Asvins is a blend of Western horror ideas and mythological fables. Visually, it resembles Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project, but when it comes to the story, Tarun Teja’s Asvins is rooted in myth to make it all the more compelling. While the initial few minutes were quite chilling, it gradually lost the scare factor and became explanation-heavy. There is an overuse of jump scares, and the story is not strong enough to hold it all together. Asvins takes its sweet time to build its wafer-thin story, and sadly enough, that leads to a rushed ending.
A group of popular YouTube vloggers were spotted by a London company known for conducting black tourism. The company was impressed by the paranormal videos uploaded by the team and offered them the opportunity to explore a haunted mansion on a tidal island in the UK. They grabbed the opportunity, knowing that there could be nothing better than an exploration in a foreign country to help them cement their career. Practically, it was a golden opportunity, but to live the life they dreamed of, they had to survive the night at the mansion.
‘Asvins’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
The mansion belonged to Aarthi Rajagopal, an archaeologist who died a tragic death after murdering her staff members. What was exceptional in the bloody mass murder case was that Aarthi’s body was not recovered from the mansion. She was said to have performed rituals before committing a series of murders. The team exploring the mansion consisted of Arjun and Ritu, the married couple who looked forward to building their lives in London. Rahul was the leader of the team, and his younger brother, Varun, was the sound guy who had recently received an acceptance letter from a foreign university to pursue his interest. Grace was the designated photographer. Arjun could not ignore the eerie sensation he experienced as soon as he reached his destination. He believed that every human being has two minds, where one is capable of breeding positive thoughts while the other produces dark ideas. He could sense his dark side awakening as he started to walk toward the mansion. There was no way of escaping the mansion that night since, due to high tide, the only path that connected the mansion to the mainland remained underwater. They were essentially trapped in the mansion, and it was all about survival.
Rahul assigned particular rooms to each team member. Grace was fascinated by a mirror she found, and she attempted to take pictures of it. Soon she could hear voices whispering, and the mirror kept getting closer to her. The ominous presence got hold of Grace and moved on to Ritu. While Ritu struggled to keep her sanity as she hid from the creepy presence, Arjun collapsed on the staircase. Rahul and Varun, too, experienced the same paranormal phenomena as the rest of the group, and the spirits did not spare their lives as well. By the time Arjun came to his senses, the rest of the team had already died. When he stepped into the garden, he found their bodies. Yet, strangely enough, he could see Rahul communicating with him. Arjun was reminded of Aarthi’s book, where she discussed the astral plane and the possibility of living beyond one’s death in an intermediate state. Arjun realized that while he was asleep, his dark side was awake, and he was responsible for murdering his friends. Arjun struggled to figure out whether he was dead or alive, and he decided to look into the videos that were once recorded by Aarthi to get some clues about the strange world he was in.
Why Did The Demon Return?
As an archaeologist, Aarthi was intrigued by the mythological tale of a farmer and how he was blessed by the Gods of health, Asvini Kumaras. The farmer prayed to the Hindu twin gods after his twin sons drowned and died. The father’s dedication and devotion impressed the gods, and they resurrected one of his two sons. The Gods gifted the son two powerful idols, and he was blessed to live a long life and only die of natural causes as long as he had the idols with him. The boy felt lonely without his twin brother, and an evil spirit chose to take advantage of the situation. He promised the boy that he would resurrect his brother if he handed over one of the idols to him. The little boy was desperate to be reunited with his brother, so he agreed to trade the idol. Once the evil spirit got hold of the idol, it used its power to bring the King of Demons into the land of mortals. The evil spirit kept its promise and gifted the boy his brother, who was, in reality, a shape-shifting demon pretending to be him. The village suffered tragedies as soon as the demons stepped in. After living through consecutive disasters, the villagers realized that the twin brother was demonic. A sacrificial ritual was performed by the entire village, and through it, they got back the idol once gifted by Asvini Kumaras. The demonic brother was sent back to the underworld, but the demon promised to return and dominate the mortal world once again.
