wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?) - Just the *really* keen, preferably those who have kids
Bhoothnath Returns is a kids’ film that at least some of us adults must watch this election season. Though it is a tad too naïve and preachy, and a little too long for it's own good, the film attempts to make a point that a number of us can learn from; it is a well-acted film with some genuine moments.Read more
*I am out on a vacation. Pradeep has been kind enough to review the film for wogma. So here goes...
It is election season, so obviously Hindi cinema can't be expected to not cash in on the fervour. Bhoothnath, the ghost who failed miserably in attempting to scare the bollocks out of little Banku is back. This time, he has another kid for company, and this time, he's taking on the establishment.
Watching Amitabh Bachchan taking on the system has historically always been fun. This time though, he's doing it a little tongue-in-cheek, without landing any of those fearsome kicks that have left many a backside sore. Nitesh Tiwari, co-director of Chillar Party, gives us a film that easily surpasses the first one.
Bhoothnath Returns has its heart in the right place. After his escapades from the first film, Bhoothnath makes his way to some sort of ghost headquarters, known as Bhoothworld, where he is a laughing stock for being a ghost who couldn't scare even a little child. (Presumably every country has its own Bhoothworld, because in the land shown in the film, every ghost is Indian.) Bhoothnath then returns to Earth to make amends, where he gets sucked into a political battle with a crafty politician.
The film is quite funny in spurts, in a really sweet, genuine way. The humour is clean, and at times it is so innocent that you can't help a smile or a chuckle, even if you aren't actually tickled by the jokes. For example, keep a look out for all the signboards in Bhoothworld - they remind you of a time when there was no intent to be extra-smart in cinema, just the wish to make an understated point.
The real story of the film begins when our ghost decides that he wants to stand for elections. Now the thing is, if you aren't able to wrap your head around this unlikely premise, then there's no chance at all that you'll even want to see the point that the film is attempting to make. There are certain films where one just must suspend their disbelief, and this film is one of those.
Because really, the film has an important message for us all - the fact that it is important to be an active participant in the democratic process, that it is important to take the onus of selecting your candidate, if you don't want a candidate thrust down your throat. It's good to see that the film takes on the more general problems that one would face with a corrupt politician in power, rather than equating him to any of our real life elected villains.
Amitabh Bachchan also shares a warm camaraderie with a little boy who goes by the unusual name 'Akhrot', which means walnut. Played with spunk by child actor Parth, he's essentially the soul of the film. In fact, despite terrific performances by Mr. Bachchan and Boman Irani as the politician Bhau, it is little Akhrot's character that propels the film in the directions it chooses. After all, the little children of today are the future. They're the ones who'll be more affected by the choices we make today.
The film also has a host of good character actors in smaller roles, who appear one after the other through the film. Brijendra Kala and Sanjay Mishra - both of whom were last seen in Ankhon Dekhi - are quite outstanding. Watch out also for a couple of superstar cameos, and for one scene involving a well known Indian film director who plays himself.
The thing is, if the average Indian wasn't gullible or apathetic, then one could have made a serious film that tackles the message that Bhoothnath Returns does. The film is a little too preachy, a little too naïve at times. Essentially it is a film that would work well to educate children on the importance of the citizen in democracy. Unfortunately, it seems that is also the only way to educate adults as well.
Another time, another place, one would say that while Bhoothnath Returns is better than its predecessor, it isn't particularly a must-watch by itself. This election season, however, one can't help wonder that, even though Bhoothnath Returns isn't nearly the political film we deserve, it is perhaps the one we need right now.
This article is by guest author Pradeep Menon. Pradeep is a filmmaker and a dreamer. He loves books, rain, winters, tea and his parents. Cinema, however, is the only truth he believes in. He breathes and bleeds film, mostly in hues of saffron, white, green and blue. You can watch his short films at www.youtube.com/cyberpradeep.
