Priyadarshan’s 2007 horror-comedy ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’ is easily one of our favourite Bollywood movies. Stellar performances, a fantastic storyline, the foot-tapping title track and the ghostly entity Manjulika render it a must-watch. Anees Bazmee’s standalone sequel smartly lifts the elements that made the OG movie work, but give us entirely new characters and plot.
A liberal sprinkling of LOLs and a few thrills
Kartik Aaryan plays Ruhan Randhawa – a smart, smooth talker with a weakness for pretty women. It is this Kryptonite that makes him follow Reet Thakur (Kiara Advani) to her ancestral home in Rajasthan, and take refuge in her family’s dilapidated, haunted haveli. Reet, who is presumed dead in an accident, is adamant on concealing her alive and kicking status from her family. When Ruhan unexpectedly runs into the Thakur khandaan, he concocts a ludicrous yarn about being able to see and communicate with spirits to protect Reet. Thus, his alternate avatar, Rooh Baba is born. He gains local fame as he ‘helps’ people with spirit queries, in the process threatening Jyotishi Baba’s (Sanjay Mishra) business.
Things seem to being going well until Ruhan and Reet accidentally free Manjulika, the haveli ghost, from her chamber. Then it’s every man and woman for themselves. Comedy is Bazmee’s forte, and it shows, as this film is more comedy than horror. Unlike Priyadarshan’s movie, this one doesn’t have a psychological element and is an out and out ghost story. While Manjulika’s origin story and its eventual denouement will give you goosebumps, the makers put comedy first, thus diluting the horror of it all. Frankly, the best way to enjoy this film is to refrain from drawing comparisons to the earlier film.
Welcome to the Tabu show
While the movie’s storyline may falter at times, the entire cast puts its best foot forward. Aaryan and Advani display a natural flair for comedy and make a very charming pair. Sanjay Mishra, Rajpal Yadav (reprising his role of Chhote Pandit from the 2007 film) and Ashwini Kalsekar are hilarious as the bungling trio who try to expose Ruhan’s bluff. However, very few actors can outperform Tabu, and that holds true for this film as well. She is absolutely stellar as the Thakur bahu.
WATCH OR NOT
This one has something for everyone in the family to enjoy; movie weekend toh banta hai!
Director: Anees Bazmee
Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Tabu, Kiara Advani, Rajpal Yadav, Sanjay Mishra, Milind Gunaji, Aswhini Kalsekar, Amar Upadhyay, Rajesh Sharma