role. His on-screen partner Manjari Fadnis finally gets a role that showcases her mettle. After a series of not-so-memorable films in her kitty, Barot House is a welcome addition to her filmography. The star of this digital film is still Aryan Menghji, who showcases the rare maturity to get into the skin of a role with multiple dimensions, keeping his emotions under check and gradually revealing his true colours in the later part of the outing.
Barot House is one film that provides a lot of hope about the future of the digital medium, given the quality of its execution. It’s a solid premise; it not only provides the generic thrills of a ‘whodunit’ story but also offers us a peek into the mind of a psychopath. A lot is left for the viewer to interpret and there’s no desperate effort to spoonfeed the psychological dimension of the killer. The narration is consistently gripping and the story is narrated from multiple perspectives – that of the potential suspects and the cops. And the proceedings always keeps us guessing about the actual ‘truth’.
The identity of the killer is revealed nearly half-way into the film and still, the debutant filmmaker Bugs Bhargava doesn’t let the viewer get off the hook. He has such a strong narrative hold and the tension in the film is sustained, thanks to the strong screenplay. It’s interesting to note the fact that the director explores the shades of grey in every character and holds a mirror to their inner demons. He keeps throwing subtle hints about character behaviours now and then. The sequences surrounding the behaviour of the killer at the psychological ward, where he tries to mislead the cops and medicos about his intentions is jaw-dropping, to say the least.
The establishment of the child character of Malhar is very high on nuance – from his ability to draw, to vent out his frustration through playing the tabla, his fascination for pointed tools and inflicting torture upon himself. Most thrillers get it wrong as they try too hard to justify why the killer behaves the way he does. Barot House tells us they are wired that way and some behaviours can’t have a pointed basis. That it may not be because of a psychopath’s grooming, childhood or any other reason. It’s slick visuals, minimal screen-time keeps the proceedings tight throughout. Barot House is a true example that filmmakers don’t need to pander to the galleries to make a kick-ass thriller.
The other child artists Kishaa Arora and Kiearra Soni have only little to do in the series and their lively screen presence helps them stroll along with their parts with conviction. Aseem Hattangadi gets a brief yet a cheeky little role as a fierce, grumpy neighbour. Television actress Alefia Kapadia is also seen in a blink-and-a-miss role.
Music and Other Departments?
Two of the music tracks composed for the film don’t do much to enhance its impact, though the score more than compensates for it. The background score lends a nailbiting flavour to the 92-minute film. The cinematography complements the intentions of the storyteller; the variation between the monochromes, sepia-tinted frames make for a compelling visual experience. The writing and the execution are the foremost strengths of Barot House.
Will You Recommend It?
Barot House Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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