Bhoothnath poster


wogma rating: Watch but no rush (?)

quick review:

The first half-second half syndrome strikes again. Bhoothnath starts off with imaginative use of animation and has a cute, very enjoyable first half. The latter half not only makes you sorely miss all of it, but also replaces it with lectures (albeit short), a depressing attitude towards youth that go abroad for better prospects, and very avoidable religious connotations.

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Director: Vivek Sharma
Running time: 137 minutes
Genres: Comedy, Kids
More Movie Info

Bhoothnath - Preview

NOT A REVIEW - Just letting you know how I look forward to an Amitabh-starrer

31st August 2007 was when I last saw Big B on the big screen. And I would like you to forget that I even remember that occasion. Not to mention that in exactly one month we are going to be exposed to yet another RGV-Amit Roy combination with Sarkar Raj. Hmmm...

Flash-back to the current week. I get curious whenever I see any actor in a role that he/she hasn't done earlier. Bhoothnath is being marketed as a lovable ghost. It's not like we haven't seen this before. Recently we saw Jackie Shroff play Bhoot Unkle. While I thought it was a shoddy movie, the kids who've seen it loved it. I blame that on the choices they have. I just hope Bhoothnath isn't going to take its younger audience for granted.

Juhi Chawla is yet again in her sugary-syrup avatar. Granted, her giggles and laughter bring warmth, but wouldn't she like to do something different? Till then, hoping her smile brings the same sunshine this time too.

The costume and make-up (like in Bhoot Unkle) of the ghost look good and well, scary. A far cry from the lovable ghost image, though. We can't really expect Jackie Shroff or Amitabh Bachchan to look like Casper - the friendly ghost now, can we? I just hope the heavy make-up will not translate to heavy-duty over-the-top acting.

The thing that attracts me most these days to movies with superstars in them is the curiosity about the script they have chosen. Each time, I hope, a movie that has caught the fancy of a high profile actor has a strong script. Bhoothnath's synopsis boasts of a transformation in the attitude of the ghost from irritable to that of love and innocence. Ghost or no ghost, Amitabh or no Amitabh, a transformation in character is one of the things I anticipate the most in movies. Is it believable? Is it one on-the-face event or is it a series of smaller, subtler occurrences?

Yeah, general anticipation, general curiosity, general hope that this Friday, I'll watch a good movie...

- meeta, a part of the audience

Many a time, storywriters use stories to put across their ideologies before their audience. Now, the writing style might be great, or at the very least likable. But, if a reader/viewer doesn't subscribe to the ideology, the writer has lost that one member of the audience. And with Bhoothnath, I am that member. I was a captive audience till it started beating the well-trodden path of stereotypes and meddling with religious issues.

What I call religious issues actually borderlines on faith. Especially, if the specific Hindu rite mentioned is only symbolic of the idea that parents only need a gesture of acceptance, of love. While, it might not be far-fetched, I doubt that is what too many viewers will take away. The point being that instead of imposing religious traditions by using a particular practice as an example, if a larger, more global sub-plot was chosen, the point might have gotten through better.

A lot of the blame could also go to the absolutely unforeseeable slack in pace and change in execution style. From creative and cute use of otherwise-oft-seen special effects, we are sent to a second half where the magical treats do a vanishing act. From a fun, adorable chain of events, we are suddenly thrown into a rather gloomy outlook of society. From a first half with two fairly well developed characters, we are abruptly introduced to new characters and their half-baked relationships post-interval.

Fortunately though, the performances do not suffer from this inconsistency. Amitabh Bachchan plays the grandfatherly ghost, Bhoothnath, who won't let anyone stay in his house even though only his spirit can inhabit it. His comic timing is as impeccable as ever. Not to worry, Amitabh fans - the funny faces, the angst of a person who is worried for someone close, the grief-stricken eyes at the memory of a painful event - all are very much there, the debacle called RGV ki Aag hasn't taken any of it away from him. The only area where he came across as superficial was when the angry ol' man was required to be angry. Sad but true.

