“Evil Eye” is one of the more unique Blumhouse offerings on Amazon Prime this month as it combines elements from Eastern superstition, family culture clashes, and a touch of horror. It’s also the first film I’m aware of that has been based on an Audible Original audio play.
The Audible Original, written by Madhuri Shekar is a clever collection of phone calls and voicemails which the film does a great job of adapting and fleshing out. Pallavi (Sunita Mani) lives in America and to her mother, Usha’s (Sarita Choudhury), chagrin is far too career-orientated and still single at nearly 30 years old! Usha still lives in Dehli and is very traditional and superstitious. She’s constantly trying to arrange potential husbands for Pallavi, whilst worrying about the possibility of an “evil eye” curse being placed on her daughter 30 years ago. Pallavi loves her parents but is exasperated by her mother’s meddling and paranoia.
Eventually, Pallavi meets a man on her own, Sandeep (Omar Maskati) who at first seems to be a perfect match. Usha is supportive but worries he may be “too good to be true.” Her concerns begin to border on hysteria as Sandeep reminds her more and more of an abusive ex-lover who died 30 years ago. Is there something mystical at play? Or is Usha being triggered by past traumas she’s been unable to overcome?
The script does a great job of weaving together the complexities of a family that loves one another but struggles with both trauma and cultural differences. The performances elevate the material even further, especially that of Sunita Mani. She was fierce in the “Turn Down for What” music video, hilarious in “Save Yourselves!” and shows her full range here in “Evil Eye.” I can’t wait to see what role she will devour next!