Bhoothnath Returns hangs in a limbo where you wonder if it would be entertaining enough the second time and most importantly, if it has the so-called family entertainer factor. Well, after two and a half hours, the answer is still mixed – it entertains and has the necessary masala for qualifying as a family entertainer, yet, the big laughter and spring in your feet was missing.
Bhoothnath (Amitabh Bachchan) is in “Bhoot world”, awaiting his chance to be reborn as a human. But his wasted effort to scare Banku has made him a joke in his world. So he gets another chance to prove himself and returns to scare children. He befriends a street-smart slum kid Akhrot (Parth Bhalerao)… yes; his name is that, literally translated as Walnut. Akhrot lives with his mother (Usha Jadhav) in a slum and works as a tourist guide to firangs who are interested in the slums of India. Together, Bhoothnath and Akhrot decide to earn some cash for the kid by removing ghosts from haunted constructions. Very soon, Akhrot and Bhoothnath cross path with goon-turned-local politician Bhau (Boman Irani). We see Bhoothnath stand for elections to improve things for the people and well, we next see the whole battle between the right and wrong.
Bhoothnath Returns hits the screens at the right time. The word idealism is the word which kept on blinking in my head. It can seem preachy but the film’s heart is in the right place. Director Nitesh Tiwari along with co-writer Piyush Gupta does a decent job in creating a film with a message and packed with entertainment. But predictable plots are the film’s failing. And yes, it might seem funny to have a ghost run for elections, but well, it is a Hindi film. Plus, the plot later talks about how the rules can be twisted to suit the worst of candidates. Certain scenes or situations bother you but you might tend to let it go for overall cinematic enjoyment. The bond between Bhoothnath and Akhrot is quite cute and some scenes tickle your funny bones like when they go to Anurag Kashyap for their slogan song.
Nitesh Tiwari as a director takes up the tough job of creating a sequel to a popular (and a sleeper hit) film. To his credit, he gets the theme of a family drama. Yet, the film’s rather preachy tone can misfire on few. As the film is set in Dharavi, the art direction is fantastic and so is the cinematography by Kamaljeet Negi which adds a rather soft touch. The film’s music entertains you especially Party Toh Banti Hai and Dharavi Rock.
Amitabh Bachchan is sincere as Bhoothnath and in his efforts to pass the social message. You root for him more than you did for your local candidate standing for elections. Parth Bhalerao as Akhrot deserves praises. His confidence and attitude wins you over. He is funny, emotional, and naughty when the scene demands. Sanjay Mishra as the duo’s lawyer and Usha Jadhav as Akhrot’s mother do their parts well, though we wish they had better scenes. Mr Dependable Boman Irani’s villainous twist as Bhau is devilish enough for us. The only grouse is that talented actors, Vijay Maurya and Brijendra Kala, were not given good roles.
The strongest point in the favour of Bhoothnath Returns is that it is a family entertainer with a strong social message. But the chances of you coming with just a smile are big. We expected a twinkle along with grand smile.
Director: Nitesh Tiwari
Actors: Amitabh Bachchan, Parth Bhalerao, Boman Irani, Usha Jadhav, Sanjay Mishra, Brijendra Kala, Vijay Maurya and Usha Nadkarni
Music: Ram Sampath, Yo Yo Honey Singh and Meet Bros Anjjan Feat. Palash Mucchal
Lyrics: Kummar, Kunwar Juneja, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Munna Dhiman and Nitesh Tiwari
Photo Credit: http://bollyspice.com/ and movies.ndtv.com