Anyway, looks like little Aman, who plays naughty Banku, has taken a leaf or more from the veteran's book. Every time Aman Siddiqui came on screen, I couldn't take my eyes off his eyes - such innocence, such twinkle, such sadness - as and how the story demanded. Same goes for Juhi Chawla who plays her cheerful self, this time as a mother with an unbelievable sense of humor. But come scenes that require her to be anxious and her glycerinated eyes make her work seem effortless.

I usually refrain from commenting on the special appearances, but Shah Rukh Khan's presence was a little more than just a special appearance. It wouldn't be unfair to say that he had more screen presence than some of the other side characters. Shah Rukh Khan plays Shah Rukh Khan Banku's father. The significance attached to his character's deeds seem like the parts have been forcibly blown-up to fit in the stature of the star. Now, whether he succeeds in performing his role of first-weekend promotional material, the box office will tell in a couple of days.

Anyhow, after a long, long time Satish Shah and Rajpal Yadav actually made me laugh. But where did they disappear in the latter half of the movie. And there start my complaints. Keep in mind that I let go of the usual issue related to non-defined super-powers. As in, why does Bhoothnath show himself, if he doesn't want to be seen?

So, every time, I saw a cool usage of graphics, I hoped that they won't overdo it, and they didn’t. I was happy. Every time, it looked like the story is going to go into predictable zone, an unexpected line brought out loud laughter. I was happy. I thoroughly enjoyed the comment on TV soap operas. Things were going really well till my questions started getting answered.

Then, I asked, "Where's the conflict?" There it came, not good, not bad...a little longer and this would have become too serious to match the tone of the movie so far. "Where's Bhoothnath's backstory? What's his problem?" And I asked for too much. The movie blindly nosedived into new characters with 45 minutes to go. One of them is Bhoothnath's son, who not only is introduced so late, but has a full character arc, rapid transition et al, albeit very under-developed. I found the little speeches a little too boring and the stereotype against Indian emigrants a bit too harsh. Ultimately, the resolution to the story as a whole was the biggest let-down of them all.

All said and done, Bhoothnath surely deserves credit for not taking its younger target audience for granted. Well executed "tributes" to the animation used in the Harry Potter series, ensures that the kids get a quality product. If only, they had maintained it through to the end, if only...

- meeta, a part of the audience

26 reviewers(?) - 11 yays 9 so-so 6 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Sapna Wong, All Bollywood : ... The first half of the movie is filled with youthful enthusiasm that will have both the young and young at heart smiling and giggling in their seats... full review

Thumbs up, by Razeen Shameem, Bolly Spice : ...This could have easily been made into a movie that would have only attracted to kids, but with the right emotional quotient added, even the adults can enjoy it... full review

Thumbs up, by Daliya Daspurkayastha, Bollywood Mantra : ...To deal with such fiction requires high creative thinking and Vivek stand on this font.... full review

Thumbs up, by Deep, Deep's Home : ...Graphics work was pretty good, I guess we have reached to a pretty good level in the field of GFX... full review

Thumbs up, by Martin D'souza, : ...Music is where the makers could have scored heavily, peppering the film with peppy numbers... full review

Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...The story rests on two shoulders -- the experienced [Bachchan] and the raw talent [Aman Siddiqui] -- and both shoulder the responsibility beautifully,... full review

Thumbs up, Indicine : ...Vivek Sharma proves to be a excellent story-teller ... He truly believes in the fact that content is king and it shows on screen... full review

Thumbs up, by Harshita Kohli, : ...Bhoothnath is definitely what the doctor ordered. For kids who are enjoying their summer break. For parents who need to keep the tiny tots occupied.... full review

Thumbs up, by Vijay, MovieWalah : ...although it's an intelligent stroke from a debutant director (Vivek Sharma), it falls short of being a masterpiece... full review

Thumbs up, by Hanumant Bhansali, Radio Sargam : ...Actingwise, Aman Siddqui is natural. His unrefined attitude glows onscreen... full review

