Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2
How can you not make a mistake being sold on the idea of making a sequel to an iconic classic? Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 answers that question rather convincingly and surprisingly. Full disclosure - I was as skeptical and nervous about the film being a sequel to one of the absolute bests and even more on actor Kartik Aaryan. However, it has combated my pre-conceived notions the best possible way and how. Here's my review for Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2-
Anees Bazmee finally seemed to become the Anees Bazmee we used to love him as - the director who gave us iconic classics like Welcome, No Entry and Ready among others. The man had a bad track record with his latest few films but with Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, the man is back in form (almost). There are some unwanted directorial flaws but overall, this is a fine job at directing a horror comedy.
The Story & Screenplay
The best possible decision taken by the makers is to only borrow nostalgia from the original and nothing else. Apart from the name 'Manjulika', the song Ami Je Tomar, Bhola Pandit (Rajpal Yadav) and Hare Ram Hare Krishna's remix version, everything else about the story and screenplay of Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is as original as it gets. It is fascinating to think that actually the classic Bhool Bhulaiyaa was actually an adaptation of Chandramukhi and the sequel to Bhool Bhulaiyaa is a standalone original story. Kudos on the decision to not tamper with some of the most iconic original moments.
The production value of Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is grand enough to make you feel it as a viewer. The haveli in question where most of the action takes place is gigantic as marked upon by the characters in the film as well. But it is the production design and mood that every scene sets which makes it look and feel you are in that world with everyone else.
One thing that the makers seemed to have cracked well is the comedy. The trailer looked like this is another juvenile attempt at creating humor and there are instances of that too. There are lines like - 'Bag mein bomb nahi, bomb ki bag hai,' 'mera phone tring tring nahi, conjuring conjuring karta hai' are unfunny and childish. But apart from the intended punchlines, the non-chalant one-liners by Aaryan's Ruhaan and the way he mouths them makes it genuinely tickle-worthy.
The Music & BGM
It is a tricky space when it comes to the music and bgm. Actually, the remixed Hare Ram Hare Krishna, romantic ballad, Hum Nashe Mein Toh Nahin and even De Taali are decent numbers but the placement of the latter two is so bizzare that you aren't interested while watching the film. The BGM is mostly dedicated to the iconic hare ram hare krishna tune playing in any scene development, and while repetitive, I don't think anyone would mind it.
The Horror & Climax
Two factors that disappoint the most is the horror and the climax. What Bhool Bhulaiyaa excelled in was giving you sleepless nights nailing the horror and Vidya Balan's bonkers of a performance as Manjulika. But the horror here is cliche, unoriginal and frankly, not scary. There are a couple of decent jump scares but nothing notable. And another aspect that disappoints is the climax - this is because in an attempt end on a high and give that one final mega twist, the film actually enters the outlandish category. Too many overall twists lead to complexities and a haphazard end.
Kartik Aaryan's forte has been comedy as we have seen so far in his career. But with the trailer it seemed like a missed opportunity. I assure you, it is not. Aaryan is fantastic with his comic timing and he somehow maintains the adorable naughtiness and playfulness like Akshay Kumar did in the original without copying him. Even in the pre-climax scene and a few other sequences where Aaryan has to go completely out of his comfort zone and do something which is a huge challenge, the actor delivers. Kudos to the man for putting in the hardwork!
Kiara Advani gives another Kiara Advani performance, as she is just there. Such a sad sight to see a good actor making film choices where she doesn't get to exhibit her talent.
But Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 goes from being good to great because of the one and only, Tabu. The legend of an actor, she gets the meatiest role, (so she should) even more than Aaryan and she excels in it in every possible manner. After Andhadhun, where she was at the forefront, Tabu gets to be in the forefront here as well and she is as brilliant as ever. One might find a few nuances of her to be over-the-top but given the material in hand, it seems justified.
In the end, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 manages to come out of the shadow of pressure from its original and excels in conveying the emotions, humor and an entertaining experience that it is set out to give.
Rating - ***1/2 (3.5/5)