The Film: Saaya
Producer: Vishesh Entertainment Ltd.
Director: Anurag Basu
Cast: John Abraham and Tara Sharma
Singers: Shreya Ghosal, Udit Narayan, KK, Alka Yagnik and Sonu Nigam
Music: Anu Malik and MM Kareem
Audio on: T-Series
Vishesh Entertainment Ltd.'s Saaya (UA) is a horror film. A young doctor is devastated when his 6-month pregnant doctor-wife is killed in a bus accident. Unable to forget her, he is haunted by her memories for several days. Soon thereafter, he starts having bizarre experiences. He feels, his deceased wife is trying to convey something to him. Strangely, he gets to know more about what his wife is attempting to tell him, through persons who are about to die or have just died. He even experiences her presence around him.
Piecing together the common things he or the dead persons see/s during the scary experiences, he manages to reach the spot where the bus had met with the fatal accident. He braves his way to a territory of dangerous tribals and learns that while his wife had survived the accident, she had died soon thereafter, but after delivering a premature baby. When the tribals hand over his baby to him, he realises that that was what his dead wife was trying to convey to him.
Remake of the Hollywood film, Dragonfly, the film has a couple of frightening scenes - when a little boy comes alive after being pronounced dead and when a dead body tugs at the widower-doctor's hand. But as against the scary scenes, there is the constant belief that remains in the viewer's mind that since the spirit is benign, the doc would not be harmed. This reassurance robs part of the thrill from the chilling sequences. The scenes of the dead woman's presence appear repetitive and this also to a large extent robs the film of its excitement.
Although the doctor gets his child in the climax, the scene does not give the audience a high, perhaps, because the love between the husband and his wife has not been shown. Besides, since the doctor is young, there's no great feeling of sympathy for him after he is widowed since one is convinced that he can begin life afresh. Making all the other characters in the drama disbelieve the doctor's claim about his wife's spirit all through, also gets a bit irritating, especially because the audience is convinced that there is a spirit. In the end, one is left with the feeling as to why the spirit did not come straight to the point instead of beating around the bush.
John Abraham does well as the widower who gets visions of his wife's presence. However, the role does not suit his image of a sex symbol since he plays a doctor. There are also no intimate scenes shown between him and his wife. Tara Sharma gets limited scope and she does well. Mahima Chaudhry, in a guest appearance, acts ably but she has been made to cry too often. Zohra Sehgal, Harsh Chhaya, Raj Zutshi and Vishwajeet Pradhan lend the desired support.
Anurag Basu's direction is fair. Given the average script (Amol Shetge), he has not been able to make an engaging and arresting film that can scare the daylights out of the viewer. Anu Malik and M.M. Kreem's music is appealing and matches the mood of the film. ' O Saathiya' (M.M. Kreem) and 'Aye meri zindagi' are very melodious. 'Seena pada' and another number also have lilt. Raju Rao's background music is very effective. Cinematography (Fuwad Khan) is excellent. Stunts (Abbas Ali Moghul) have been well-choreographed. Production and other technical values are alright. Special effects are fairly good.
On the whole, Saaya is an average fare with more appeal for the class audience. At the box-office, it will manage to sail safe in some circuits but not all over.