The International Movie Review

A venture

Bhoothnath – A complete family treat!

Posted by harino1 on May 14, 2008

Much has been said about Bhoothnath right from the pairing of Amitabh and Shahrukh after a long time and the potential that the debutant director Vivek Sharma carries.

After films such as ‘Bhagbhan’ , ‘Babul’ , comes yet another film from the reputed B.R. Films but this time around unlike their previous ventures you neither get to see a typical family drama nor the presence of Ravi Chopra spearheading the direction of the film. This time the offering is absolutely new and fresh with debutant Vivek Sharma exploring the relationship between a young boy and a spirit in a very innovative, humorous manner.

The story revolves around a 7 year old naughty boy –Banku(Aman Siddiqui) whose family(Shahrukh Khan and Juhi Chawla) comes to live in a mansion in Goa. The mansion-Nath Villa is considered haunted after the demise of Kailash Nath (Amitabh Bachchan) and his wife.

No one dares to stay at Nath Villa and soon the spirit wants to get rid of his new rival-Banku. All attempts to scare Banku fail and the two now develop a new bond. The so called ghost is renamed as Bhootnath and Banku soon becomes Bhootnath’s ‘Angel’.

Thinks take a turn when Kailash Nath’s son (Priyanshu Chatterjee) returns from the U.S. to sell Nath Villa.

Firstly, if there is any misconception that Bhootnath is a horror flick, keep all your perceptions aside and digest the fact that this flick is actually a cute film for the complete family. It’s meant for all audiences and just because it explores the relationship between a kid and a ghost ,doesn’t mean that it’s a ‘Kiddie’ movie or so.

Director Vivek Sharma excels with his very first film. Unlike most directors, he doesn’t get carried away by the star presence of either Amitabh or Shahrukh and does no gigs such as an item number or so to enhance the stars but rather sticks to the very basics of a simple script and its simple storytelling.

Bhootnath isn’t the most unique or rarest of scripts but it is the simplicity in story telling that really keeps you entertained and brings out the kid in you. Vivek makes you laugh and even gets the audience moist eyed with couple of sequences.

Be it the sequence where Banku hurts himself by falling off the staircase or be it Banku’s rift with Bhootnath, the movie has a certain emotional connect with the audience.

The characters in the film have been so well sketched out and are indeed relevant to the storytelling process. Be it the peon or the principal(Satish Shah) who eats all the tiffin boxes at school or even Anthony(Rajpal Yadav) the beggar; each of them make you laugh and are unique in some way or the other.

On the technical front, the movie is supreme in terms of its special effects. These effects raise the bar of the film. Watch out for the movement of dry leaves, Banku’s hand stretching out to help a friend in a pit, Amitabh’s expressions to scare the kid etc. It’s simply brilliant for a Hindi film.

The cinematography by Vishnu Rao is simple and sleek which make possible the addition of such brilliant visual effects.

The music by Vishal-Shekar isn’t great and the movie pace get hampered by a bunch of tracks forced in. But in any case the visual’s of ‘Mere Buddy’ further enhanced by the bloopers when the credit rolls makes this track grow on you.

On the acting front, the movie truly belongs to Aman Siddiqui and Amitabh Bachchan. Aman impresses tremendously with his naughty expressions, cute laughter and dialogue delivery. You may even have tears trickle towards the climax where you see Aman cry out loud looking at the stars, searching for Bhootnath.

Amitabh Bachan returns to form like never before. His bonding with Aman is superb and the relationship explored here is much superior to the Amitabh-Sweeney relationship in Cheeni Kum. After a disastrous 2007 with movies such as ‘Nishabd’ and ‘Aag’, most people wrote Amitabh off. But , Bhootnath really justifies the lines ‘Ain’t nobody does it better’ from the ‘Mere Buddy’ track. Amitabh really proves that he is still young at heart and has the zest to go on. He makes you laugh with his expressions, his attire and also brings in those necessary emotions with his anger scenes and his explanation of forgiveness to the kid. Even the very utterance of the word ‘Angel’ from Amtabh’s mouth brings in that emotional connect.

Juhi Chawla does really well as the mother. She is convincing and makes you giggle at times. Shahrukh Khan does a decent job as the father. Satish Shah is extremely funny. As the principal with an anglo-Indian accent, he is sure to make both the young and old laugh. Rajpal yadav has a very small role in the film as the beggar but is indeed good. He expresses well and his lines are witty enough.

Priyanshu does well and surely deserves meatier roles. Ashish Choudhary and Nauheed Cyrusi are barely ok.

Bhootnath does have its share of flaws, primarily the second half which gets a little stretched out with the addition of songs. But, in any case it’s a movie worth watching this summer and might provide for some good lessons on forgiveness. As for parents, watch out for the athletic meet scene where Amitabh explains that success can be achieved only by hard work and not magic- A good lesson to be learnt.

Let’s hope Bhootnath ends the dry spell at the boxoffice. In any case leave cricket aside and go watch Bhootnath, you won’t regret doing so.


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