Review: Bhool Ke Bhi Mat Jaana

14 October, 2007


If you have been seeing the promos for Bhool Bhulaiyaa for some time, and were somewhat tickled by them, there is a warning whether you want it or not: they took out the funniest parts and used it to make the promos. The rest of the movie is not funny. In my opinion though, even the promos are not funny. Hell, I don’t feel funny anymore.

For one, why do all the characters in a Priyadarshan movie have to be loud? They all shout their dialogues, or just make over-the-top expressions when they are not speaking. Also, he always gets his facts and logic wrong, for some reason. Hera Pheri, as much as I loved it, had so many factual errors in it, that it was infuriating. But this is not the time and place to discuss that movie. Bhool Bhulaiyaa, like all Priyadarshan movies, suffers from that same, nagging thing.

Ok, there is a haveli supposed to be haunted by evil spirits (It's another thing that the haveli looks more like a dak bungalow than the house of a Maharaja: strictly low budget). This haveli is naturally empty since no one wants to go close to it, let alone live in it.

Here is a list of some random characters:

Paresh Rawal: He is one of the royal clan, caretaker of the haveli, town babbler, and generally very irritating and not really funny. He does no more than crack yawn-worthy jokes, and being a pain in the arse.

Rasika Joshi: She is the town babbler’s wife, equally nagging and irritating. She does nothing but speak in that squeaky voice which is supposed to be funny, and is generally crass. Will somebody please lock her up in a toilet in a banquet hall and throw away the keys?

Shiny Ahuja: He is the king of this unnamed town (also an engineer for an unnamed company which wants to build a dam in town), who is not scared of ghosts and such stupid superstitions. He also shaves in the movie, which makes him look hen-pecked and weird. He is advised not to raise his voice and roll up his eyes since it makes him look like a retard.

Vidya Balan: She is the newly wed wife of the king (they got married in America where they were studying together; she is also a geologist). Somebody please tell her that when she smiles she looks like she is on the verge of hysteria and that also makes her looks like a man who has just shaved.

Amisha Patel: She is the daughter of the clan head who was supposed to get married to the king before he turned up with his wife. She looks totally frazzled and unkempt throughout the movie and is completely wasted.

Akshay Kumar: He is a world-renowned psychologist (!) who has come to the Haveli to help out his friend, the king. I think its high time he realizes that flashing his gummy grin every now and then is becoming a bore, and that cracking cheap potty jokes is not a nice thing. The audience loves him though. Sigh.

Rajpal Yadav: He is one of the priests in the town temple and has a few loose screws. Its time they stop making fun of his height, and utilize him a tad better. He does what he is told to, and is really not charming. What a waste.

Vikram Gokhle: He is the greatest tantrik that ever walked this world: conqueror of evil pumpkins, slayer of the one-eyed armadillo, he is held in high regard by the Royals. He also looks very constipated, and self-important, but then he always does.

Most of the story happens inside the courtyard, and the cinematography is brilliant in parts. Ample light play, dark corners, and sudden moments are fun to begin with, but become extremely repetitive after a while. Also, the story takes a dramatic and mind-numbing turn after the first half. I swear I could hear snores.

The musical score is ho-hum, and the songs just lengthen the movie. Also, using a single voice on about 9 characters (in a ‘group’ song) is cheap, and laughable. The chartbuster Hare Krishna comes with the end credits, and the people were too tired or bored to watch it anymore anyway.

It has always bothered me that most filmmakers, especially Priyadarshan, ignore the big details while remaking a movie. For example, this very movie is the remake of a southie movie, and set somewhere in Rajasthan, but annoyingly, all the (royals) looks like they have been pulled out of some small hamlet in Gujarat. True, Rajasthan and Gujarat are not so different when it comes to their cultures, but for heaven’s sake, study the royals before you put them in a movie. For someone like me, who has spent the better part of his life in and out of Rajasthan, it’s annoying.

Paresh Rawal is becoming typecast as the confused, somewhat stupid elderly gentleman, and he should do an about turn, about quick. It not funny anymore to see him in thick glasses, gawking at everything and anything.

I was really tempted to get out of the theatre right after the first half, but then the audience was giggling so much, I began to think something must be wrong with me, and I sat through the rest of it. My opinion? You can give this one a complete miss, and wait till the movie comes out on DVD with subtitles. I was thinking of something witty to say as a punch line, but could not come up with one. As I said, this was NOT funny.

‘nuff said.




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