Durgamati – The Myth is a horror movie directed by G. Ashok and is a remake of 2018’s Bhaagamathie. The movie stars Bhumi Pednekar, Arshad Warsi, Jisshu Sengupta and Mahie Gill alongside other cast members.
You know, I thought we were done with the bad horror movies this year, with 2020 being an extended horror show in and of itself. Also, never forget the debacle that was Laxmii, a joke of a horror-comedy movie and not even a funny one. Anyway, we apparently weren’t, so now we have one more Bollywood horror movie in the name of Durgamati. Listen, 2018’s Bhaagamathie wasn’t a horror masterpiece by any means. However, Anushka Shetty as the feisty Chanchala IAS was awesome and no one can tell me otherwise. However, did we need a remake of that? Nope.
So, Durgamati starts off with a plot to dethrone a spotless politician called Ishwar Prasad who is the hero of the people. In order to bring about that mud, the corrupt politicians bring in Chanchal Chauhan IAS, someone who worked under Prasad at one time and is now serving time for murdering her husband. Obviously, there’s more to the story than that. So anyway, they take her to this abandoned haveli which is haunted by the ghost of its long-dead queen. What happens next encompasses the rest of the story.
How many times have we come across Bollywood horror movies whose only scary points seem to be an abandoned haveli, cobwebs, a “scary” background score and a silly possession arc? Too many times to count. Do we need more of these to clutter streaming platforms and theatres? No.
Yet here we are with another unoriginal movie that does nothing to the horror genre or adds anything new to the story. There’re no scares, the dialogue delivery is horrendous and there are moments where the movie tries to be funny but it comes off as stupid. In an awkward turn of events though, I laughed at the times is was supposed to scary. That’s not a good look for a horror movie.
However, my biggest gripe with Durgamati? Mahie Gill’s Satakshi Ganguly is a Bengali who throws in random Bengali words to remind us, audience members, that “she’s a Bong!” Oh, and the best part? We have an actual Bengali actor playing ACP Abhay Singh. Why couldn’t you make him the Bengali? At least he would’ve sounded the part. Gill’s Bengali accent comes and goes and is just so difficult to hear that I had to tune her out for the most part. The Bengali in me died a little.
Durgamati’s plot is as ludicrous as the movie it’s remade from. There are things just happening without rhyme or reason. The makers thought that they’d just pack in all the clichés that Bollywood has conjured up for its horror movies and hope some of them stick. But they don’t work. They haven’t worked in a long time. Why can’t desi audiences enjoy a good and smart horror movie? Why do we have to subject to this? It’s an uncomfortable position where it’s not horrifying or funny so you just sit there and wish for it to be over.
Durgamati heavily rests on the shoulders of Bhumi Pednekar, who has to do a lot to keep the mood swings of her ghost inhabitant in check and believable. She does try a lot and maybe succeeds somewhere. But after going through this for 2 and a half hours, you won’t have the patience, nor the interest, to understand what’s going on on-screen.
Summing up: Durgamati
Durgamati, much like Laxmii, is an insult to the horror genre. 2020 has been a good year for horror, with a lot of things releasing on different OTT platforms that will keep you on the edge of your seats. It’s probably time to jump into those if you’re looking for a good scare.
Durgamati – The Myth is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Liked the Durgamati review? Read our other reviews here.