So-So, by Nikhil Kumar, Apun Ka Choice : ...The story seems to go in circles as the film focuses on the adventures of the kid and the ghost until Bhoothnath’s past catches up with him. Thereon, the tongue-in-cheek humour of the film wisps out of the plot... full review

So-So, by Shubra Gupta, Express India : ...Juhi Chawla's chandelier danglers turn into studs within a sequence... full review

So-So, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Problems arise somewhere beyond the half-way mark of Bhoothnath when this kids-friendly entertainer turns into something of a rona-dhona heavy Baghbaan rehash... full review

So-So, by Jahan Bakshi, Now : ...the attack of the Baghban clone aside, Bhoothnath itself isn't too bad... full review

So-So, by Subhash K Jha, Now : ..."Bhootnath" glides forward with the unconscious skill of a little boat in a tranquil lake... full review

So-So, by Lidia Ostepeev, Planet Bollywood : ...the first half of the film certainly feels padded and dreary... full review

So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Technically, the film is superb with cinematography, songs, background score and editing all excellent.... full review

So-So, by Pankaj Shukla, : ...'Bhootnath' could have been a super duper hit, if there were even few songs to catch attention of kids... full review

So-So, by Kavita Ogale, Times Now : ...a tighter screenplay and avoiding the moralistic Baghban kind of sentimentality could have made Bhoothnath a much better film... full review

Thumbs down, by Fatema H Kagalwala, Business of Cinema : ...A lack of energy is nevertheless evident right from the beginning to which the usually vibrant SRK too succumbs.... full review

Thumbs down, by Preeti Arora, Buzz18 : ...At this point the film begins sloping downhill. No sorry, it begins a sharp descent downwards... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times : ...And Mr Bachchan, you smiled, cried, smiled, cried, as if you were at a photo-session. Sincere tip: a crash refresher course at the Pune Film Institute might help.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, Mumbai Mirror : ...He lists yet another charming old-man's role to a widely versatile repertoire of a leading man in his mid-60s.... full review

Thumbs down, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...Bhoothnath is more than a bit of a drag, despite the lead players trying hard to make it stick.... full review

Thumbs down, : ...Such is the banal story for which Vivek Sharma bears responsibility... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

12 readers - 11 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

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Want to Watch, by central coast tutors primary

Want to Watch, by GlassMan : 50

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Yay! Thumbs Up, by Horse Games : Great one ...

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Yay! Thumbs Up, by Sahil Kandoi : 50

Yay! Thumbs Up, by TimELiebe : Amitabh Bachchan as "Ghost Grandpa" - entertaining family fantasy, well-acted and produced.

Yay! Thumbs Up, by X 4572

So-So, by : is a comprehensive website for all Telugu songs lyrics

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

Bhoothnath (Amitabh Bachchan), the resident ghost of Nath villa, refuses to let anyone stay in his home. Banku's (Aman Siddiqui's) family moves into this house and Banku befriends Bhoothnath.

What Worked

  • Aman's point of view shot when he first sets his eyes on Bhoothnath.
  • In the hospital scene, Juhi Chawla says, "dheere se daudo". Hilarious!!
  • Aman's delight in throwing stuff into fire - believable and adorable.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • What's this whole deal about making your kids feel guilty for not behaving as expected? Is that why Kailashnath had kids? So that he could run him down when he was older?!
  • The scene where Aditya confronts Vijay? Why would Vijay heed to Aditya in matters related to his family? Also the scene looked like Priyanshu and Shah Rukh Khan were shot separately against a blue screen to be joint together later.
  • Surely parents can't laugh at the principal of their child's school!
  • The crowd watching the movie. No woohoos for either Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan? Where's the energy gone?
  • Why would a person with a short and sweet name like 'Aman' be elongated to 'Banku'?
  • How come Bhoothnath's hand passes through Banku's hand once and doesn't at other times?
  • Where is Banku's mom on his sport's day?
  • How come Bhoothnath's grandson, doesn't have an accent?
  • I didn’t get the whole significance of the statement, "kuchh kaam adhure reh jaate hai" (some things are left incomplete)
  • Shah Rukh Khan buttoned-down kurta to bare his clean shaven chest, when he is sitting for a Pooja (prayer)!!!


