Thursday 27 October 2016

Gang Of Ghosts

A ham-handed remake where the jokes and gags get laboured with an over-the-top tone

Starring: Parambrata Chatterjee, Sharman Joshi, Mahi Gill, Anupam Kher
Directed by Satish Kaushik
Rating: *

The 2012 Bengali film Bhooter Bhabishyat gave an interesting new spin to the horror genre by adding an intelligent sense of history and a touch of comedy. It also took its own unique potshot at urbanisation and its perils. About a house being pulled down to make way for a mall, Bhooter Bhabish­yat focused on the several ghosts from the past residing there and facing an uncertain future. Where will they go? How will they find a new home? Those ghosts now return in a Hindi film but things are not the same. The fresh, quaint touch, rootedness and innate wit of the original is lost in Satish Kaushik’s ham-handed remake that is less about the little details, and has more to do with the broad brushstrokes.

As in the original, Parambrata plays an ad filmmaker arriving at a bungalow for a shoot. Sharman Joshi is a writer and aspiring filmmaker. Together, they encounter the bhootiyapanti (as the film itself puts it) of a gang of ghosts—a yesteryear heroine, a zamindar, a rock musician and more. Despite a promising premise, the film never engages. Dullness permeates it through and through and, instead of laughs and scares, all it elicits are yawns of boredom. The jokes and gags get laboured (especially those on the Hindi film industry). The tone is over-the-top and acting largely hammy. Skip this one and watch the original on Youtube instead.

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