Munjya review

Munjya review

As someone who isn’t typically a fan of the horror genre, I find it more enjoyable when comedy is added to the mix. This sub-genre boasts entries like *Stree* and the reasonably humorous *Bhediya*. However, the latest addition, *Munjya*, unfortunately, doesn’t quite measure up. Despite the potential, *Munjya* falls short both in terms of star power and, more critically, due to its lackluster screenplay and direction. This makes it an average watch, lacking any particularly scary or memorable moments.

Munjya review

*Munjya*, directed by Aditya Sarpotdar, attempts to blend numerous elements in the supernatural horror comedy genre. While it initially intrigues viewers with its mix of elements, it ultimately falls short, delivering a series of comedic instances that struggle to evoke fear. The film begins with a Marathi folklore set in Maharashtra’s Konkan region, featuring a CGI ghost-like figure that fails to instill any sense of terror.

 

Throughout the screenplay, humor is generously peppered in, most of which lands successfully. However, the film’s primary intention to scare the audience seems lacking. Instead, it leans heavily into comedy, with the occasional loud background music and jump scares serving as substitutes for genuine fright.

Overall, *Munjya* is primarily a funny film, with horror elements taking a backseat. While the humor may entertain, those seeking a genuinely scary experience may find themselves disappointed by its lack of fright factor.

 

The narrative of *Munjya* commences in 1952, revolving around a young Brahmin boy named Goya who desires to marry Munni, a woman seven years his senior. Despite his family’s disapproval, Goya ventures into the jungle to perform rituals, tragically meeting his demise in the process and being interred beneath a tree. Fast forward to present-day Pune, where Bittu, a nerdy college student, assists his mother Pammi at a salon while cherishing tender moments with his grandmother Aaji. Bittu harbors affection for his childhood friend Bella, yet hesitates to express his feelings as she is involved with an Englishman named Kuba. Munjya review

 

Bittu frequently experiences nightmares and hears indistinct voices emanating from the peepal tree haunted by Munjya. Accompanied by his mother and grandmother, he embarks on a journey to their ancestral village, where he uncovers buried secrets about his father and the family’s history intertwined with a perilous location known as Chetuk-Baari, where Munjya’s spirit resides within peepal trees. Bittu’s life takes a dramatic turn when he becomes ensnared by Munjya, leading to a series of unexpected and uproarious events. Munjya review

As the story unfolds, Bittu finds himself in increasingly bizarre and humorous situations, navigating the supernatural realm with a blend of terror and comedy.

Munjya review

At first glance, *Munjya* presents a captivating plot that delves into the legends surrounding an eponymous child demon-monster, capturing the fascination of some and the curiosity of others. Munjya is depicted as a creature possessing both monstrous and childlike qualities, having met his demise at a tender age. According to belief, Munjya is only visible to individuals from his own bloodline, and he often torments them in pursuit of fulfilling his desires, which primarily revolve around marriage and reuniting with Munni. Munjya review

 

*Munjya* combines elements of spooky horror with comedy, although the horror aspect falls short in terms of delivering genuine scares. Most of the comedic moments stem from the ghost himself, particularly in his manner of speech. However, the voice-over artist for this CGI character could have been better briefed on the film’s intended balance between horror and comedy, prioritizing the horror elements. Munjya review

 

Niren Bhatt’s screenplay, supported by Yogesh Chandekar’s solid story, provides a fast-paced and engaging first half. The second half maintains this momentum, seamlessly piecing together the narrative. Notably, Saurabh Goswami’s cinematography adds to the eerie atmosphere, particularly with aerial shots of the village, the haunting peepal tree, and the stunning beach leading to it. One standout scene involves Bittu’s grandmother walking barefoot on the beach, leaving footprints on the wet sand, captured in a spectacularly shot sequence that commands attention.

 

Abhay Verma delivers a flawless performance, fitting seamlessly into his character and showcasing a fine balance between fear and courage. The dynamic between Bittu and Munjya is eerie yet oddly endearing, with some scenes between them evoking both disturbance and a sense of cuteness. Taran Singh as Bittu’s friend Diljit adds a heavy dose of laughter with his jokes, while Sharvari initially delivers a decent performance, shining more prominently in the second half. Mona Singh shines as the protective mother, displaying impeccable comic timing and adding Punjabi touches that evoke memories of Bulbul from *Made in Heaven*. Suhas Joshi, a veteran actress, exudes endearing screen presence, particularly in her scenes with Abhay.  Munjya review

 

Enter the saviour, Hand of God, portrayed by Elvis Karim Prabhakar (S. Sathyaraj), who claims to free people from evil spirits with his ‘hallelujah’ chants. While his character may come across as caricature-ish, he adds to the comedic element without veering into insanity like some tantrik babas might. Overall, his performance doesn’t disappoint and contributes to the film’s comedic flair.  Munjya review

 

In summary, *Munjya* presents a heady concoction of love, obsession, possession, black magic, and horror. While it may not be the epitome of a perfect horror comedy, it brings a fresh perspective alongside familiar elements, providing viewers with something both new and nostalgic to enjoy. Be sure to stay seated for the end credits, where you’ll be treated to a song and a surprise reveal that connects *Munjya* to its counterparts in the horror comedy franchise.

 

Munjya review

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