What is it all about?
Sir.. Not Again.. hoping to grain on supernatural comedy field the much awaited Big B starer 'Bhoothnath Returns' comes with some humour smarts giving an impression of a classic comedy vehicle but as the reel moves on the movie fails to remove its previous stains of getting too dramatic, preachy and farfetched. Bhoothnath suffered from 'Bhaghban'isation only to return as a new age T.N. Seshan in this 2014 election.
Whatever the promise shown during the initial reels ends up as a juvenile routine run-of-the-mill political drama which started as a supernatural comedy targeted at the kids resulting in a fleeting interest for mature audience probably more for those kids at heart who always want to live in fantasy and die hard Bachchan fans at the most.
The writers Piyush Gupta, Shreyas Jain, Nikhil Mehrotra, and Nitesh Tiwari start off well with the voice over of Big B who founds himself being poked for fun by his colleagues and seniors in the 'Bhoothland' for his incapability to scare even a child during his last visit. In a desperate move to earn his rebirth as a human being and respect from his peers Bhoothnath strikes a deal with the head honcho of the 'Bhoothland' to scare ten kids on earth to push his application for rebirth as a human being.
Bhoothnath meets a street smart slum dweller Akhrot (Parth Bhalerao) in Dharavi who earns his livelihood by showing dirty poor India to foreigners an instant camaraderie between Bhoothnath and Akhrot is developed and we are hoping for some new direction but alas enters Bhau (Boman Irani) a typical bollywood politician and an absurdity takes over as we see Bhoothnath contest election against Bhau and while doing so becomes preachy and we wonder whether Bhoothnath has sleep walked from the sets of Aarakshan and Satyagraha but with different agenda asking us to vote again and again and again even repeatedly asking us to make our voter identity cards and for that involving Ranbir Kapoor, SRK and even asking Anurag Kashyap to pen a election campaign number.. and you don't need any qualification to know what is the outcome of the election.
What to look out for
Big B and the wonder kid Parth Bhalerao. Well Mr. Bachchan can never go wrong and this time also the iconic actor does a fabulous job he is superb. Big B's energy, comic timings are just perfect. Parth is bundle of talent and it's a great honour to match steps with Big B and he does it with super confidence. He even gets some good lines. In fact the first half is interestingly entertaining, full of fun and frolic. The camaraderie between Bhoothnath and Akhrot is the major highlight. Director Nitesh Tiwary who jointly directed Chillar Party with Vikas Bhel does shows flair for comedy during the first half and gets good support from his writers.. the punches are good and sometimes the humour does strikes the chord and goes into a Raju Hirani, Hrishida, Basu Da mode but as said earlier its short lived. Once it gets into political mode it becomes a routine political masala fare.
Boman Irani and Sanjay Mishra chip in with some great support. Usha Jhadav makes an impact.
How can a supernatural comedy probably targeted at the children gets politically preachy and starts giving gyan on voting adhikar (responsibility) and all.. and that too done with all the cliche melodrama spoiling the good intention showed during the initial reels. Is this a political film or a supernatural fantasy satire? The farfetched gyan was not enough the makers further maligned it by needless use of names like SRK, Ranbir Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap just to give mileage to their preach which falls flat.
And for all this it takes 155 minutes forcing the audience to remember the dictate on exercising the franchise to vote rather than the fun elements during the first half.
Many a time's people appear to be starring at Bhoothnath when he is supposed to be invisible. Such blunder. Poking fun of highly acclaimed films like 'Slumdog Millionaire' and filmmakers like 'Speilberg' is not appropriate for a one film old filmmaker like Nitesh Tiwari. Music by Palak Muchhal, Ram Sampath and Yo Yo Honey Singh is routine. Locations are repeated.
Conclusion: 'Bhoothnath Returns' is a supernatural comedy probably targeted at the kids starts off well but as it progresses moves right over kids heads and slips from the laps of adults ending up as a sad preachy political drama. The previous suffered from 'Baghban'isation this one suffers from a cliche b-town political melodramatic sensation.
Rating **and 1/2