Thumbs up, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ... With some editing, and control on the second-half melodrama, Bhootnath Returns would have been even better. It is admirable that Tiwari does not try to fit in romance and item songs to attract a mass audience; he keeps the flying objects kind of silly special effects to a minimum, speaks to children as intelligent humans and also addresses grown-ups in a persuasive way. Worth a look. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ... Watch Bhoothnath Returns for the masterful performances by Parth, Boman Irani and Amitabh Bachchan. Mr Bachchan particularly shows you why he is still leagues ahead of any contemporary star, actor or performer. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Parth Bhalerao, FirstPost : ...For the most part, barring perhaps the last half hour of the film, its most shamelessly manipulative moments are tempered with deliberate humour... full review
So-So, by Anna MM Vetticad , annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...After seeing Bhoothnath befriending a little boy in the first film, it would have been so refreshing to see him with a little girl in the sequel. This is not a criticism of Bhoothnath Returns in particular but of Bollywood in general. We know that this industry prefers to tell us stories of men, but it’s sad to see the male dominance extending to children’s films too... full review
So-So, by Nikhil Kumar, Apun Ka Choice : ...Bhoothnath Returns could have done better without the songs, particularly a song in slums with foreign babes. The movie also overstays its welcome with a running time of close to two-and-half hours... full review
So-So, by Prateeksha Khot, Bolly Spice : ...Yes, the movie does tend to drag but then it has its heart in the right place. One of the few unpretentious movies to come out of Bollywood, I would recommend you catch this movie at least once.... full review
So-So, by Suparna Sharma, Deccan Chronicle : ...Bhoothnath Returns tries to strike a high moral tone in its social messaging, but creatively it doesn’t flinch from being crassly exploitative.... full review
So-So, by Suhani Singh, india today : ...Bhoothnath Returns' heart is in the right place, only the route it takes in the second half to convey the message is long and preachy. There is a song which seems totally out of place as it highlights the woes of the country through pictures of poor kids. It's enough that in real life we are surrounded with politicians delivering speeches making tall claims, it's another to walk into a theatre and listen to more lectures on how we need a "parivartan" (change). Soon Bhoothnath Returns heads into mawkish territory with a predictable end. Despite these flaws, Bhoothnath Returns works because it is well-meaning and has two striking actors - a rookie and a veteran - who bring the best out in each other.... full review
So-So, by Faheem Ruhani, india today : ...Together, the duo is terrific in their histrionics. A lot of actors are not able to get rid of the awe of Bacchan's towering personality when acting with him. It's to the director's credit that he could extract such a natural performance out of the film's child actor. Just for these two, Bhootnath Returns is worth the effort. ... full review
So-So, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...I laughed out loud in a few bits, didn’t mind some of it, and blanked out in the rest. Finally it was neither funny nor serious enough: neither fully ghostly nor ghastly, but somewhere in between.... full review
So-So, Indicine : ...Bhoothnath could have been a subtle comment of the corrupt world of politics in India with an added dose of dark humour. Unfortunately, it doesn’t reach those levels. But having said that, even when Bhoothnath is not subtle it is a great effort to commercialize an important matter. It is topical and has great performances. Bhoothnath Returns is perhaps better than the first part.... full review
So-So, by Mohar Basu, koimoi : ...Bhoothnath Returns is lightyears ahead of its first part. Told like a socio-political satire in the first half, it suffers when the humor runs out leaving behind an overdramatic climax. For the intelligent story and the umpteenth laughs of the first hour and mostly Parth & Big B’s impervious chemistry, the film deserves a watch. I am going with a 3/5. Could have been octaves ahead but doesn’t soar adequately.... full review
So-So, by Shubha Shetty-saha, MiD DAY : ...For a cynic, this might be too idealist a movie and it probably is. An honest man — or a ghost for that matter — winning elections in one constituency by solving simple issues like water and electricity is definitely not going to make a dent in the burgeoning corruption situation in the country... full review
So-So, by Joginder Tuteja, Movie Talkies : ... This could pretty much have been the genesis of Bhoothnath Returns too which tries to balance feet on both boats and does meet with a wobbly effect at one stage of the narrative. ... full review
