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Cinestaan Curates: Aakhri Safar is a spooky film with a twist

Release Date: 23 Nov 2020

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Sukhpreet Kahlon

Popular comedian and YouTuber Ashish Chanchlani's short brings together horror and comedy to create a fun film.

Aakhri Safar, written and directed by popular comedian and YouTuber Ashish Chanchlani, marks his first foray into directing a movie. Said to be inspired by a true story, the short film is a horror comedy that has already garnered over 14 million views on YouTube.

One night, an autorickshaw driver (Deepak Sampat) is going along a lonely road when he finds a woman (Akshata Sonawane) dressed in a white saree standing all by herself. He takes the mysterious woman on board as a passenger but feels there is something not quite right about her. The woman gives cryptic replies to his questions and tells him not to stop along the way, which only spooks him more.

However, the neat twist at the end will totally change your perspective about the sequence of events.

Given that comedy is Chanchlani’s forte — his YouTube channel has more than 22 million subscribers — the film lets him play to his strength. But he also effectively uses horror and its trappings to create the right ambience for the unfolding of events. The familiar tropes of horror are all there — a lonely road, a jazzed up auto throwing light at the right angles, a woman in a white saree, the reference to a mandir, a coin with a mark, and a complementary soundtrack, all leading to the unexpected end.

Although the narrative is engaging, editing with a firm hand would have ensured a tighter film. The pace lags a bit in the middle and there are a few lulls till we reach the climax. The performances are well done, especially Deepak Sampat's driver who holds the film together.

Very few filmmakers attempt horror comedy, so we hope we get to see more such fun experiments by Chanchlani in the future.

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