Bhoothnath – Film Review

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God bless Juhi Chawla! The actor keeps getting more beautiful by each passing day. The grace & maturity with which she has handled age & motherhood is a rare phenomena in our industry. Not only is she looking absolutely stunning, illness she has also retained her inherent charm & elegance in a variety of understated (& often seemingly effortless) performances. And look the way she has carefully shifted gears from your usual heroine roles without compromising on either quality or quantity and yet not stuck in the mother/bhabhi/sister routine stuff (Bas Ek Pal, denture My Brother Nikhil, dosage Jhankar Beats are some of her excellent post-marriage roles). Kudos, Juhi – you rock, and in Bhoothnath, your unobtrusive young-mother act is another shimmering example of how you can remain in the background yet ooze your presence…just like a mother in an average household!

In this film, she reveals yet another facet of her personality- that of being a very very competent singer. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she has rendered the female portions of ‘Chalo jaane do ab chhodo bhi’ .

Juhi & Shahrukh make an excellent on-screen pair. Homely & average. Perhaps, that’s what director Vivek Sharma wanted to capture. Your Sharmas are just your average next-door yuppie couple, shifted into an idyllic Goan bungalow (given by the husband’s company), alongwith their brattish but cute second-grade child. In fact, they aren’t without their little quirks and weaknesses – the wife is a bit lazy sometimes, the husband has long tours to do, the child can be both naughty & caring at different times. Well, as I said, just your average next-door couple. The director outlines all this in little nuggets tucked away in everyday dialogues.

However, there is a twist – and a simple one! The house they inhabit is just not your every-day next-door household (unless you have a fetish for living in haunted colonies!). The house is home to a dirty and cynical & angry old man.. err, ghost Kailash Nath (Amitabh Bachchan) – who as you can very well guess, sheds all his dirt & cynicism & anger once he befriends the naughty brat. Their friendship forms the crux of a major bulk of this short film.

For most parts, Bhoothnath is a simple fable, told in a sweet entertaining & very direct way. The debutant director, mercifully, doesn’t show off any bizarre camera movements, or any slick editing tricks or too much of photographic stunts (except for the necessary ghost-induced scenes). All Sharma displays is a straight-off-the heart story telling narration style, that should endear both the kids and the adults. Even though it lacks the punch to be ‘that great film’, still (especially coming on the heels of such bakwaas as Tashan), it is surely worth watching once at least!

Barring that silly Baghbaan-kind-of-past about Kailash Nath (revealed towards the end), Bhoothnathis on the whole a very watchable fare.

Other than Juhi Chawla, Amitabh Bachchan is superb. In true sense, he is the ‘spirit’ of the film. Watching him enact the ghost traveling a gamut of experiences from horror to honor, you know that you are really watching India’s greatest actor perform. Now which idiot had asked him to retire sometime back? I suggest, he watch this film. And one can now safely bury the ignonimy of Ramgopal Verma Ki Aag!

Vishal-Shekhar’s music carries two wonderful songs – ‘Samay ka pahiya chalta hai din dhalta hai raat aati hai’ & ‘Chalo jaane do ab chhodo bhi’ . Sukhwinder’s solo ‘Banku bhaiya’ is also listenable.

Overall – Worth watching!

Comments

  1. i thought people have written it off as a flop. Good review. I agree on Juhi Chawla. She has been in the industry for almost two decades now and look at her charm.

  2. DJ
    Wonderful review. I have been reading AB’s blog where so many things were narrated about Bhootnath.
    Rgds.

    -Harshad Jangla
    Atlanta, USA

  3. There are times when I have felt that there is a little weird side to you too….Juhi Chawla…how can anybody like that moron? Beautiful? hello!!! and her mannerism…yikes!