6.8/10
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5 user 1 critic

Gehrayee (1980)

When a successful manager decides to sell his plantation in his ancestral village to another company, his young daughter begins acting very strangely.

Directors:

(as Arunavikas), (as Arunavikas)

Writers:

(dialogue), (script) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Chennabassapa
...
Nandu
Indrani Mukherjee ...
Saroja
...
Umakka
...
Chenni (as Reeta Bhaduri)
...
Tantric Magician
Sudhir Dalvi ...
Tantric referred by Rama (as Sudhir Dalavi)
Suhas Bhalekar
Shubha Joshi ...
(as Shobha Joshi)
Satyendran ...
(as Satyendra)
Satyakumar Patil ...
(as Satya Kumar Patil)
Somu
Rao
Shetty
Indiramma
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Storyline

When a successful manager decides to sell his plantation in his ancestral village to another company, his young daughter begins acting very strangely.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

village | f rated | tantric | spirit | See All (4) »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

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 »
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Details

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Release Date:

9 September 1980 (India)  »

Also Known As:

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Trivia

Kulbushan Kharbanda was a dubbing artiste in the movie. See more »

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[first title card]
Title Card: for those who believe, no explanation is necessary - for those who don't, no explanation is possible!
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User Reviews

 
a truly exceptional Bollywood horror film.
26 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

This unheralded little production from the early 80's is quite possibly one of the finest horror films to emerge from Bollywood. The film focuses on a small middle class, well educated South Indian family that is having to come to terms with some financial difficulties and is in the process of tightening the financial belt but at the cost of some people who were quiet loyal to this family.

The first half hour of the film is a gradual build up of tension where the audience is expecting the worst but nothing actually happens. Then Uma(padmini kolapuri) suffers her first fit & from here onwards the film takes a complete u turn , roller coasting in witchcraft, wizardry & exorcism, culminating in a chilling final scene where spirits are revoked from the dead.

This film is remarkable among Bollywood horror films for its sheer subtlety and lack of typical hackneyed horror techniques that are such the hallmark of the genre. This is perhaps the only tale of possession that doesn't involve spinning heads, levitation scenes, flying vomit and objects and the like. Though it is similar to The Exorcist in that the target of an evil, disgruntled spirit is a young school going pubescent girl, that is really where the similarity ends. Gehrayee eschews cheap horror thrills and relies on its gripping plot and excellent performances to make it work. There are no insufferable comedians (like Jagdeep, Rajendranath, Satish Shah) to endure this time around and nor are there cheesy gore or special effects. Padmini Kolhapure is brilliant as Uma. She may not have been a traditional beauty but what she lacked in bombshell looks, she made up for with heaps of delightful charm and natural spontaneity. After Jaya Bhaduri retired, Padmini stepped in to fill the vacuum with the same good-natured wholesome, infectious free spirit. In Gehrayee, Padmini turns in a remarkable performance especially considering she was barely 12 in reality. She is totally natural as the kid slowly taken over by an evil spirit, never self conscious or overwrought. It's a superb performance by an actress who deserves to be remembered as one of Bollywood's finest performers of the 80's.

Full marks to the director for having the courage to refuse the cheap, loud gimmickry that is virtually inherent in the genre. Gehrayee is a stylish, excellently acted, intriguing film that works on various levels; about a young girl experiencing the confusion of puberty, a family struggling under the strain of its dark secrets, the authoritarian father as well as the more obvious story about the disgruntled spirit and the rape of the land as well as tradition methods pitted against modern science and education. Gehrayee is truly an exceptional Bollywood horror film.


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