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Guardian Movie Review: Shoddy, shallow, and bizarrely outdated horror film

At times when films can easily fall prey to the curse of the second half, Guardian is a film where neither of the halves works out for the benefit of the film

Guardian Movie Review: Shoddy, shallow, and bizarrely outdated horror film
Guardian poster

Last Updated: 08.06 AM, Mar 08, 2024


Guardian story

Aparna (Hansika Motwani), who is an architect by profession and considers herself unlucky in life, discovers that after a small incident, whatever she wishes for happens in real life. But for each good deed she prays for, is a cause-and-effect reaction and balanced with a detrimental incidence. Fearing what might be haunting her, it is up to Aparna to face the human and invisible forces to know the truth behind what is going on.


Guardian review

From where do I start to talk about Guardian? Is it about a girl who takes chemistry lessons and invents substances that can go in flames with water and somehow ends up being an architect? Is it a regular ghost story that dies as a helpless human only to come back with the strength of a thousand elephants and fight back the perpetrators? Or is it an obsolete film that forcefully indulges in a comedy track and expects people to laugh when a fair-skinned woman is called white gulab jamun? Unfortunately, Guardian is all of them put together in the form of a shoddy feature that neither evokes any horror nor has the bandwidth for logical reasoning as to why the chain of events is taking place.

Guardian relegates Hansika or rather brings back the loosu ponnu trope to its protagonist. We are not told anything of the protagonist apart from her being unlucky and misfortune befalling her at every chance life gives her to climb. And if this is not enough, Guardian is sketchy in what it wants to be. Guardian is a ghost story that follows the typical fashion of a protagonist who gets possessed by a ghost that has been wronged by people during its human times. The spirit comes back and takes its due revenge.

There is no spoiler in a trope that has been the template for years now. Now even as Guardian follows the trope, there is no effort whatsoever to make it watchable. At one point, a possessed Aparna asks the villain, “How many times will you kill a dead woman?” I cannot stop but ask the same question to the makers. How many times are they going to feature a separate comedy track that has no additional value for the film? How long will ghost stories be only backed with cheap thrills in the form of jump scares? How is a pair of lens-clad eyes and a demented makeover being a hint to tell one is possessed? The making of the film does not help either. Jarring music, shoddy camerawork, and lethargic writing make Guardian a dull watch apart from evoking unintentional quips.

At times when films can easily fall prey to the curse of second half, Guardian is a film where neither of the halves work out for the benefit of the film. We are told in the flashback that a helpless mother is killed for her honest intentions and her child is left alone in a cruel world. Does this suffice for an emotional backing? When miraculously all the villains seem to be hand and hand and connected to Aparna, the blatant laziness in writing is very much visible.

Guardian verdict

Guardian is expected to be a horror film. But neither does it evoke horror nor it attempts to make you scary. The acting chops are not a highlight either. Characters seem two dimensional and there seems no way you can connect with them. It also seems a letdown on the audience when the makers promise you to give a genre-based film and leave you astonished and wondering why the film chose to tell two different halves that are in no way connected. Even as there are films that seem to have potential and gets meddled in the making, Guardian does not even attempt to have one. It is merely outdated filmmaking in an old wine bottle which only does not age well.

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