The powerful idols were tied by a holy thread and buried by the villagers. It is believed that once the idols are separated, it will create a gateway for the demons to invade the human world. Aarthi was obsessed with finding the idols, and she and her team had spent months searching for them. They finally found the buried idols, and before leaving the country, she decided to spend a night at her friend’s guest house. At night, while conducting the preliminary research work, she held the idols in her hands. She experienced a supernatural force take control of her body, and before she knew it, she had untied the two idols. Immediately, one of the idols was taken away, indicating that the demon had returned. From that day on, Aarthi experienced strange occurrences around her. She had the ancient manuscript that she found with the idol, and she knew that the only way to solve the mystery was by decoding the script. After watching the video, Arjun realized that he, too, possessed the power to communicate with spirits, and Aarthi’s second book was an attempt to understand such human beings. Through the videos, Arjun witnessed how Aarthi was gradually taken over by the evil spirit. When she was possessed she had no recollection of her actions and was unable to make any conscious judgments. Through Aarthi, the demon murdered her staff and then went on to murder her as well.
‘Asvins’ Ending Explained: Is Arjun Alive In The Mortal World?
The videos helped Arjun comprehend what he was experiencing, but at the same time, he felt absolutely helpless. He could see the spirits of his friends, yet he struggled to find a way to bring them back to the mortal realm. He decided that only by watching all of Aarthi’s videos would he find the answer, and he was right. After decoding the script, Aarthi found out that the boy resurrected by the Asvini Kumaras could erase the curse, and his name is Arjun. She knew that the idols would bring Arjun to the mansion, and it was only he who could fix the situation. After the demon killed the humans, the spirits were taken to the cursed world, where they continued to be tortured.
Once the spirits were killed in the cursed world, there was no hope of bringing them back to the human world. But if the spirits were alive there, Arjun could save them. Aarthi mentioned that if the resurrected boy stopped the demons by November 11th, the mortal world would be saved, but if he failed, the demons would bring destruction. Arjun had to find the other idol taken away by the demon and bind it with the holy thread. In order to find the idol, Arjun decided to choke himself to death to enter the cursed world. While the demon managed to murder all of his friends in the mortal realm, it was impossible to kill Arjun because of the blessings of Asvinis.
Arjun transcended the mortal realm and ended up in the demon’s cave. Arjun confronted the demon, who, just like in the story of the twins, looked like him. His friends were in the cursed world, but their minds were controlled by the demon. Rahul stabbed his brother under the demon’s instruction, and Arjun helplessly watched. When Ritu tried to commit suicide, Arjun gathered his strength and communicated with her. He was surprised by his power, and he realized that if he tried with all his heart, he could indeed stop the demon. The demon attempted to possess Arjun, but with his newfound power, he stopped it from controlling his mind. Arjun realized that not only was he connected to the idol but also the demon because of the curse, and therefore he, too, had the power to control the demon.
The demon was no longer a threat, and Arjun decided to communicate with the spirit of Aarthi. Her mind was possessed by the demon, but upon repeatedly convincing her of her strength, Arjun was able to get through. She guided him to the spot where the idol was drowned. As soon as he was united with the other idol, the cursed world was threatened. Arjun was now in complete control of the demon, and he tied the two idols back together with the holy thread. The demon was immediately destroyed, and Arjun’s friend returned to the mortal realm from the cursed world. Varun was the only one who did not survive since Rahul had stabbed him in the demon realm. Arjun possessed the power to erase the curse, and for that, he needed to sacrifice his life. It was up to Arjun to decide whether he wanted to sacrifice his life for the greater good or live to enjoy his life as a husband and a father. The gasp at the end suggests that Arjun followed his heart and chose to live a fulfilling life as a husband and a father even though he was aware of the threat.
At the end of Asvins, death is presented as a choice, which contradicts the entire theory of how Arjun could only die as a result of natural causes once he had the idols with him. Even if Arjun wanted to sacrifice his life, according to the myth, it was impossible. The only explanation is that the blessing does not work in the cursed world, though Arjun returning to the demon realm over and over again tells a different story. As long as Arjun survives, the threat of the demon will continue to lurk. The ending also suggests that Aarthi continues to dwell in the cursed world, and maybe she will play a key role in bringing about destruction in the next part if there is any. The shadow of a woman could also indicate the possibility that a new ghost will haunt the mortal realm. It is a little strange that Arjun came back to life to stop the curse, but he was completely unaware of his purpose. I think it’s better not to delve too much into logic because the twists are created according to convenience. The first few minutes of Asvins are spine-chilling, and they are the only bit worth enjoying.