It's very difficult
to define the genre of SAAYA. You expect it to
scare you [at least that's what the promos
project!], like RAAZ or the recent BHOOT. But,
in actuality, it's a love story with some scary
The outcome: Neither does Mukesh Bhatt's SAAYA,
directed by Anurag Basu, fall in the league of
RAAZ or BHOOT, nor does it strike a chord with
those who prefer love stories woven around
Dr. Akash [John Abraham] is grief-stricken when
his pregnant physician wife, Maya [Tara Sharma],
working as a volunteer in a relief camp in
Nagaland, dies in a tragic bus accident.
Unable to bear her loss, Akash starts devoting
all his time to the hospital. Gradually, Akash
starts receiving messages about Maya trying to
contact him from another world. The ill children
in the hospital ward start speaking of seeing
her in a tunnel during near-death experiences.
Maya's friend Tanya [Mahima Chaudhary] thinks
Akash is crazy, but a nun [Zohra Segal] explains
that Maya wants to convey a message to Akash,
which is why she sends messages through the
Akash decides to get to the bottom, to search
for the answers behind the signs the children
have made, the questions that haunt him
The story of SAAYA is a straight lift of two
Hollywood flicks, DRAGONFLY [Kevin Costner] and
THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES [Richard Gere]. A subject
like this holds tremendous appeal for those who
believe in life after death or the supernatural
forces. In this case, SAAYA does keep your
attention arrested, but intermittently.
SAAYA runs on a straight and narrow line the
presentation of incidents is most realistic and
can be identified by the cinegoer of today. The
scares director Anurag Basu occasionally injects
into the film do catch you unaware at times, but
the script doesn't really excite you towards the
latter part of the film.
Director Anurag Basu's abilities come to the
fore in a few well-treated sequences, like the
night sequence first, when the projector comes
on by itself and then the flooding in the house
[interval point]. The dead wife trying to
communicate through an ill child Nakul and a
dead patient [Rana Jung Bahadur] are master
strokes as well.
In fact, the second half of the film begins
brilliantly, but as the plot thickens, the film
loses its grip. The culmination for a story like
this is of paramount importance, but in this
case, it falls flat. Whatever impact a few
sequences do create are undone by an absurd
The climax should've been the highpoint of the
film. In fact, the tribal track in the
pre-climax was just not required and even the
ending looks ridiculous. In a nutshell, the
screenplay leaves far too many threads hanging
Another drawback of the film is that it moves at
a sluggish pace, making the viewer restless at
times. Also, the treatment of the subject is
class-oriented, which may not gel well with the
audiences who may flock to the auditoriums
expecting a RAAZ Part 2 in SAAYA.
The music is of a mixed variety. Though the
songs carry meaningful lyrics, the film does not
boast of a single hit track something that
RAAZ had to offer, beside the chills. In fact,
the film can easily do without a song or two.
Director Anurag Basu, who partly directed KUCCH
TO HAI, is adept at creating suspense, tension
and a layer of paranoia, but had he gone for a
more convincing ending, it would've made a world
of a difference. The tone of the film is
chilling, but the finale is too contrived and
changes the tone and direction of the film.
SAAYA is embellished with excellent
cinematography, sound effects and background
score that helps in creating the right mood and
heightens the overall impact. Dialogues are well
worded, with some lines sounding true to life.
SAAYA clearly belongs to John Abraham. No two
opinions on that! Enacting a very difficult
role, the newcomer actually performs like a
veteran and delivers a performance that's bound
to win him nominations in the award categories.
His growth as an actor is tremendous!
Tara Sharma doesn't get ample scope to display
histrionics. But whatever little she gets to do,
she does an average job. Mahima Chaudhary is
remarkable in her role. She seems to be in form
after a very long time. Zohra Segal is okay,
though her mysterious character could've been
better defined. Raj Zutshi irritates.
On the whole, SAAYA falls short of expectations.
The film has some engaging moments that keep you
hooked on to the goings-on, but a handful of
well-executed sequences can never really undo
the harm done by a weak script and more
specifically, a hard-to-digest climax. At the
box-office, the film has some chances in select
cinemas of metros, but at most places, the 'saaya'
of success will elude it!