Bhoothnath Returns Movie Review by Taran Adarsh

br To counter the dearth of hits year after year, film-makers and leading Studios — also actors — have formulated a strategy to woo spectators in hordes: Sequels. The general feeling is, a follow-up to a successful film, by and large, rakes in enormous moolah at the ticket window. Luckily, the success ratio of sequels has been optimal, hence bigger and better installments are being designed by the creative brains this side of the Atlantic. Noticeably, it’s raining sequels in Bollywood these days.

For any product to leave an impression, it’s imperative that the spectator’s eyes do not stray from the screen. Neither should his/her attention vacillate from the goings-on. The sequel ought to deliver more than the earlier part. The content ought to be imaginative and inventive… or else, the franchise fatigue sets in instantly.

BHOOTHNATH RETURNS does not take off from where the first part ended. Barring the friendly ghost — the Indian Casper, Bhoothnath — everything that you witness in the second installment is fresh, be it the plot or the characters or the setting. Wait, there’s a new storyteller [Nitesh Tiwari] too. Additionally, this one is coinciding with the elections. The identification with the material is immense, since the film also depicts a corrupt/slimy politician, besides communicating a vital message: The significance of exercising our right to vote.

Does BHOOTHNATH RETURNS ups the ante with a fascinating and captivating plot? Does it pack ample ammunition through those 2.30 hours’ run time? Let’s analyze…

BHOOTHNATH RETURNS takes Bhoothnath’s [Amitabh Bachchan] story forward. As he returns to ‘Bhoot World’, Bhoothnath is greeted with taunts and condemnation from other ghosts for bringing disrepute to the ghost-community for getting bullied by a kid on earth. Post the humiliation, Bhoothnath decides to redeem himself and come back to scare a bunch of kids.

Bhoothnath’s search for kids brings him to Akhrot [Parth Bhalerao], a slum kid, who is also the only person who can see him. Together, they agree to help each other and their friendship sees them get involved in a cause that is bigger than they had ever imagined. To move ahead, they lock horns with the powerful and corrupt politician, Bhau [Boman Irani]. The Lok Sabha elections are nearing and Bhau’s victory is a mere formality, or is it?

Nitesh Tiwari takes the BHOOTHNATH template and spins an altogether fresh tale in BHOOTHNATH RETURNS. The corrupt netas and the corroded political system have been an integral part of Bollywood for decades now. One is used to mortals trading charges against each other or manipulating the junta to suit themselves… Nitesh reinvents the genre by pitting a ghost against a political heavyweight and therein lies the difference. Everything else is fine-tuned to fit into the rhythm. The setting is a basti in Mumbai, but, frankly, the connect and identification is pan-India.

Nitesh also does away with the conventional romantic track, which is an essential part of Bollywood. However, the director compensates it with the camaraderie the kid shares with the friendly ghost, which amuses you no end. As a matter of fact, Nitesh has the knack of dealing with kids [recall CHILLAR PARTY, which he directed with Vikas Bahl], which is evident in BHOOTHNATH RETURNS as well.

While the first half is breezy, with several pleasurable moments and witty one-liners laced into the proceedings, the film does a U-turn in the post-interval portions. The goings-on, all of a sudden, turn serious, while the humor goes missing. As a matter of fact, the film veers into the Prakash Jha territory in the second hour, becoming a political drama, while the entertainment quotient is sidelined completely. The election process, the manipulative games played by the politicians, the fight for votes and power… the film changes tracks and gets preachy too. Sure, the message it conveys is well-intentioned and noble, but the serious and grim turn of events look out of place in view of the fact that the film has been promoted as a light entertainer eyeing the kids’ segment amongst moviegoers. Additionally, the pacing is uneven at times and the run time [2.30 hours] only dilutes the impact created by some terrific moments.

The soundtrack of BHOOTHNATH RETURNS is pleasant, not memorable. ‘Party To Banti Hai’ is the best track of the enterprise, while ‘Party With The Bhoothnath’ [featuring Big B and Yo Yo Honey Singh] comes *after* the end credits. It’s too late by then! Dialogue are witty at places and bring a smile on your face on varied occasions.

