Kartik Aaryan, Tabu, Kiara Advani, Rajpal Yadav, Amar Upadhyay, Sanjay Mishra, Milind Gunaji, Karmveer Choudhary, Rajesh Sharma, Siddhant Ghegadmal, Ashwini Kalsekar
What’s It About
‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ revolves around Ruhan Randhawa (Kartik Aaryan) and Reet Rathore (Kiara Advani). The two meet as strangers on a bus journey but become friends after they become the lone survivors of a fatal accident. Reet decides to feign that she is dead in front of her family so that she can help her sister get married to the man she loves. Ruhan decides to help her in this pursuit and in doing so, he lands up in a haunted palatial mansion, which is owned by Reet’s family. Legend has it that the haunted mansion is the home to a ghost called Manjulika. What happens next formulates the crux of the story. Will Ruhan be able to save himself from Manjulika? Will Reet be able to ever tell the truth that she is alive to her parents? Will the ghost of Manjulika ever get nirvana? Well, you’ll have to watch the film to find out.
Tabu is pretty much the only saving grace of this film. She not only excels in her performance, but it is only her character that brings some sense to whatever is happening in the storyline. Her makeup is on point, and that helps to keep the horror angle intact. Big applause to the makeup team.
Art director Ajay Verekar and production designer Rajat Poddar are fantastic. The way they have showcased the sets and even the live locations brings the story alive.
It’s true that the first ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’ movie’s background score comes in handy at places to make the audiences relive the original film, however, Sandeep Shirodkar’s background score is also praiseworthy as it manages to bring in the horror feel at every necessary juncture.
After trying to do something different with ‘Dhamaka’, Kartik Aaryan is back to being the boy next door – something that he has been doing in almost every movie of his career. When will he start acting and stop en-cashing on his cutesy good looks?
Kiara Advani doesn’t have enough to do in the film. While the female lead in the first film, Vidya Balan, had a terrific character to portray with so many layered nuances to the character, Advani plays quite a forgettable character. One scene where she turns into Manjulike (which has been shown even in the trailer) is pretty much the only scene where audiences get to see some acting from her. Otherwise, it’s just too lacklustre.
The first film had supporting cast members like Paresh Rawal, Vikram Gokhale, Rajpal Yadav, Manoj Joshi and many others who played important characters in the storyline. In this, there is not one supporting role that remains stuck in the audience's minds after walking out of the theatre. Not even Rajpal Yadav could bring back his old charm. The trio of Sanjay Mishra, Ashwini Kalsekar and Rajpal Yadav has not only been entirely wasted, but their acts are also so drab that audiences are left getting angry thinking about when will they get off-screen.
The biggest drawback of ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ is in its writing. Farhad Samji and Aakash Kaushik have come up with a very lackadaisical story and added some completely unnecessary punchlines and dialogues to it. It’s 2022 after all, and as an audience, it would be criminal to be continuing to laugh at sexist and fat-shaming jokes. The writers tried hard to create the slapstick comedy era of the late 2000s but failed miserably in the pursuit. Take this: the youngest daughter of the family (Advani) has reportedly passed away in a bus accident somewhere in the snowy mountains of north India, and no one – absolutely no one – from the entire extended family residing in Rajasthan decides to go up there and at least have a look at the dead body or do some investigation around the death. There are many such instances which will make the audiences scratch their heads off thinking about how or why did this happen.
Anees Bazmee lives up to his name and comes up with yet another keep-your-brains-at-home comedy. To add to it, there is hardly anything horror in the film baring a couple of jump-scare sequences. The first film was a psychological thriller whereas Bazmee’s attempt to turn that into a horror-comedy is just too half baked.
In a horror film, a lot of low angle shots and low angle lighting is used in order to create the necessary effect onscreen. Cinematographer Manu Anand has simply overdone it here. In some places, it comes out as utterly unnecessary. As far as Bunty Nagi’s editing goes, the entire sequence of Sanjay Mishra, Ashwini Kalsekar and Rajpal Yadav was so bad that it could have been totally chopped out of the film, maybe saving around 20 minutes of run time that could have been used to get in some more horrors and thrills.
Excepting a rejigged version of ‘Mere Dholna’ from the first ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’ film, none of the songs in ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ are memorable enough to even use them while playing antakshari. Songs composed by Pritam like ‘Hum Nashe Mein Toh Nahin’ and ‘De Taali’ are totally mood-killers.
Even though the first ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’ had its fair share of criticism for casting Akshay Kumar in the lead, it still managed to be entertaining. It did give the comedy more preference than the psychological thriller and Kumar led that part of the film very well. However, in ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’, promising to be a horror-comedy, there is barely any horror and hardly any comedy. Yes, the comedy punches are definitely horrific! As far as the movie goes, Totally Avoid. I am going with 1.5 stars more so for just Tabu’s fantastic screen presence.