Director: Rishika Sharma
Cast: Nihal Rajput, Vaishali Deepak, Aruna Balraj, Sundarshree
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
In the last couple of weeks, Sandalwood has seen a number of horror-themed films. But only a few have been able to hit the right spot. Thankfully, one of them is Rishika Sharma’s directorial debut, which has the right elements of fear, romance and relationships to make it a gripping tale. A difficult genre to portray (going by other filmmakers who have attempted the same), Rishika’s Trunk is definitely a relief from all the horror genre mess that we have seen lately. It makes us sit up, sometimes at the edge of the seat, and face our fears. But that’s not to say that it’s flawless.
The plot is based on the lives of Rahul (Nihal Rajput) who lives with his mother, Sussane (Aruna Balraj) in a gloomy abode after the death of his father. A movie buff, Rahul loves horror films and often has nightmares. His lady love, Harini (Vaishali Deepak) lives with her mother (Sundarshree). The young couple manage to convince their families and tie the knot.
Just as Rahul and Harini are settling in life, the family experiences paranormal activities. It is later revealed that Harini is possessed by a ghost. But what is the connection between the ghost and Harini, and how does a small trunk brought in by Harini after marriage become the reason for much distress? The inclusion of a paranormal investigative team ensures to give an authentic touch to Trunk, which is able to engage the audience in a believable manner.
Though based on a true incident believed to have taken place years ago in North Karnataka, the psychological thriller has a contemporary setting.Rishika’s strength is that she never deviates from the basic plot. However, a tighter edit, with fewer repeats, half-hearted elements of fear in certain sequences, could have been avoided.
The handful of artistes, Nihal, Vaishali Deepak, Aruna Balraj and Sunder Shree have brought forth the right expressions. While technicians have some significant role to play, the music team (Dinesh Kumar, Albin Dominic and Karthik, Ganeshan and Pradeep) has experimented with the tunes. Cinematographer Bajrang Konatham and Sandeep Aluri have worked their way through the ‘dark’.
For a first timer, Trunk is an applaudable effort, and Rishika is a filmmaker to watch out for.