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Revathy and Shane Nigam Deliver a Physiological Doozy in Bhoothakaalam

The house that Revathy and Shane Nigam, a mother-son duo, live in is a manifestation of a mind that is haunted by past regrets and negative emotions that they are unable to let go of. It eventually takes the form of a monster that consumes them from the inside out.

Many of our worst fears are addressed in director Rahul Sadasivan’s horror thriller Bhoothakaalam, which is now streaming on SonyLiv. Surprisingly, the film’s simple setting adds to the horror factor. A mundane life and the feeling of being trapped in it can be just as frightening as a house full of ghosts running amok at night.

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Revathy and Shane Nigam Deliver a Physiological Doozy in Bhoothakaalam
Revathy and Shane Nigam Deliver a Physiological Doozy in Bhoothakaalam

For the past, Bhoothakaalam is Malayalam. The word contains the word ‘Bhootha,’ which means ‘ghost.’ It’s an appropriate title for this film, as it’s about ghosts from the past. The storey takes place in a three-room house in a densely populated neighbourhood. While the house appears to be comfortable and lived-in from the outside, things take a turn for the worse once you step inside. It is inhabited by Vinu (Shane Nigam), a college graduate, his mother Asha (Revathy), a schoolteacher, and his ailing grandmother. When his grandmother passes away in her sleep, their lives are turned upside down. It appears that she died of old age at first, but we will soon discover that there are more sinister things lurking in the shadows.

Vinu begins to see and hear things that no one else is able to see or hear. When things get really bad, he turns to his loved ones for help, but it’s in vain. Because of their inability to understand his problems, his mother, girlfriend, and friends end up judging him. Vinu becomes even more estranged from others as a result, and he sinks deeper into despair.

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Revathy and Shane Nigam Deliver a Physiological Doozy in Bhoothakaalam
Revathy and Shane Nigam Deliver a Physiological Doozy in Bhoothakaalam

Asha, Vinu’s mother, is also struggling with her own feelings of alienation. She feels betrayed by her family, who she believes do not fully understand the magnitude of her sacrifices for them. She’s also been diagnosed with clinical depression, which causes her to cry throughout the night on occasion. Vinu has grown accustomed to his mother’s seemingly endless crying and doesn’t seem to mind. He’s already in the middle of a ghost carnival when he discovers that the crying he’s been hearing at night isn’t just his mother.

Bhoothakaalam is a parable. The house represents a mind that is haunted by regrets from the past and negative emotions that we refuse to let go of. Rahul Sadasivan wants to emphasise how the small things we don’t share gradually add up to form a monster that eats us alive from within. If Vinu and Asha want to stand a chance against the ghosts, they must first open their hearts. Is this something they’re willing to do, or would they rather let the house consume them?

Revathy channels the pain of a tormented soul, while Shane Nigam is impressive as the man staring into the abyss. They pull us in by the collar and keep us there until the very end. The last 15 or 20 minutes of the film are particularly exciting, as they get the adrenaline pumping.

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