Bhoothnath Returns is the sequel to the Indian horror comedy-drama, Bhoothnath.
Bhoothnath Returns is the sequel to the Indian horror comedy-drama, Bhoothnath. less
“Bhoothnath Returns has a funny and entertaining first half but it is haunted by the ghost of the second half. Watch it for the well-timed social message and wonderful performances by Amitabh Bachchan and Parth Bhalerao.”
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At a time when election fever has gripped the country and people are pondering over who to vote for, comes Bhoothnath Returns which is a children’s movie on the surface but packs quite a lot of relevant messages for the voter in us. In fact, the children don’t have much for them, except the initial scenes when Bhoothnath and the kid Akhrot are acquainted. But, there are a lot of positive messages for the adults to process and in turn pass on to their kids.
Amitabh Bachchan returns to Earth reluctantly as the friendly old ghost, Bhoothnath. He is visible only to Akhrot, a little kid in the slums of Dharavi and turns out to be his ‘guardian ghost’.
In Bhoothnath Returns, abandoned and incomplete high rise buildings are shown as the abode of ghosts and Bhoothnath helps Akhrot earn a buck or two from big real estate players, by fulfilling the last wishes of these ghosts and vacating them from these buildings. But things turn serious soon, and Bhoothnath is led into contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Dharavi by contesting a thug turned politician named Bhau.
The movie turns totally serious from that point and it becomes preachy often, as Amitabh lectures us about the responsibilities of casting our vote and makes a lot of comments about the state of Indian politics and politicians. The melodrama quotient is upped in the end before the quintessential positive ending.
The idea to make a movie where a ghost is contesting elections is fantastic, though far-fetched, and sets us up for rollicking cinema. The way Bhoothnath convinces the police, his lawyer and a psychiatrist that he can indeed contest the elections is hilarious. And the way Bhau counters Bhoothnath and how he is countered in return, are again really interesting.
It’s a piece of cake for Boman Irani as the villainous Bhau and the ace actor can pull off any role with ease. Amitabh’s screen presence is legendary and the thespian eases through this role. His voice and persona make all those revolutionary dialogs sound that much more impactful and relevant. His dance moves are effortless as ever and Amitabh continues to tower above his generation of actors. But the movie belongs to the young and endearing Parth Bhalerao as Akhrot and the kid is quite the natural as the street smart Mumbai kid with the perfect dialect and body language. This kid is a true find and is bound to go places.
The film also features three really purposeful and efficient cameos by superstars Shahrukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and ace director Anurag Kashyap (who is really funny).
In the movie, we are also shown the home of Bhoots called ‘Bhootworld’. The idea and some of the related visuals and dialogues are entertaining.
All the songs in the movie are impressive with the end credits track featuring Honey Singh proving to be a major crowd-pleaser. ‘Sahib’ in Ram Sampath’s music is a haunting number filled with documentary visuals of an impoverished India. Though the track is well-intentioned, it sticks out due to its documentary nature.
Bhoothnath is the sort of movie which is bound to endear itself to the viewer thanks to the fantasy element, its intentions, its topicality and of course the camaraderie between its lead actors, Amitabh and Parth. Its pace issues and the far-fetched idea are a few blips which can be excused.