Battle with a Ghoul: ‘Munjya’ Merges Konkani Folklore with Over-the-Top Humor

Abhay Verma Shines in a Tale of Madness and Mischief Amidst Strong Performances by Mona Singh, Sharvari Wagh, and Suhas Joshi

In “Munjya,” the titular creature takes center stage, but Abhay Verma’s portrayal of a boy teetering on the edge of madness ensures he remains a focal point. Mona Singh, Sharvari Wagh, and Suhas Joshi deliver commendable performances in a film where they aren’t the main focus. “Munjya” blends Konkani folklore with pop culture extravagance, creating a horror-comedy where humor often unintentionally overshadows the horror. This chaotic and convoluted narrative requires a suspension of disbelief that it never quite manages to secure.

The story follows a young boy, Bittu, who is plagued by inexplicable nightmares frequently mistaken for drug-induced hallucinations, as he faces off against a creature from the netherworld. Bittu’s overprotective mother, Pammi (Mona Singh), opposes his efforts to venture out and establish his own life, but she isn’t his only worry. The mischievous Munjya persistently haunts him.

Seventy years ago, in a tranquil Konkan village, a love-stricken teen died shortly after his mundan, transforming into a vengeful ghoul demanding human sacrifice. Now, Munjya follows Bittu to Pune, searching for Munni, his lost love. In the process, Bittu’s childhood friend, Bela (Sharvari Wagh), becomes an inadvertent victim of this perilous chase.

“Munjya” is visually captured with flair, yet its cartoonish tone undercuts its potential for true spookiness. It might have been more effective as an animated feature, allowing the folk legend’s whimsical elements to truly shine.

Despite the exaggerated storyline, the acting remains grounded. Abhay Verma convincingly portrays a boy struggling to maintain his sanity, while Mona Singh, Sharvari Wagh, and Suhas Joshi (as Bittu’s Ajji) provide solid support.

“Munjya” is a film that, much like Bittu’s own plight, one wishes to shake off. It overstays its welcome long before the second half, and despite the evident effort put into it, the film ultimately fails to deliver a satisfying payoff.

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