Spoiler alert for those who have not yet seen Chambeli!
A See Prime original, Chambeli did not fail to disappoint with its intriguing storyline and plot twists, featuring the talented Zoya Nasir and Aijaz Aslam in leading roles, up against the supernatural churail 'Chambeli'.
The narrative keeps us captivated with an action-packed and sinister storyline, with Zoya Nasir's Sobia and Aijaz Aslam's Haris playing a married couple who arrive at a mysterious guesthouse for a vacation. Haris' faithful employee, 'Karmo Chacha', mans the house for the two while telling them all about the previous owner-turned-witch of the house, Chambeli, who signed a deal with Satan after her fiancé 'Rajoo Baba' never showed up due to an accident. The events to follow keep us guessing, a necessary characteristic of a great film, with 20 minutes of staying on our tip toes, with suspense.
Zoya Nasir's Sobia delivers an intense performance, with her character's innocence being intertwined with a strong sense of smarts, as she chooses to dodge any evil that may befall them, instead of letting her curiosity get the better of her as we see in many horror films before a character's doom. Therefore, not only do we grow to appreciate Sobia's quick judgements and respect of Karmo Chacha, when her skeptical husband Haris, played with masterfully by the acclaimed Aijaz Aslam, brushes it off with disdain, but we see how the Zebaish star is able to morph her skills to showcase degrees of her capability as an actor. From playing roles in the somber genre, to comical with Ranjorr Line Ki Rajjo, and even bordering on antagonistic with her manipulative character Tashi, the Deewangi actor has managed to keep the audience convinced with a stellar performance.
Chambeli Reveals Herself
A twist in the film comes when Zohreh Amir's Chambeli ascends from Hell into the couple's room, demanding that Haris must get nikkahfied to her to be able to leave the house, because, what's scarier than an angry bride? The betrayal aspect comes into play here, with Karmo Chacha revealing the terms and conditions of the agreement, as if he knew all along.
Here the audience pities poor Sobia, who seems like her only incentive was to get out of this haunted guesthouse and live her life, but to her disappointed, her husband must now sign nuptials with a cursed bride-turned-churail who is determined to have her day in court.
We shudder at this point after being witness to Chambeli's malice and supernatural powers on Harris, with Sobia agreeing to salvage her and her husband's future...or so we are made to believe!
Haris Has a Secret
After sending Sobia off because the 'witch' is clearly entitled to spend some time with her shuddering new groom, it is revealed that Haris is in fact the co-planner of this entire escapade, to fool the trusting Sobia. Manipulating his wife to be terrified into agreeing to his nikkah, the not-so-perfect husband laughs with his mistress, 'Zuneirah' (Zohreh Amir) at their interlinked deceit, apparently masterfully plotted by none other than Karmo Chacha himself!
Lest we think too soon, director Awais Sulaiman brings in another bombshell twist, with Zoya Nasir's character coming out of the entire debacle as the smartest of them all, yet leaving us shocked with her well-timed twist. After recovering from the first impression we had of 'poor Sobia', we see that she knew about Haris' entire affair with his menacing mistress. Not only did Sobia leave a letter detailing her knowledge of his illicit activities, but she educates her estranged husband on Karmo Chacha's actual loyalty, letting it settle in not to mess with a scorned woman.
Sobia Snaps Back
Sobia leaves a letter for Haris which details her awareness about the entire façade, claiming that her feigned terror was not for no purpose. She leaves Harris and his new bride in the house with a final farewell, stating that the one thing the money-hungry Karmo Chacha was honest about was Chambeli herself, who in fact, was very real and due to return on her wedding night.
Cue Chambeli, who arrives as foretold by Sobia, the mastermind herself. She leaves Harris and Zuneirah to face a karmic end, with Zuneirah becoming possessed by Chambeli, leaving Haris' fate unknown.
Chambeli is an exciting horror-thriller which leaves us more impressed than the trailer let on, with surprising twists that keep us guessing about what's to come next. The wonderful performances by the cast, Zoya Nasir, Aijaz Aslam, Zohreh Amir and Tanveer Abbas have us glued to the screen, wondering about what's fact and what's fiction.
The film is a must-watch which invites us to see the malicious nature of human beings and karmic balances with a dash of paranormal!