What a good thriller first needs is to be a good film. The next challenge is to get the unintentional comic relief out of the way. The cinematic nuances come in about 3-4 strata later. Apartment, clearly, is not the place to delve into a comprehensive analysis of film-making.
"Inspired" by Single White Female 2, the plot isn't too much to speak of. Preeti (Tanushree Dutta) is an airhostess who moves into a 2BHK in Mumbai with her boyfriend Karan (Rohit Roy). She dumps him, suspecting him of two-timing her - based on outrageous premises - and looks for a new roommate.
In walks the highly domesticated small-town data entry operator Neha (Neetu Chandra), who is more than happy to cook and clean for Preeti, call her "didi", and wait up for dinner even. Her over-possessiveness mildly annoys Preeti, who, unlike the audience, doesn't see a volcano erupting sometime in the near future.
Neha resents the presence of Karan in Preeti's life, and when the couple makes up, she is highly insecure about the fact that she may have to move out of the apartment. She turns psychopathic and first wreaks revenge on the man instrumental in getting them together - their well-meaning elderly next-door neighbour Tanha (Anupam Kher).
Neha's past, when dug up, consists of a history of overly possessive behaviour including murder - termed bipolar schizoprenia. In the rest of the story, Preeti has to deal with the increasingly deranged Neha.
Apartment tries so hard to be obvious about its subtlety it's like reading a set of instructions spelt out in bold capitals with one-finger spacing. Whether its Preeti's inane mistrustfulness of her boyfriend or Neha's batty behaviour, the film comes across as expecting to be considered deep and mysterious, but falls flat. Add to this the messy anti-climax and a messier climax, and you have a production begging to be taken off the theatres.
Neetu Chandra is the only actor with any semblance of a substance-filled role, but she just doesn't get her creepiness right. She is contrived, and only adds to the whole movie's effort of spelling out things pretty loudly and ineffectively.
Tanushree Dutta tries putting in a dignified performance but her weaknesses as an actress are pretty evident even in the most basic of scenes. Rohit Roy and Anupam Kher are much more convincing, though.
Attempts to make Apartment look like a proper movie include a couple of thoroughly avoidable songs and an item number. The production values aren't something to be thrilled about either.
Skip this one for best results.