Friday, 25 May 2018

Kanika

"Kanika" aka "कनिका" (2017, Pushkar Manohar, Ankit (Sunshine)) is a supernatural revenge horror from India. It is in Marathi language and is available with English subtitles.


Kaushik (Sharad Ponkshe) is a well-off doctor working in his own hospital. He is greedy and happy to flaunt laws in order to receive more money. After his security guard leaves, citing ghosts, Kaushik begins to see the spectre of a little girl haunting him. Soon, he begins to lose friends and colleagues under mysterious circumstances. His wife, Vaishali (Chaitrali Gupte) begins to worry that her husband has lost his mind... The little girl is after revenge, but possibly death is too quick?


The film covers a very polarising subject: abortion. It's a subject that can be difficult to understand across different cultures, genders, religions and social circles. Within different groups, issues with the subject can vary greatly. The main theme behind this film is to shine a light on the practice in the region of terminating pregnancies because of the gender of the child and its resultant social standing. In the case described within the plot, the mother did not want to do this and thus, a vengeful ghost is born.


I have not had as many opportunities to watch Indian horror as I have Japanese, European and American. The film is fairly low-budget with a few plot holes and some long winded dialogue, but it does have a certain charm to it. Our protagonist (or maybe he's the real antagonist?), Kaushik, is a fairly unlikeable person; A greedy and cowardly man who displays some fairly humorous behaviour in his attempt to save himself. There's also a scene with a treadmill where they made the actor mime walking which was decidedly distracting.


Kanika herself has a few good moments where she appears in different places, and similarly to the vengeful spirits within The Grudge and Ring franchises, her appearance is bedraggled with hair covering her face. There are a few scenes where she's not used as effectively and her story does not reach a fully satisfying conclusion.


All in all, the film is fairly low impact. It's not scary enough to make it a thrilling horror, it's not daft enough to venture into the cult B-movie arena and, although it carries a strong social message, it is not delivered particularly well - opting for a more sledgehammer style.






[Image: Ankit]
Hani