Jaidev(Aftab) is a renowned poet who is deeply in love with his pen friend Smriti(Tia Bajpai). Tia loves him with all her heart but she cannot meet him or even let him know that she is alive as she is constantly haunted by an evil soul. In trying to get out of the clasp of the soul, Smriti ventures out only to be haunted and meets with a serious accident which leaves her without any memory. Jaidev finds her and starts healing her but the evil soul has the better of the two and takes possession of Smriti. Jaidev ropes in the assistance of the local Ghost buster but their progress is stalled as they know nothing about Smriti. Smriti’s soul however has other plans and she sends out a word “Fatima” which will lead Jaidev to discover the reason behind her haunting and also come face to face with a tormented soul who may be more close to him than he had expected.
1920 Evil Returns has decent twists and turns but it just doesnt get serious enough to affect the viewer. One of the primary reasons for that is Aftab’s inane performance. He seems to be sleep walking through his role. he none but one expression on his face all the way way through and that is of a constipated man looking for a can. Horror is transported through to the viewer by the characters of a movie. when the person who is being haunted doesnt get scared, the viewer also doesnt and this is exactly what happens with 1920 Evil Returns. Aftab’s Jaidev doesnt bat an eyelid even in the face of the most extreme horror including a sequence where Smriti is shown devouring a corpse. He is neither shocked nor jolted and carries the same constipated look with only a raised eyebrow…Unacceptable…just unacceptable!!!
Tia Bajpai, on the other hand goes out of the way to elevate a shallow character with almost everything that she could do including a lip lock. She is done in terribly by some amateurish makeup. The haunted look is reminiscent of more of a over powdered face that an actual haunting. The director should have paid heed to this. There are however a few sequences which are done nicely including a head twisting set piece which reminded me of “The Unborn” and also some nice turning an bending. The final form that the adversary takes in is also well done.
The cinematography is one aspect that this movie can be proud of. Almost every sequence is picture perfect to look at with the compositions of the external ambiance going a notch over the interiors. The lightings are authentic for the time and dealt with accurately. The Music is soothing even though it is nowhere close to some of the other achievements of the Bhatt camp. Overall, 1920 Evil Returns, had the prospects of spinning a surprise but is marred by a least interested protagonist and some inconsistent writing. Watch it only if you have nothing else to do.