So-So, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Will Bhoothnath Returns be able to bhooth-capture the box office? It might not lose its deposit, but it does not look like it is in with a chance to romp home with a big margin. Tags: bhoothnath returns bhoothnath returns movie review bhoothnath returns review amitabh bachchan ranbir kapoor inShare Print MORE FROM NDTV IIFA 2014: John Travolta's favourite Bollywood actors IIFA thumakda: John Travolta dances with Hrithik, Priyanka Longtime bachelor George Clooney engaged to British lawyer: reports 2 States leads at box office, makes Rs 70 crores by Taboola Sponsored Content FROM THE WEB The Most Technically Challenging F1 Season has Begun. Here's WhyYouTube 50% Stock Market Collapse Looming (Prepare!)Newsmax LOL: Yuvraj to help AAP Campaign Pick up Speed?The Indian Republic Fisheries Should Contribute More to the EconomyFinancial Times MORE FROM THE WEBMORE FROM NDTV Lunchbox Packing Tips (Land O'Moms) Heart Attack: How Your Body Warns You Days Before (Newsmax Health) All Change in F1! Get an Exclusive View of Ferrari's Preparations (Shell) How to Book 5-Star Hotels on a Budget (StyleBlueprint) 10 Most Dangerous Cities in the World (Amerikanki) 5 Stylish Choli Design Ideas for a Bride-to-be (Bollywoodshaadis) by Taboola Sponsored Content Post Your Comment Advertisement MORE FROM NDTV IIFA 2014: John Travolta's favourite Bollywood actors IIFA thumakda: John Travolta dances with Hrithik, Priyanka MORE FROM THE WEB The Most Technically Challenging F1 Season has Begun. …YouTube 50% Stock Market Collapse Looming (Prepare!)Newsmax by Taboola Sponsored Content Don't Miss IIFA thumakda: Travolta dances Bollywood styleDance partners – Hrithik, Priyanka His favourite Bollywood actorsTwo actresses have caught his fancy Sanjeev Kumar: a life less ordinarySholay’s Thakur to his fans, Hari bhai to his friends IIFA fashion policeBipasha and gang dress to impress America The verdict on Revolver RaniIs Fearless Kangana the new Hunterwali? Read our review Priyanka on why IIFA should be named after herAnd how she deals with heartbreak How Kaanchi's Mishti got her nameShe's really called Indrani Anushka regretting NH10 u-turn?She evicted National Awardee Rajkummar Rao from film "Wasn't easy growing up in New York with a last name like Fakhri"Nargis learnt the hard way Clooney's suitable girlSerial bachelor reportedly engaged to British lawyer Advertisement About Us | Advertise | Feedback | Disclaimer | Investor | Complaint Redressal © Copyright NDTV Convergence Limited 2014. All rights reserved. ... full review
So-So, by Mansha Rastogi, Now Running.com : ...Bhootnath Returns is not as witty or humorous as it appears from its trailers. A film that could be entertaining all the way had it not lost its plot... full review
So-So, by Namrata Joshi, Outlook India : ...The film’s structure gets lopsided, the second half is uneven and overstretched, and often the director ends up overstating his good intentions. However, even though Bhoothnath Returns may sorely try your patience, at the same time it does make eminent sense too.... full review
So-So, by Sukanya Verma., Rediff : ...Whatever connect the towering Bachchan makes with his viewer is rudely disrupted to accommodate mediocre songs or misplaced sentimentalism in a prolonged slide show of poignant portraits making Bhoothnath's return quite a drag in the end.... full review
So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...In the end the film leaves you with a preachy, but timely message. But again, it’s likely to be lost on children. If you don’t mind the supernatural comedy taking a somber turn towards the finale, the film is worth a watch! ... full review
So-So, by Somdatta Sen, Star Blockbuster : ...Today we live in a country where we have lost faith in humans doing any good to other. But Bhoothnath continues to s’care’. So just be with him for once and fantasize a better India.... full review
So-So, by Aparna Mudi, ZEENEWS.COM : ...The music in `Bhoothnath...` is passable and not much is of mention. The real life images during the soulful `Sahib`, penned by Munna Dhiman, composed by Ram Sampath and rendered by Rituraj are heart rendering. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...that’s exactly the big mistake made by the makers of this much awaited sequel, wherein they couldn’t focus on the right target audience of their product at all who happened to be the kids in the age group of 6-14. Summing it all BHOOTHNATH RETURNS is just a misguided film having nothing in its content as per the expectations raised and the kid residing in me was really disappointed watching all those heavy-boring scenes, especially in its second half. ... full review
prasol: Watched Bhoothnath Returns. Very nice. @SrBachchan has acted superbly. Great message. Sad no Bhoothnath in #loksabhaelections #India
Nishtri13: Watched #Bhoothnath Returns Amazing movie with Grt message for society and at the right time of course @SrBachchan @niteshtiwari22 #Superb
nandinikkumar: Bhoothnath returns. Such an awesome and entertaining movie. @bomanirani @SrBachchan never fail to impress.
Mirzaahh: BhoothNath Returns is so funny.
jaiswalvj700: Ne'er a dull moment .. But event of the day .. Showing 'Bhoothnath Returns' to the family.
isushantbhatt: There is indeed a Beautiful message by @SrBachchan in movie Bhoothnath Returns!! #MustWatch #Elections2014 #BR
iShafkat: Bhoothnath Returns...outstanding movie! Hats off to @SrBachchan
imhelcian: #Bhoothnath Returns really well deserving as well as #2STATES...awsome entertainment of 2014
Dayyynnnaaa: The little boy in Bhoothnath returns is so cute omg
daredevil_1568: Bhoothnath Returns what a nice movie !!! must watch ...
BiswasNirmalya: I think Bhoothnath Returns is a watch atleast once. But contextual plot I thought. Mr Bachchan.. Hats off to you sir!!
atul27: yesterday watched the movie Bhoothnath Returns....Amitabh Bachan @ its best...still very active @ 70+.....kudos ||
aniket_s_j: Watched "Bhoothnath Returns".... Nice Film But Not So Good
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.