• Zach Youngs

Movie Review: Evil Eye

Evil Eye is a story told between phone calls. Usha lives in Dehli and calls her daughter Pallavi everyday, mostly with dating advice. One day Pallavi stumbles into a relationship all on her own, but Usha has a bad feeling. She begins to spiral convinced this man may be the reincarnated spirit of the horrifically abusive man she dated before meeting Pallavi's father. The film stars Sarita Choudhury, Sunita Mani, Bernard White, Omar Maskati, Anjali Bhimani, Rachel Cora Wood, and Lena Clark. The film is directed by Elan and Rajeev Dassani and written by Madhuri Shekar. The film is a part of the Welcome to the Blumhouse series streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime.

I have to admit my trepidation when I read in the credits that this film was adapted from an Audible series. There have been a few attempts to adapt things from a sound medium into a visual medium. Some have been successful adaptations, others are, well, Evil Eye is a very good example of what can go wrong.

The biggest problem I have is that most of the action takes place as the two women are on the phone to each other across continents. The filmmakers didn't add much to these scenes to make them more dynamic or visually interesting. The dialogue can be dramatic, but the visual seems so unnecessary.

I didn't feel any real tension in what I was seeing. There was something flat about the whole of Evil Eye. The action never seemed to boil over or explode. Even at the end when the tension in the actor's voices and the scene is shifting to something more dangerous, I thought it was bland.

It's sad that Evil Eye is so bland because its main actresses are so good in their own right. Sunita Mani's charm is utilized in a different way here. I would have loved to see her take on a romantic lead like this in another film. She can be sexy and scintillating. I think she could pull off a domestic drama so well after seeing her in some of these scenes.

Sarita Choudhury as well is giving the best she has. In a film just about a woman chasing down the evil reincarnation of her ex, she could knock it out of the park. She has the dramatic chops to easily make me believe in the investigation. She pulls off the tough balancing act of fear and determination.

Where Evil Eye loses me the most is the combination of the two stories. I like the idea of a film about a woman who has blinders about the possible violence lurking underneath her seemingly perfect mate. I like the idea about a woman convinced her daughter is marrying the wrong man and going to great lengths to try and prove it. Yet, those two combined and being mostly told over phone calls is not interesting. I also don't really fathom the whole of the reincarnation because the tension never builds to a real suspense despite the clues being in place.

I could imagine myself getting really caught up in Evil Eye as an audio drama. I can imagine listening to it on my commute and missing my exit on the interstate. Yet, it doesn't translate well to the visual medium. There are no ideas or concepts added to it, to make the film interesting to watch. I suggest you skip this one.

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