Evil Eye Parent Guide
The Indian cultural context makes this genre thriller more interesting than it would be otherwise.
Parent Movie Review
When Pallavi’s (Sunita Mani) mom, Usha (Sarita Coudhury) moved from New Orleans back to Delhi, Pallavi thought that she’d finally get a break from her mother’s determination to get her married. No such luck. The wonders of the internet mean that even from across the world, Usha can still set her daughter up with eligible Indian men. Not that it’s working. Pallavi is now 29 and still (according to Usha) tragically single. But a chance encounter at a coffee shop with the handsome Sandeep (Omar Maskati) sends Pallavi on a whirlwind romance - a romance which has Usha deeply worried. Sandeep seems too good to be true, coming from a wealthy family and offering to pay for Pallavi’s apartment…but more than that, he reminds Usha a little too much of a dangerous abuser in her past.
Dark relationship thrillers don’t tend to be innovative. Most of them end up with the violent abuser being revealed as a violent abuser, and some poor woman recovering in hospital and trying to put her life back together. While this isn’t much different (as you can see from the trailer), the Indian cultural flair does make it more interesting.
What really carries Evil Eye is the relationship between Pallavi and Usha, which is brilliantly brought to life by Sunita Mani and Sarita Choudhury. Unfortunately, Omar Maskati (who plays Sandeep) doesn’t do “villainous” very well (which is a significant problem for the bad guy of the piece). He’s just fine as the charming and roguish bachelor, but when the time comes for some shady business, he gets rather wooden.
This film is not suited to younger audiences, although older teenagers who like the genre should be alright. The show has considerably less sex than most relationship thrillers, and the violence is a much less graphic. Language is the primary concern here, with four sexual expletives. Most dialogue is perfectly acceptable for a family audience, and the profanity comes in brief spurts motivated by the hazards of the plot. Evil Eye is unrated, but aside from the f-bombs, it feels like a PG-13 movie.
Although this production has a paint-by-numbers feel in the broad strokes, the Indian cultural influence means they’re brighter colors than you’d see in a Western production, which makes Evil Eye pretty watchable for fans of the genre. I don’t know that this thriller is going to snag a lot of new viewers, but if you’re looking for another lockdown distraction, this ought to fit the bill.Directed by Elan Dassani & Rajeev Dassani. Starring Sarita Choudhury, Sunita Mani, and Bernard White. Running time: 90 minutes. Theatrical release October 13, 2020. Updated October 13, 2020
Watch the trailer for Evil Eye
Rating & Content Info
Why is Evil Eye rated Not Rated? Evil Eye is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: An individual accidentally cuts their finger. There are references to and depictions of violent domestic abuse and assault. A person is pushed off a bridge and drowns. Someone is stabbed in the abdomen. A character has chili powder flung in their eyes and is repeatedly struck in the head with a frying pan.
Sexual Content: There are a number of non-graphic references to sex. A female character is occasionally shown in sleepwear and underwear.
Profanity: There are four uses of extreme profanity, four uses of scatological profanity, and occasional terms of deity and mild cursing.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are shown drinking wine with dinner and at a party. No one is shown to be intoxicated.
Page last updated October 13, 2020
Evil Eye Parents' Guide
Parents are always concerned about their children’s dating habits. How could Usha have better prepared Pallavi for the situation? Do you think Usha went too far? Do you think Pallavi responded appropriately to her mother’s concerns? What part does Indian culture play in their relationship and in Usha’s obsession with finding Pallavi a husband?
Domestic abuse can be hard to spot from the outside. What can we do to help those who may be living with abuse? What resources are available for them? What are some of the signs that you could see?
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For a real life look at arranged marriages, you can read Arranged Marriage: Stories by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
Uzma Jalaluddin sets Pride and Prejudice and its marriage-focused plot in Pakistan. The story is complete with a marriage obsessed mother and arranged unions.
Related home video titles:
Dead Again, starring Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, is another thriller featuring reincarnation and dangerous relationships. Films in the genre include The Good Liar, The Shining, and The Intruder.
For a much more cheerful romance set in India, you can try Bride & Prejudice, a modern Indian adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel, Pride and Prejudice.