Banner: B R Films
Director: Vivek Sharma
Producer: Ravi Chopra
Star Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Juhi Chawla, Shahrukh Khan, Aman Siddiqui, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Rajpal Yadav, Satish Shah
Mumbai: A golden opportunity squandered. That’s Bhoothnath in a nutshell. It is not everyday that one gets to watch the Big B playing a bhoot and that USP single-handedly is potent enough to draw the crowds. Keeping them there, well, is a different ball-game. A game that the film plays to win but sadly loses.
Bhoothnath is about a ghost who haunts his house after his death safe-guarding it from intruders, even his son, by whom he feels betrayed. Enter Shahrukh-Juhi and family in the form a little mischievous tot Banku who come to stay in the house for a short while and encounter Bhoothnath first-hand. What follows is a nice attempt at feel-good cinema, a chunk of moral stories and Baghban part-2.
Bhoothnath begins on a high note and maintains it with (a tad-bit late) entry of the much-awaited ghost. A lack of energy is nevertheless evident right from the beginning to which the usually vibrant SRK too succumbs. That this is something only Bachchan does away with, but it sadly doesn’t do much for the film. The film progressively disappoints with a lack of imagination as well, something that the audience but naturally would expect.
It is not the actor’s fault that the movie fails to sustain interest despite all. Amitabh yet again proves to everyone why he is the Emperor Supreme of Bollywood. He makes the bhooth as cranky as he makes it endearing and as strong as it is vulnerable. Despite almost extinguished interest it is only his performance that draws the audience to remain connected to his character and feel for him.
Juhi Chawla is excellent in her usual effervescent self in a role that has a touch of maturity that does not dull the shine of her histrionics. Her lazy but loving Ma is the only breath of fresh air in the film. She is as eminently watchable her playing second fiddle to a little tot and Big B as she was while pirouetting to SRK’s ‘tu mere saamne’.
SRK in his special appearance is as charming as ever and one really wonders wouldn’t there be more matter to play with had he been around for longer. The little kid delivers a good performance as far as Bollywood’s kids go but doesn’t raise the bar. The discredit largely goes to the director Vivek Sharma for making Banku the stereotypical image of a stupidly innocent boy, something that exists only in Bollywood, however bratty they may be or howmuchever they may rap.
Music by Vishal-Shekhar is definitely hummable and the background score by Salim-Sulaiman, a little typical in parts is commendable too. Cinematography handles the effects and illusions smartly and editing is sharp as required. Technically the film is quite above average.
Bhoothnath is not a no-brainer, just won’t fulfil expectations if at all. It is a non-entertainer trying hard to be a wholesome film failing at everything. If you are ready to be bored then you might even enjoy it.