Although Bachchan Sr. has delivered unforgettable performances in his illustrious career, he never fails to surprise you with stellar acts again and again. He is the soul of BHOOTHNATH RETURNS, shining in several crucial sequences of the film. Boman Irani is fabulous as the power-hungry, shrewd politician, while Parth Bhalerao is the scene stealer, delivering a winning performance, despite sharing screen space with ace actors. The ensemble cast comprising Sanjay Mishra, Brijendra Kala, Usha Jadhav and Usha Nadkarni also deliver natural performances. Shah Rukh Khan and Ranbir Kapoor make cameo appearances, but they hardly leave any impact. Ditto for Anurag Kashyap.

On the whole, BHOOTHNATH RETURNS is made with noble intentions and the message it conveys resonates in the second hour, although those looking for entertainment may find it lacking in the second half. Watch it for some wonderful moments and superior performances by Bachchan Sr., Boman Irani and the child artist Parth Bhalerao.


    • yakuza 9 years ago

      “It takes every social evil that an Aam Aadmi Party member proposes to fight in real life and it lets Bhoothnath play a magical saviour.” 🙂 🙂

      • Anjanpur685Miles 9 years ago

        I liked Bhootnath in parts. Lets see how this part is. Bu it looks pathetic by promos.

  1. aryan 9 years ago

    Public Reviews

  2. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Bhoothnath Returns Movie Review by Rajeev Masand

    Rating: 3

    April 11, 2014

    Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Parth Bhalerao, Boman Irani, Sanjay Mishra, Usha Jadhav, Brajendra Kala

    Director: Nitesh Tiwari

    Its release shrewdly timed just as the nation goes to polls, Bhoothnath Returns casts a satirical eye on the messy business of Indian politics and the workings of election campaigns. The twist, of course, is that it’s a 60-something-year-old invisible ghost who’s seeking votes.

    Having humiliated himself in the ghost community for failing to scare a little boy the last time around (in the 2008 film), our hapless hero Bhoothnath (Amitabh Bachchan) is dispatched once again to the land of the living to redeem himself. But of course he ends up befriending another precocious tyke, Akhrot (Parth Bhalerao). When the pair learns about the misdeeds of corrupt local politico Bhau (Boman Irani), Bhootnath agrees to fight him in the local elections, determined to improve the conditions of his impoverished constituency.

    Co-writer/director Nitesh Tiwari gets to the heart of the story after a few unnecessary digressions, hitting his stride when he focuses on the efforts of Bhoothnath and Akhrot to qualify the ghost as an electoral candidate, and in the back and forth with Boman’s crafty politician who’ll stop at nothing to discredit his otherworldly rival. In a few amusing sequences, the ghost and his young friend first recruit a legal advisor (Sanjay Mishra), then go about securing a no-criminal-record clearance from the police, and a sound-mental-health certificate from a psychiatrist. In one of the film’s best scenes, Bhoothnath and Akhrot approach Anurag Kashyap (cameoing as himself) to write them a campaign song, but gently remind him that the kind of “adult” songs he uses in his films won’t do.

    It’s the dialogue that really works here, particularly the biting asides on the state of the nation. During an interview to a television news anchor when Bhoothnath breaks into English, a viewer watching in his home makes the snarky remark, “Chalo koi toh padha likha khada ho raha hai.”

    The film’s good bits, however, often feel squashed under the weight of its melodrama and its bloated running time of 2 hours and 35 minutes. There is some lofty sermonizing by at least two different characters, and an over-manipulative song-montage of abject poverty that attempts to squeeze a lump out of your throat. I will also say that depicting violence against children to appeal to one’s emotions is wrong on so many levels.

    Still, Bhoothnath Returns is anchored by terrific performances from its central players: Boman Irani, Amitabh Bachchan, and the surprise packet that is Parth Bhalerao. Despite the uneven writing, the film works because it has heart. I’m going with three out of five.


  3. aryan 9 years ago

    Bhoothnath Returns Day One Business
    Saturday 12 April 2014 12.00 IST
    Box Office India Trade Network

    Bhoothnath Returns had a poor first day as it grossed around 3.25-3.50 crore nett. The business of the film was better in Mumbai circuit. The mass circuits did not gross well while East Punjab was hit by Punjabi film Disco Singh which meant centres in Punjab had very low figures.

    The film will show growth over Saturday and Sunday but unless the growth is huge and followed a strong run over the weekdays and second week only then the film has a chance..

    Bhoothnath Returns has fair reports but from this start it really needed good reports to have a chance of making a mark at the box office. Now it may even struggle to make the average mark..

  4. prince 9 years ago

    Finally this film has flopped at. boxoffice.

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