This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • How come Banku, a new student, garner so much support on Day 1 at new school?
  • Are we really expected to believe that the family of a cruise-liner employee shifts home, school, etc everytime the employee goes to a different port? Where's the logic in that if the family is going to be away from the employee, anyway?!
  • Who makes a call to his family to check on them with an engineering drawing in his hand!?
  • Bhoothnath's nails are supposed to be dirty and unkempt. But they are all the same shape - sharp edges, et al! They should have crudely cut the false nails!!
  • Why is a sport's day announcement being made indoors?

Bhoothnath - Cast, crew, links

Supporting Cast:
Action Choreography:
Art Direction:
Running time:
137 minutes

Comments (15)

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The thing that attracts me most these days to movies with superstars in them is the curiosity about the script they have chosen....

[...] liked Bhoothnath but felt it came apart at the end. Meetu agrees that “the first half-second half syndrome strikes again“. She particularly disliked the use of religious issues in the second [...]

you should check out my version of the bhoothnath movie review Pls leave you feedback.

Wow, Rakesh, you are really something! You first copy from here and then ask me to leave a comment on your site. So I left my comment on your site.

Now your turn... STOP PLAGIARIZING!!!!

no you got me wrong. my review is a modified version of the review on rediff and i also gave them credit for it.
i would suggest you read it again

@Rakesh yeah, right! Without linking to the article!! Deleting a few words/sentences here and there doesn't make it 'your' review...And is that why you deleted my comment from your site - because you are so confident its 'your' review!?

I know it isn't my post you have COPIED, but the very concept of just copy, paste, delete words/rephrase-using-the-same-phrases is sickening!!

Temper temper Meetu. Why do u give so much space to such irrelevant people.

Just edit his comment and remove the links from it n he'll get the msg.

Thanks, Sudhir! But I really have had enough of these people who copy. If I just deleted, other readers wouldn't know he is copying and deleting comments that are pointing that out.

[...] film certainly feels padded and dreary??? See full review: Hanumant Bhansali , Radio Sargam Rating: - Namastey London » without giving the movie awayLidia Ostepeev, planet bollywood [...]

@TimELiebe I don't think the religious rituals were blasphemous either here or in 1920. Honestly, I couldn't care. For me the worry is that it could be perceived as blasphemous by people who do care and distract from the film. It could also go a step further, if the balance is tipped even a bit, if a particular religious group took offense and took action like causing physical damage to another religious group. I could be catastrophizing - it's only a movie after all - but lesser known mediums have known to cause trouble. I wonder if movies should actively avoid that?

@TimELiebe naah, I was just making a general statement, didn't have any specific group in mind. Anyone can get offended by any little thing. Anyway...

@Meetu - just wanted to say, my friend Bruce Coville finally saw this with us last weekend, and absolutely loved it.

Bachchan-ji's stubbornly proud grandfatherly ghost gains a lot of resonance on a re-watch - even if it's not much of a part, he inhabits it so completely that he makes it work, brilliantly. And Aman Siddiqui's great as Banku - in his own way, as stubborn as the ghost and desperately in need of a male parental figure in his life that's more present than his always-at-sea Ship's Engineer father (you could say Shahrukh Khan's playing the Shahrukh Khan part - but it fit very well that he's more like a goofy Big Brother than a Father to Banku in most of his scenes). And Juli Chawla has always been worth watching - in movies like KISMAT CONNECTION, often the only thing worth watching!

@TimELiebe Interesting that you gave this one a once over.

@Meetu - my wife Tammy and Bruce's wife Kathy are usually the arbiters of which Indian movies we re-watch...and end up owning on DVD, usually. This, Om Shanti Om, Bunty Aur Babli, Aladin....

@TimELiebe :D

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