Bhoothnath Returns: Film Review

Kailash Nath a.k.a. Bhoothnath (Amitabh Bachchan) is back in town with Bhoothnath Returns. After spending some quality time with Banku (Aman Siddiqui) and all wishes fulfilled, Bhoothnath returns to bhooth world. But he is unaware what the management in bhooth world has in store for him. He is sent back to earth with the intention to scare some kids and clear his name from the infamous bhooth list.

This time he bumps into Akhrot (Parth Bhalerao), a fearless street urchin. He soon befriends Bhoothnath. Akhrot, a slumdweller in Dharavi, Mumbai makes Bhoothnath realize of the hardships faced by thousands of people of the locality. Owing to the corrupt politician Bhau (Boman Irani), everyone has lost hope of any good happening for the well-being of the people. Akhrot’s persistence and the perplexing situation forces Bhoothnath to contest in the upcoming election. Will an invisible good bhooth be able to win in the election against a corrupt visible man? This forms the theme of the story.

Bhoothnath Returns starts off from where the first part came to a close. It follows the journey of Bhoothnath from earth to bhooth world and back to earth. Bhoothnath’s adventures with Banku in 2008 was quite enjoyed by kids and adults, alike. Has the sequel been able to create the same effect this time? To a certain extent.

This time the story went from being a family entertainer to a political satire, trying to cash on the present political fever of election. The movie started as an impressive tale of a ghost and child connection. The witty repartee and subtle yet hilarious punchlines keep you engrossed in the first half. But post-interval, it turned into a complicated, preachy movie about politics, election ID cards and the need to vote. The intentions were definitely good, but over-powered the storyline. A tight thought and climax could have made Bhoothnath Returns a rational movie. A 2-in-1 package – entertainment and enlightenment.

A feel-good movie, this sequel has its share of hiccups:

  • A children’s movie turns into infomercial in the second half.
  • Bhoothnath helps other bhooths. They too have similar power. Why can’t they solve their issues?
  • Audience can’t see Bhoothnath, yet can maintain eye contact and talk to him throughout the movie.
  • Election nomination filed as Kailash Nath. Then how can people vote for Bhoothnath?
  • A ghost from the initial scenes is part of the crowd and claps for Bhoothnath, while he is never on the stage. How is that possible?

The plot, while being noble in its intentions, suffers from seemingly minute holes which make you, the viewer, scratch your head in bewilderment.

With a meaningful theme and an outstanding cast, director Nitesh Tiwari could have delivered a worthwhile movie. But instead he offers a mediocre film, a convoluted concoction of drama leaving the audience perplexed.

As a seasoned actor, Amitabh Bachchan has always handled every role with utmost ease. He essays the role of Bhoothnath magnificently that his character flows with the storyline. Boman Irani as the corrupt politician pulled off his character with remarkable finesse. Adding a tint of humor to his menacing character leaves you in splits. Even with limited screen presence, Sanjay Mishra as the self-appointed lawyer of Bhoothnath creates an impression. Usha Jadhav as Akhrot’s mother was simply brilliant. But the real star of Bhoothnath Returns is Parth Bhalerao. The crooked-toothed kid stole the show and nailed the performance as Akhrot. He deserves a standing ovation.

A socio-political satire, with humors in bits and pieces, Bhoothnath Returns falls short of its predecessor. The intelligent and unique theme with great actors makes the movie worth watchable.  

Why should you watch this film?

Bhoothnath Returns is worth your time and money because:

  • Of the fantastic performances by Amitabh Bachchan, Parth Bhalerao, Boman Irani, Sanjay Mishra, Usha Jadhav and other supporting cast.
  • The first hour of the movie offers fresh comedy and humorous one-liners that leaves you laughing throughout.
  • It’s election time. Get a glimpse of most election campaigns and polling tactics in a hilarious manner.
  • Above all a socio-political satire with a noble theme that leaves you thinking.

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