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“Munjya Review: A Mediocre Mix of Horror and Comedy Enhanced by CGI Spookiness”

Munjya Review: An Average Blend of Horror and Comedy with a CGI Spooky Twist

Munjya Review: Supernatural Horror Comedy Blends Various Elements but Can’t Deliver Genuine Scares. It Features a CGI Ghost in a Marathi Folklore Setting.

As someone who isn’t particularly fond of the horror genre, I do appreciate when comedy is added to the mix. This sub-genre has seen successful entries such as “Stree” and the decently humorous “Bhediya”. The latest addition, “Munjya”, directed by Aditya Sarpotdar, is a supernatural horror comedy that unfortunately falls short. Despite an intriguing beginning, the film struggles with its screenplay and direction, making it an average watch with little to offer in terms of genuine scares.

Plot Summary

The story begins in 1952, with a young Brahmin boy named Goya who wishes to marry Munni, seven years his elder. Following his family’s disapproval, he performs rituals in the jungle, tragically dying in the process and being buried under a tree. Fast forward to present-day Pune, a geeky college student, Bittu (Abhay Verma), works at a salon with his mother Pammi (Mona Singh) and enjoys sweet moments with his grandmother (Suhas Joshi). Bittu harbors feelings for his childhood friend Bella (Sharvari) but hesitates to express them due to her relationship with an Englishman, Kuba.

Bittu is plagued by nightmares and hears muffled voices from a haunted peepal tree. The family visits their village, where Bittu uncovers secrets about his father and the family’s history with a deadly place called chetuk-baari, where Munjya’s spirit resides. Bittu’s life takes a turn when he is trapped by Munjya, leading to an unexpected and hilarious series of events.

What Works, What Doesn’t

“Munjya” has an interesting plot, touching on the legends of an eponymous child demon-cum-monster, believed by many and curious to others. Munjya is perceived as both monstrous and childlike, visible only to his bloodline, troubling them to fulfill his desires. The film offers spooky horror that’s barely scary and comedy that mostly lands. The CGI ghost, while humorous, fails to frighten, and the loud background music and jump scares don’t contribute much to the horror element.

The screenplay by Niren Bhatt, backed by Yogesh Chandekar, offers a fast-paced and engaging first half. The second half maintains the pace, putting together all the pieces. Special mention goes to Saurabh Goswami’s cinematography, which makes the settings look spooky, particularly with aerial shots of the village, the peepal tree, and the beach. One standout scene features Bittu’s grandmother walking barefoot on the beach, leaving footprints on the wet sand, shot so spectacularly it’s hard to miss.

Actors’ Performances

Abhay Verma flawlessly fits his character, blending fear and courage. The eerie camaraderie between Bittu and Munjya, while disturbing, has a certain charm. Bittu’s friend Diljit (Taran Singh) adds a heavy dose of laughter. Sharvari delivers a decent performance, shining only in the second half. Mona Singh is magical as a protective mother, excelling in comic timing and bringing Punjabi touches reminiscent of her role in “Made in Heaven”. Suhas Joshi, a veteran, has an endearing screen presence, especially in her scenes with Abhay.

S Sathyaraj as Elvis Karim Prabhakar, a character who claims to free people from evil spirits, adds to the comedic element with his chant of ‘hallelujah’. His caricature-ish yet not insane portrayal of a spiritual savior doesn’t disappoint.

In Conclusion

“Munjya” is a mix of love, obsession, possession, black magic, and horror. It isn’t the perfect horror comedy but offers something new, something old, and something to laugh about. The end credits song and surprise reveal link “Munjya” to its cousins in the horror comedy franchise. Overall, while it may not deliver genuine scares, it provides an entertaining watch for those who enjoy a blend of horror and comedy.

Sources By Agencies

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