Bhoothnath Returns is definitely a movie with a compelling message, with a good dose of entertainment. The movie touches on a topical theme of elections and couldn’t have arrived at a better time, considering we are already way into the Lok Sabha elections.
Story of Bhootnath Returns
Kailashnath or Bhoothnath (Amitabh Bachchan) is being taunted upon by fellow ghosts in the Bhooth World for insulting their community. They are angry because as a ghost, he has failed to scare a kid and instead got bullied by the little one. Not to be cowed down, Bhootnath decides to go back to Earth and redeem himself by embarking on a mission to scare the kids. Well, his second outing is not fruitful as well, the kids are definitely not scared of him. One of the kids, a slum-boy from Dharavi, called Akrot( Parth Bhalerao) teams up with him, and they decide to help each other. Bhoothnath helps free the souls of ghosts who wreak havoc in uninhabited buildings; the reason for their angst being corruption and betrayal by the system that resulted in their deaths.
Reality dawns upon Bhootnath and Akrot when a gang of ghosts confront him saying that it is not easy to redeem people from across the country, with corruption and cheating prevalent in every nook and corner of the nation. To add to the woes, an underworld don turned politician, Bhau (Boman Irani) is hell-bent on reinstating his power in the upcoming elections. Parth decides that Bhootnath should fight the election against Bhau. Though Bhootnath is not sure, he decides to do so after seeing the state of affairs in the country. Bhau, of course, tries every trick in the book to contain Bhootnath but in vain. Finally, he lays upon a plan that threatens the life of Parth, and it is left to Bhootnath to save the life of the child or help the state get a good governance.
What works for Bhootnath Returns
Director Nitesh Tiwari charters into the Rajkumar Hirani territory, and does a commendable job. The quirky script adds to the charm of the film; the idea of a ghost standing up an electoral candidate, is an interesting one, and the execution is done with finesse. Some of the scenes in the film are quite funny, as they are peppered with interesting dialogues that raise the bar of the film. The second-half of the movie is message-driven and should inspire many to vote in the upcoming elections. A movie should be entertaining as well as courageous enough to leave an impactful message, which Bhoothath Returns does.
What does not work for Bhoothnath Returns
The screenplay of the film is not immune to glaring errors. For instance one does not understand why Bhoothnath solves the problems of other ghosts, when they can solve it themselves. Though it is initially shown as only Parth can see Bhootnath, it appears that he is visible to others too. Some confusion with regards to seeing the ‘ghost’ (as in the SRK movie Chamatkar) would have helped. The first half of the movie tends to get repetitive, with similar scenes of Bhootnath redeeming engineer turned ghosts from different buildings. The abrupt ending of the film could have been avoided. The second-half of the movie may have a topical message about the importance of ‘vote’ but by the next month, the concept will be dated.
Best scenes of Bhootnath Returns
The confrontational scene between Amitabh Bachchan and Boman Irani, when they give news to a TV channel – Boman craftily, threatens to withdraw his nominations and says that the ghost can misuse his powers, on being elected. The montage scenes of an impoverished and terrorized city evoke memories. Big B’s speech asking people to vote, under any circumstance, is motivating.
Performances in the film
Amitabh Bachchan does immense justice to his role, he is quite effortless in the film; and it is tough to imagine anyone else in the role that has been beautifully essayed by him. Boman Irani comes up with yet another solid performance, and even manages to outdo Big B in a couple of scenes. The ‘hero’ of the film, however is the young Parth, who comes up with a confident, spunky performance that is sure to win a lot of hearts. The set of supporting actors, notably, Brijendra Kala, Sanjay Mishra, Usha Jadhav and Usha Nadkarni, do a commendable job. The cameo performances of Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap bring a smile to your face, but alas! their roles are strictly blink and miss.
Bhootnath is a movie that should have released a week earlier, before the country went for elections. Nevertheless, it is a story well told with good performances by the cast.