For years horror film directors have been making fortunes out of selling fear. The screams, screeches, spine chilling moments and dark and dangerous mystery fed stories have always found large audiences.
Then came Scary Movie series (2000-2013) which basically tried to dig the humour out of such all-time great horror classics and people enjoyed that too. Along the same lines, Bollywood film Bhoothnath (2008) was a surprise hit which showed the unusual and pleasantly surprising friendship between a kid and a very kind-hearted Bhoot (played by Amitabh Bachchan).
While everybody liked the previous film for its simplicity, light-hearted comedy and adorable moments between Banku and Bhoothnath, and emotional climax; the sequel promised a hurricane of laughter and a more exciting story as this time they are up against a villain and Bhoot will confront him like a ‘common man’ using the tools given by democracy. Yes, bizarre as it seems, Bhoot is all set to contest in the elections and solve age old issues of the country.
|Nice idea stretched at the expense of the core (comedy) and the same old drama later on.|
|Amitabh Bachchan is the people’s actor and he still connects with us, the kid is marvellous and Boman is perfect as the villain.|
|A good concept wasted with awry treatment of the script.|
|Good picturisation, editing and cinematography.|
|Surprisingly rocking music in a proclaimed kids film with a grandpa, kid and a middle-age villain in lead.|
|What was supposed to be double fun and added thrill succumbs to an overly serious political subplot and anti-climax. Review Scores by Saurin Shah.|
The new film starts where Bhoothnath ended, the writer-director Nitesh runs with his imagination and creates a fairyland for ghosts aka Bhootlok where the administration is a replica of a typical government office where bhoots are issued tokens for rebirth and wait for their turn. Bhoothnath’s past mistake forces him to go back to Earth and complete his unfinished business.
On arrival he meets Akhrot (played by Parth), a smart dharavi kid working hard to fight penury and keep his mother happy. As he helps Bhoothnath in his pursuit, Big B returns the favour by a very bhootish idea that is stretched too far (even a song is filmed for the sequence) till they have an ugly encounter with Bhau, a goon and local MLA as there can be no better combination of villainy in this part of the world. How Bhoothnath decides to fight election and how they fare with election proceedings eats up the whole second half.
Nitesh Tiwari who directed a wonderful children movie Chiller Party (2011) is given the opportunity to make a bigger, better and a blockbuster sequel and he only falters in the last hour where the whole focus shifts from the Bhoot – kid relationship to the problems of society, corruption, injustice and the zillions of problems we know we live with.
It is indeed the election season in the country and it has not been this hysterical in the last couple of decades but that doesn’t mean the director should get influenced and turn a fun sequel into yet another socio-political emotional drama. This is where we badly miss Rajkumar Hirani, as evident from Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006), how delicately he handled similar subject and never let comedy quotient down for a single moment.
Amitabh is terrific as always and he acts like a walking-talking encyclopaedia in acting and how best one can express and present human emotions and connect with your heart as you watch him on screen no matter whether you are 6 or 60.
The kid Partho handles more burden than his age would normally allow and acts out all situations and scenes like a champ, he is the Darsheel Safary (Taare Zameen Par, 2007) of 2014. Boman never lets us down when he is in negative shade and presents his Boman brand and villain and comedy mixture, and looks troublesome enough for the lead duo.
Just like Bhoothnath which had good quality songs, even though you don’t really expect in a film of this genre, Bhoothnath Returns team goes even few steps further and come up with the most groovy and exciting album of the year with two perfect party tracks, ‘Party to banti hai’ and ‘Party with Bhoothnath’, that’s more Party than we could ask for!
If you are going to take kids to this cinema showing thinking of giving them a perfect summer vacation treat, you may find them dozing or snoozing in the second half. It is for those who don’t mind a sudden shift of plot and admire directors putting forward social issues time and again.