1920 (film)

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1920 Poster.JPG
Promotional release poster
Directed by Vikram Bhatt
Written byGirish Dhamija
Screenplay byVikram Bhatt
Dheeraj Rattan
Story byVikram Bhatt
Produced bySurendra Sharma
Bhagwati Gabrani
Amita Bishnoi
Starring Rajneesh Duggal
Adah Sharma
Indraneil Sengupta
Anjori Alagh
Cinematography Pravin Bhatt
Edited byKuldeep Mehan
Music byScore:
Raju Rao
Adnan Sami
ASA Productions and Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.
Distributed by Big Pictures
Release date
  • 12 September 2008 (2008-09-12)
Running time
138 minutes
Budget₹7 crore [1]
Box office₹14.5 Crore [1]

1920 is a 2008 Indian horror film written and directed by Vikram Bhatt. Filmed in Hindi, the plot revolves around the events surrounding a married couple living in a haunted house in the year 1920. The film stars debutant actors Rajneesh Duggal and Adah Sharma as the married couple, along with Indraneil Sengupta in a special role. Loosely inspired by the 1973 horror film The Exorcist , it is the first installment of the 1920 film series, which was a commercial success. The film was also dubbed into Telugu, under the title 1920 Gayathri. A sequel, 1920: The Evil Returns , was released in 2012 to mixed reviews and commercial success.




Sharma made her film debut with 1920. Adah Sharma attends Reebok Fit to Fight event (04) (cropped).jpg
Sharma made her film debut with 1920.

Director Vikram Bhatt's previous films Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage (2002), Deewane Huye Paagal (2005) and Life Mein Kabhie Kabhiee were termed as box-office failures in the media. Speaking in corroboration, Bhatt felt the need for introspection for making inconsequential cinema. [3] His want to make a horror film stemmed from the visuals of a chariot riding through the mist that constantly played in his mind. Claiming it to be his most ambitious project to date, [4] Bhatt took a year and a half to complete the script, which was more powerful than his earlier film Raaz (2002). [3]

Though Bhatt was looking to cast newcomers, he did not conduct any auditions for the film. Instead, when Rajneesh Duggal and Adah Sharma came to his office, his search for the lead cast ended. For their enthusiasm and efforts, Bhatt was delighted to work with them. [3] Sharma found Bhatt to be a very calm, composed and patient director to work with. [5] Duggal, who won the 2003 Mr. India title, was a New Delhi-based model in the fashion industry. [6] While filming, both of them felt quite comfortable working with each other. [5] [6]

For scouting for an appropriate location for filming, the production house hired six location managers who visited about 12 countries over a period of six months before settling down on Allerton Castle, North Yorkshire, England. When Bhatt saw the images of this house, he was convinced that it would be the real protagonist of his film. [7] [8] [9] This mansion was owned by a billionaire who lived with his wife, and he killed a carpenter. The carpenter's spirit is rumoured to be haunting the place. [3] Bhatt and Sharma experienced an unusual incident while filming at this house. Inside the mansion, a huge portrait of the lady is hung on one of its walls. When they attempted to take a photograph of this portrait, the picture always came out blurred, no matter what angle they took it from. [3] [5]

One of the producers of the movie, Surendra Sharma, said "never has a supernatural thriller been attempted in a period setting and made at this scale." [4] His father-cinematographer Pravin Bhatt and he decided to shoot in candlelight to recreate the conditions during the year of setting – 1920. At the same time, they hoped to fill every frame with artistry and create the eeriness of a cold haunting. [7] Director Bhatt watched a lot footage of true accounts of poltergeists and hauntings. [3] In addition, he wanted to establish the same style of portraits of this period. To achieve this, instead of resorting to computer graphics, he asked Anjorie Alag, the supporting actress to pose for five hours in front of an artist. [10] The entire shoot was completed in a 12-hour night shift for 18 days during the winter. [3]

To further enhance the effect of horror for this film, Ashoke Chowdhury and Indraneil Roy were hired to work on the visual effects. When they approached Bhatt and showed him samples of their previous work, they were hired with the instructions that he expected good, international quality work. During their work, the film was treated digitally using a specialized software. Using this, they were able to make glasses break and generate smoke. They made use of techniques such as chroma, rotoscoping and wire-rigs for levitation. One of their most challenging scenes in the film was to recreate Mumbai's Victoria Terminus as it was in 1920. This required them 40 days of work. [11]

Several scenes within the movie are identical to scenes in The Exorcist , The Exorcism of Emily Rose , Stigmata and One Missed Call .

While Adnan Sami composed the music for the film, Sameer penned the lyrics. Pandit Jasraj, Shubha Mudgal, Parveen Sultana, Asha Bhosle and Kailash Kher feature in the soundtrack. [3]


A coffee-table book, with trivia and in-depth detail about the film, was launched prior to the film's release. Bhatt thought that the audience will find it better to read about the film before its release. [12] The film was released on 12 September 2008.

Critical reception

The film gained mixed reviews from critics. Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India commented that Adah Sharma "delivers a consummate performance". [13] Ashok Nayak from nowrunning.com wrote: "1920 doesn't manage to hold your attention throughout. It's scary in parts and funny at times. Don't expect much at the box-office". [14]


The music of the film was composed by Adnan Sami with lyrics by Sameer.

"1920 - Theme" Parveen Sultana 2:18
"Aise Jalta Hai Jiya" Asha Bhosle 5:29Picturised on Anjori Alagh & Indraneil Sengupta
"Bichua" Shubha Mudgal 5:17Picturised on Rakhi Sawant
"Bichua" - Remix Shubha Mudgal 4:21
"Tujhe Main Pyar Karu" Kailash Kher 5:11Picturised on Rajneesh Duggal & Adah Sharma
"Vaada Tumse Hain Vaada" Pandit Jasraj 6:26Picturised on Rajneesh Duggal & Adah Sharma

Box office

1920 grossed ₹5.84 crore in its first week. It further grossed ₹2.67 crore and ₹1.52 in second and third weeks respectively, thus collecting ₹14.50 crore on his total box office collection. [15]


A sequel called 1920: Evil Returns was also released in 2012, featuring Aftab Shivdasani and Tia Bajpai in lead roles. It grossed ₹28.04 crore in his theatrical run. Its third installment is 1920 London starring Sharman Joshi, Meera Chopra and Vishal Karwal. The film has been released on 6 May 2016. Another sequel titled 1921 (2018 film) has been released on 11 January 2018, with Zareen Khan playing the main lead. [16]

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