Anwesh Satpathy

There are few movies that you don’t expect to have a sequel. The 2007 horror-comedy Bhool Bhulaiyaa was one of them, especially considering the fact that the movie itself was a remake of a Malayalam movie, which already had previous iterations in Bengali, Kannada and Tamil. 

Bhool Bhulaiyaa was a massive success thanks to Akshay Kumar’s comedic skills and the excellent soundtrack. The Karthik Aaryan starrer Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 thus had massive shoes to fill. It promised the opportunity to relive memories to a generation which has grown up with the first part. It did succeed in inducing nostalgia, perhaps partly because that doesn’t take a lot of effort anyway. 

Nevertheless, the movie is entertaining. It manages to keep you hooked throughout. Aaryan plays a fraud-psychic who has managed to convince the villagers that he has the ability to see ghosts. His assurance leads the Thakur-family to re-locate to the bungalow haunted by Manjulika’s ghost. 

Kiara Advani, who plays the naïve love-interest of Aaryan, belongs to the Thakur family and has to convince them that she’s dead due to unforeseen circumstances. What follows is a conglomeration of situational comedy bordering on slapsticks, few witty lines and some cringe thrown in. Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is, unfortunately, a return of old Bollywood movies which were full of sexist jokes and clichés. Fortunately though, these are only few and can be ignored.

A movie operating on clichés has more of a responsibility to increase its ability to entertain. Aaryan comes across as charming, playful, and chill and basically acts like your friend. This is in sharp contrast to the first part where Akshay Kumar played the role of the expert who nevertheless managed to interact well with the common masses. Kiara’s role looks like a forced addition that could’ve been easily skipped. Her chemistry with Aaryan is sorely lacking and completely unbelievable even in a movie that thrives on being brain-dead. 

Tabu, on the other hand, is a saving grace. She shines through the movie and manages to do her best in not just acting but dancing as well, with her expression almost-reminiscent of Vyajayanthimala’s in classic old Bollywood movies. Unfortunately, she is given only 2 minutes of screen-time to display this, courtesy the terrible composition. The only repeating notable character in this movie is played by Rajpal Yadav, who’s just as funny. This is less due to the writing of the script and more because of the fact that at this point Yadav has perfected comedy. 

As far as the music is concerned, it’s an absolute disappointment.  One of the major reasons Bhool Bhulaiyaa is memorable is because of its terrific music compositions. Songs like the soulful “Labon ko Labon Pe” sung by KK and the nostalgic-almost inspirational tune of “Allah Hafiz Keh Raha” can still be played and enjoyed. Meanwhile, the title track “Bhool Bhulaiyaa” managed to combine the best elements of Indian pop-singing and rap for a generation that was relatively unexposed to these genres. And who can forget the excellent original rendition of the classically based “Mere Dholna Sun” by Shreya Ghoshal? This movie has none of it. All of the songs are utterly forgettable, clichéd and don’t offer anything new. The only decent song is Arijit Singh’s rendition of “Mere Dholna”. 

The movie has to be compared with its predecessor. This is where its flaws shine-through. While the first movie attempted to tackle issues of mental health, this movie makes no such pretense and is content with being a clichéd brain-dead entertainer. When it comes to the humour, the first movie was hilarious and a laugh out loud fest throughout. This movie’s humour is entertaining but it never manages to reach the level of its predecessor. While BB2 is certainly decent for a one-time watch, it will never reach the classic-status of its predecessor, and neither does it try to. 

(DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are the author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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