1920 London
'1920 London' movie review by audience: Live update. Pictured: 1920 London posterTwitter

IBTimes Rating: 1

The word "Boo" can be used in two different ways. The first entails sneaking up on someone and yelling it in order to startle them and get their pulse racing. However, it is the second, which entails showing the thumbs-down and mouthing the word meanly, that "1920 London" deserves.

The entire "1920" franchise has tried its best to be a spook-fest, "tried" being the operative word here. And the third of the trilogy is probably the weakest effort so far. At no point of time is the audience given enough ingredients for them to stew in their own juices, which is an ideal ingredient when it comes to the business of scaring people for money. The anticipation and build-up of a scare sometimes make it juicier.

Sadly, "1920 London" makes no such effort. Now it's run-time may be a few seconds more than the two-hour mark, but even that could have been enough to scare the heebie jeebies out of the viewer with the correct ingredients such as tight story-telling, a menacing ghost that has genuine motivation to attack and be feared, and a departure from tropes like flickering lights and creaky wood. The end-result, though, is disappointment and little else.

So when a trinket sent to a happy couple from Rajasthani royalty staying in London affects the husband, the wife (Meera Chopra) returns home to find a cure for the "black magic." And the only person who can apparently help her is an embittered ex-lover (Sharman Joshi). The premise is established quite fast, and this pace of narration is maintained almost throughout. However, none of the characters, nor their motivations for doing what they do, seem compelling.

One reason for that could be the lack of character or situation build-up. And when the audience is distracted from the story because there is very little to it, other discrepancies and anachronisms — especially time-inappropriate dress, furniture or anything else for that matter — jump up like eyesores.

The puerile visual effects, almost stereotypical music and the overall lack of acting makes matters much worse. In fact, "1920 London" could easily have been masquerading as a zombie movie, with even the usually dependable Sharman nearly sleep-walking through his role. And let's not waste words on the rest of the cast.

All said and done, the only bright spot of "1920 London" is its soundtrack, with a couple of romantic songs best kept aside for Valentine's Day mixtapes. Otherwise, there's no use wasting good money on this flick.

And here's a little afterthought: If this indeed is the true form of director Tinu Suresh Desai, my expectations from "Rustom," his upcoming flick starring Housefull 3" star Akshay Kumar just hit rock bottom.

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