Evil Eye, available on Amazon Prime Video on 13th October
Co-produced by Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Jason Blum (Get Out), Amazon Studios’ chilling, psychological thriller Evil Eye is directed by award-winning filmmakers Elan and Rajeev Dassani.
Although the story takes place within the context of Indian American identity, the filmmakers believe Evil Eye tells a story with wide universal appeal. “We all have people in our lives that drive us crazy, and we’ve all had times when we didn’t know if we could trust someone,” says Elan. “So I think everybody who watches Evil Eyewill empathize with what these characters are going through. Our main character, Usha, has been telling herself that the abuse she suffered in her past is her own fault. Although it’s not true, she can’t see it until somebody else acknowledges it, and that’s something we can all relate to.”
Actress Sarita Choudhury, who plays Usha, agrees. “What’s interesting about rooting something in a culture like New Delhi’s is that even though the food and language are completely different from America’s, you’ll find so many similarities,” she says. b
The actress, whose numerous credits include the acclaimed series Homeland, Jessica Jones and Little Fires Everywhere, says she was excited that Amazon and Blumhouse chose to support emerging filmmakers like the Dassanis. “If you look at the brothers’ other films, they have a genius in terms of sci-fi but they’re also very good at depicting normal domestic scenes,” she says. “And if you meet them, they’re the kindest people in the world. So I’m super happy that they’re getting this platform.”
Sunita Mani, who portrays Usha’s daughter Pallavi, uses her comedy background to powerful effect, notes Blumhouse Television Co-President Jeremy Gold.
“Sunita is so warm and likable that she puts the audience at ease. The film starts almost with a rom-com feel, so as a viewer you don’t have the sense you are unwittingly walking into a really scary thriller, which is one of the magic tricks of the movie.”
Much of the film’s dramatic tension stems from the generational and cultural gulf between Usha and Pallavi, whose formative life experiences are a world apart. “The divide between a first-generation young adult and a mother who’s rooted in a non-American culture — in this case, her Hindi and Indian background — will resonate for many people. Sunita and Sarita are so convincing in depicting that struggle as well as the characters’ deep love for one another.”
Based on the audiobook by writer Madhuri Shekar, Evil Eye isavailable to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
Watch the Evil Eye trailer here: