The Forest tells the story of a young couple, Pritam (Ankur Vikal) and Radha (Nandana Sen), who take a vacation in an Indian jungle in hopes of sorting out their marital woes. There they meet Radha’s ex-lover, Abhishek (Jaaved Jaffrey) and his son Arjun (Salim Ali Zaidi). However, their trouble has only just begun – there’s a leopard on the loose that has turned into a man-eater due to a failed poaching attempt, and he’s hunting them.
With some big banner films releasing this Friday (Ishaqzaade, Dangerous Ishhq), should the small film be your pick this weekend? Read our Pros and Cons list to find out.
(+) Great performances, especially by Jaaved Jaffrey. He’s best known for his comedy, but he shows that he can carry serious roles very comfortably as well. I really hope he starts concentrating on these more and leaves those ‘eggjactly‘s behind.
(+) Brilliant camera work and gorgeous visuals. Really, good stuff – the wildlife shots are super, and this is what pushes it up to 3 stars from 2.5.
(+) Well-directed. Director Ashvin Kumar is not an Oscar nominee for nothing! You can read his guest blog on directing sex scenes in Bollywood here.
(+) Short run-time. At just under 90 minutes, this film is crisp and just enough. It’s not the kind of movie that you can keep watching (see next two points), so good thing the length was kept concise.
(+) It’s terrifying. And if these are the kind of movies you like, I think you’ll enjoy The Forest. The film has many edge-of-the-seat, watch-through-your-fingers moments. It’s a scary thriller, and not in that supernatural ghost way, so you want to be terrified the next time vacation in the jungle, I’d recommend this film.
(-) It’s terrifying. Yes, this is both a pro and a con, depending on who you are! I like to be scared during films, but I find blood and gore unsettling, so there were definitely “I don’t want to watch this” moments during the film.
(-) The story. Several subplots were disjointed and didn’t seem to fit snugly with the main storyline, which makes it the biggest problem with this film. I couldn’t figure out the point of some subplots, and what bearing they had on the main storyline.
(-) Anti-climactic end. There’s major tension build-up, but it fizzles out during the final scenes. The ending scene seems almost too easy.
The Forest is a very well-made film, but suffers when it comes to the story line. However, if you appreciate good cinematography and are a fan of thrillers, definitely catch this one. But just make sure you’re not easily squicked out – or you’ll spend more time watching the inside of your eyelids than the film.