Geethaanjali Versus Alone

The 2015 Hindi film Alone, starring Bipasha Basu, is the remake of the 2007 Thai film Alone, same as the 2013 Malayalam film Geethaanjali. I saw all three and I think Geethaanjali is the better film.

Hindi Alone is basically a combination of Thai Alone and Malayalam Geethaanjali. They took the basic story from the original and the location — Kerala — from Geethaanjali. But midway through the film, Hindi Alone experience a sharp change in the story. Suddenly, it turns into a horror film about exorcism, rather than the psychological horror that was the original. Hindi Alone is also very sexualized.

I think that the Hindi remake should have stuck to the original story because Bipasha Basu’s acting, especially in the last few scenes were fantastic and far superior to the lead actresses of the other films. The cinematography and the animation of the ghost were also best in the Hindi Alone.

The only downside to the Hindi version is that Alone wasn’t meant to be a traditional horror film, it’s an eerie psychological film where the horror really plays in the lead character’s mind rather than reality. That’s why it was probably chosen as the script for the Malayalam Geethaanjali, the spin-off of Manichitrathazu which gave a significant role to Mohanlal as the psychiatrist. The Hindi version is more predictable, more common and similar to every other ghost and exorcism film we’ve come across. I must also express my distaste in the several sexualized songs and the totally unrelated and unnecessary song at the end of Hindi Alone.

It’s actually interesting that such a different and off-beat Asian horror thriller has been remade so many times in India. The film was also made in the Tamil industry, starring Priyamani, and in the Telugu industry as far as I know but I didn’t catch them.

I think those who haven’t seen the Thai original or any of the other remakes will enjoy the Hindi alone. But when it comes to staying true to the flavor and character of the original film, with an infusion of Indian culture, and of course — the delightful return of Dr. Sunny from Manichitrathazu– I think that the Malayalam Geethaanjali is the better of the Alone films I have seen.

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