Kataksha is a psychological thriller and horror movie written and directed by Abu Aleeha. It marks as the first Pakistani movie that falls under the psychological thriller genre. The film stars Kiran Tabeir, Saleem Meraj, Nimra Shahid, Kasim Khan and Mubeen Gabool.
Kiran Tabeir plays Nazish, Nimra Shahid plays a reporter, Saleem Meraj comes forward as a driver named Ashraf and Kasim Khan as a photographer. Mubeen Gabool, the antagonist, plays the in-charge of the Katas Raj Temple.
The movie revolves around 4 people who are linked to a TV channel and have a knack of investigating haunted places. Keeping that in mind, the location of Katas Raj Temple is chosen to maintain a haunted vibes. Katas Raj Temple is a religious Hindu site and is a combination of many temples situated right next to each other. There flows a lake near the temples, named ‘Kataksha’ which gives the name of the film.
Reviewing the actors performances, they were okay in their roles. Neither too exceptional nor below average. Whereas, in some places the characters seem quite unbelievable for example the character Ashraf (Saleem Meraj) talks about Karl Marx and has much knowledge of poetry as well. However the Punjabi accent does not support the notion that he is a well read man. Moreover, the reporter (Nimra Shahid) fails to portray the mannerism and style of a reporter. She also fails to look like a reporter, in terms of her wardrobe.
Moving on, the characters’ backstories were told but they were not explored. Hence the audience fails to build a bond with the character. The film lacked certain scenes which were essential to enhance the standing of the characters and create empathy. For example, there were no scenes where it reflected that Kasim Khan is a photographer, making him an easily replaceable character.
The movie introduces the Hindu mythology in the plot but does not look into it. This particular story-line could have been beneficial to the movies plot to create more suspense but it was not explored enough to do so.
The cinematography was marvelous. The tilts and angles, closeups and other shots were completely aligned with the aura of the film. Whereas the long shots added the look of a deserted and haunted place with ease and grace. The camera team did a great job.
The movie has no songs in it but the sound effects, where sometimes they are high and other times there is no sound at all, giving the movie the perfect spirit of being a psychological thriller.
Subjective sound is used to reflect the presence of supernatural forces, both seen and unseen. Some scenes are unnecessarily prolonged and entirely halt the story-line. The director may have used the ‘less is more’ technique, keeping much of the movie minimal, but fails to deliver the obstacles that are necessary for the characters in a horror movie.
Overall movie is dark which goes hand in hand with the idea the director has tried to capture. This movie sets a good example for those who aspire to create low budget movies and want to experiment with new ideas but they must keep in mind the changing trends and what the audience wants to see.
Watch our film critic Rabia Hasan review the film below: