Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2
There are films that people anticipate to watch and then there are films that people anticipate to thrash. And Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 did fall in the second category. The amount of hate which the film got especially after its trailer was insurmountable. There memes trolling the film and comparing it with the first part. People(and I must admit, me too) were judging the film without even watching it. I for one had really enjoyed its teaser and it had invoked that intrigue in me. But when the trailer was out, I was sure that the movie will not draw the audience to the theatres.
Recently, there is a section of the audience who are lobbying against Bollywood(and I am NOT one of them). But it is rather unfair of people going soft on certain substandard products from other industries and only call out and go all guns blazing against a particular industry. With this in perspective, the trailer of Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 had added fuel to fire which meant this film was not meant to succeed. Despite some good reviews, I was skeptical before stepping into the theatre to watch Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. So then does it manage to impress, lets find out(this review may contain mild spoilers).
Story & Screenplay
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 marks the return of Monjulika in a household and it is upto a stranger to bail them out of the situation. The story is intriguing but a part of me felt that the crux of the story was adapted from the Thai film Alone. I will nit give out any more spoilers but the plotline(basic crux) seemed similar. But what the writers have managed to pull off is nothing short of a heist. The trailer did not reveal too much about the plot and if done intentionally then it is something to be applauded. The screenplay standing at 160 minutes might seem daunting but there are enough elements to keep you entertained and invested in it.
Horror Comedy is not an easy genre to crack and there needs to be a balance in the narrative between the two genres. And Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 surprisingly does just that. I must admit it starts off on a wobbly note but soon the comedy kicks in which puts a smile on your face even with silly gags. Again this film is far from perfect but somehow, the writing clicks here and holds your attention. The gags are funny although you may not find yourself laughing hysterically. And the horror element is extremely well written and executed here. The whole ambience is so well created that I couldn’t help but applaud the efforts here. This was doubly special as I had very low expectations from the film. The entire sequence featuring a flashback is enough to send a shiver down your spine.
While the first half focusses on comedy, the second half elevates the horror quotient. Now, it would be unfair to match the first film Bhool Bhulaiyaa in the franchise. That film was a cult of sorts and here we did miss Akshay Kumar. But if you look at this film independently, this one works well too. There are several horror set pieces which shine in the second hour. This leads to an extended climax where a twist in the tale manages to hold your attention. But more importantly despite being a little cringy, the entire sequence is quite well executed summing up the screenplay which is supremely entertaining and enjoyable.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues comprise of some funny lines and this is perhaps the best work of Farhad Samji in recent times. There are some of his trademark one-liners but none of them are overwhelming or irritating, most of them work. The music is a bit of a letdown here. Bhool Bhulaiyaa had a memorable soundtrack which was an interesting fusion of western and Indian Classical but here the songs are forgettable apart from the Arijit Singh rendition of Aami Jeto Maa. The BGM though is exceptional and is enough to create an ambience of fear. The cinematography is also good and it works in most places. And not many were giving Director Anees Bazmee a chance with this film owing to some of his previous outings. But he has definitely done a good job here handling the horror-comedy genre with a lot of care, not letting any one element over power it. His direction is pretty good.
There are times when the writing was faltering or even running too thin. But the brilliant ensemble managed to steady the ship and how! Vyoma Nandi as Rajjo shines despite a limited screen time. Veterans like Ashwini Kalsekar and Milind Gunaji do a splendid job. Rajesh Sharma is outstanding and he manages to tickle your funny bone more often than not. The duo of Sanjay Mishra and Rajpal Yadav are exceptional with their impeccable comic timing. They find humour at some bizarre places and they really need to be applauded for their efforts. Kiara Advani as Reet looks pretty and does a fairly good job although her character is reduced to being a catalyst in bringing Kartik’s character to the haweli. Kartik Aaryan as Ruhan has a good outing here after Dhamaka. There were some people writing him off and he has managed to silence some of his critics in style. He nails some of the one-liners given to him. Hope he is able to extend his good acting form! But, and there is a huge BUT here. The star of the show is undoubtedly Tabu who delivers a sparkling performance here. It is such a towering act that she commands your attention right throughout while hiding many flaws and loopholes in the script. I do not remember the last time when a performer has had such an impact of holding the entire script together and making it work like a dream. She is a priceless performer and the fanboy in me did sleep well after watching the film. And her makeup was daunting and brilliant, she put it to good use with some death stares!
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is an entertaining and enjoyable affair which reaffirms a fact – do not judge a book by its cover. And do not jump the gun too early. Lesson learnt! Available in a theatre near you.