Aatma (“Spirit”) is a 2013 Indian Bollywood supernatural horror feature film directed by Suparn Verma and is not to be confused with the 2006 film of the same title by the Ramsay brothers. The movie stars Bipasha Basu (Raaz 3D) and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in lead roles and Shernaz Patel and Doyel Dhawan in supporting roles.
Aatma was released in India on March 22, 2013, and focuses on a mother that must fight to keep her daughter safe from the ghost of her father.
Niya (Doyel Dhawan) watches a video of herself and her father. Niya is the daughter of Maya (Bipasha Basu) and Abhay (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). Maya and Abhay are divorced. Maya and Niya live with Maya’s mother (Shernaz Patel) and father (Shiv Kumar Subramaniam).
Niya is unaware of the fact that her father is dead. Maya deliberately hides the truth from her as Niya is a sensitive child and worships her father. Things start getting bizarre when Paras, Niya’s classmate who gives her a hard time in school, ends up dead after he pulled Niya’s hair.
The same thing happens to Niya’s class teacher Mrs Sharma who complains about the child. Moreover, Niya starts talking to her absent father. Maya is concerned about the absurd change in Niya’s behaviour and hence takes her for counselling…
Critical reception for Aatma has been mixed, with Rediff.com criticising the film for lacking a “sense of mystery, the element of surprise that’s essential for films in this genre”.
NDTV praised the film’s acting, particularly that of Doyel Dhawan and especially of Bipasha’s deep role, but also commented that they felt the film wasn’t particularly frightening.
In contrast, India TV stated that the movie’s “thrilling parts” “succeeded in frightening [them]”, although they found the ending anticlimactic.
Yahoo Movies Review stated, “The film’s linear narrative follows a very predictable plot trajectory that hardly delivers on the thrill quotient”.