Bhoot Police review: Saif Ali Khan and Arjun Kapoor's bhootiyapa is fun but lacks horror
If biopics were the flavour of the season in the last few years, then now it has a challenger- from horror-comedy. After the super success of Stree, everyone wanted to explore this genre and well, we had Roohi and now Bhoot POlice. But, to get to the sweet spot between horror and comedy is not an easy task. Sadly, Bhoot Police isn't able to touch that sweet spot. However, we can't really dismiss the film entirely just for the fact that the horror and comedy balance isn't perfect!
Helmed by Pawan Kripalani, the film is about the two ghostbusters- Vibhooti (Saif Ali Khan) and Chiraunji aka Chikoo (Arjun Kapoor). They are the successors of the famed Ullat baba, who had earlier managed to capture a 'kichkandi' from a Dharmsala tea estate. Years later, when the gaonwale feel that the kichkandi has returned, they seek help from Vibhooti and Chikoo. However, that's not all that the script is about- it also tries to capture the conflict that Vibhooti has about whether or not his father was a fraud. He also has the responsibility to sustain himself and his younger brother and has chosen a path where he can live off comfortably.
The first half of the film is laden with one-liners that take digs on several things. From 'Go kichkandi go' to nepotism to 'Kangra ki queen' and 'Z+ security', you'll come across a few at the beginning of the film. However, they induce a big smile, and soon fizzle out. The horror element, the backstory and the kichkandi possessing people are supposed to be the horror elements- but these aren't strong enough to make you close your eyes.
So, why should you watch the film? For starters- even though it doesn't get the balance of comedy and horror right- it is entertaining in totality. You'll be invested in the film and want to see what's going on. Secondly, the performance of the cast- including the side characters are pretty solid. Saif Ali Khan keeps on the casual quirky vibe on and he is effortless in it. Arjun Kapoor plays his brother and the camaraderie between the two is good too. Again, if you are not biased against Arjun Kapoor, you'll see that he pretty much sails through as the goody-two-shoes Chikoo who wants to live up to his father's name and be a Tantrik in real. He does falter a little in one of the emotional scenes but is good in the film. Jacqueline Fernandez's role suits her, but it was Yami Gautam whose potential was underutilised. However, she had done justice to whatever screentime and scope that she was given. However, like the solid camaraderie that the boys share, Jacqueline and Yami hardly look like sisters.
The film is also Amit Mishtry's last film, and even though he has a limited screen presence, he excels in every bit. The cast also includes Jamie Lever and Javed Jaffery in what can be called extended cameos. Javed Jaffery looked typecasted and failed to give the much-needed comic timings in a few frames.
The problem obviously lies with the plot that fails to connect with the audience. There is scope for emotional drama, horror and of course an internal conflict but they aren't brought out well. The one-liners that will make you go ROFL aren't there and horror is almost entirely absent. If Stree is set as a benchmark for horror-comedies, this one lies way down.
This is a one-time fun entertaining film to watch.