Kavin appears in a diluted horror picture that attempts to communicate too many things in ‘Lift.’
There’s a little humour, romance, and an apparently ardent outcry against big businesses, but it’s not enough to overshadow the film’s overall impact.
Lift, Vineeth Varaprasad’s debut film, has a few of promising moments. The first is the start. A close-up of a radio set reading the weather report is seen. A corpse is seen falling through a roof in the next picture. The picture instantly slows down, trudges, and meanders as it develops the people and their setting after this jolt. Lift appears to operate again (excuse the pun) around a half-hour later when its protagonist, Guru (Kavin), is stuck in a haunted elevator.
It aims to generate a claustrophobic sensation in a few shots. One guy is imprisoned in a tight area with a mysterious creature, his pleas for assistance going unanswered, his mind racing with fear. Just as you start to worry if the picture is heading in the direction of Alien-style survival horror, the elevator opens, relieving all the tension. Lift then resumes his wandering.
Lift appears to be undecided about what it wants to be. The film is classified as horror by Disney+ Hotstar (the OTT platform that distributed it). However, the genre is diluted with a little of comedy, romance, and an apparently earnest scream against big businesses.
This is true of the majority of Tamil horror flicks. They try to elicit opposing feelings at irregular intervals. It’s like strolling through one of those carnival horror homes and pausing to watch Vadivelu comedies at odd intervals.
Andhaghaaram by V Vignarajan is the only recent pure horror film I can recollect. Despite its flaws, it picture maintained a constant gloomy tone that worked effectively. Its characters were also more relatable than those in Lift. When its protagonist, Vinod (Arjun Das), encounters a paranormal occurrence, he becomes unsettled and traumatised.
And he remains like way throughout the film. The characters of Lift, Guru and Harini (Amritha), are likewise terrified. However, the film trivialises the grave peril they are in at many points. “Un kooda deal panradhukku andha pei oda deal panradhe mel (It is better to deal with the ghost than you),” Harini informs Guru at one point. Guru lights his lighter and performs Harini’s birthday song. It’s difficult to believe these were individuals who witnessed a ghostly elevator, a guy slashing his own neck with a paper cutter, and the announcement of their deaths on television.
It’s also difficult to comprehend how the spirits (yes, there are two of them!) function. They can control the elevator, make photocopies, disconnect the phones, and create the illusion of Penrose steps. However, they allowed other equipment, such as the flashlight, to function normally. Of course, the ability to suspend disbelief is required. But, isn’t there also a need for uniformity throughout the film? It’s impossible to decipher the spirits’ motives. Finally, we learn that they have something to show one of the main characters. However, they also attempt to murder them (?).
Humans in Lift act strangely compared to spirits. When Guru first meets Harini, she asks him to take a picture of her. He takes her phone, pretends to snap a picture with it, and then dumps it into a fish tank for no apparent reason. He appears to be a jerk. Harini develops a crush on him as a result of this. He says he isn’t interested when Harini admits her attraction afterwards. Harini smacks him and adds, “Girls get upset when called’sister,’ just like guys get angry when called ‘brother.'”
Aside from the aforementioned inquiries, I have one more about the film’s title: why is it called Lift when the entire workplace is haunted? The Office could have been a better title, given the one-liners and bizarre events that constantly occuring there.
Lift is currently available to watch on Disney+ Hotstar.
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