Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Aman Siddiqui, Juhi Chawla, Shah Rukh Khan
Direction: Vivek Sharma
IT’S heartening to see the advent of the Hollywood trend of summer movies in Indian cinema. With Bhootnath, Bollywood too recognises the need to cater to the fast growing tween and teen population with specially crafted family drama meant to spice up the vacation. Here, it’s quite a riot of fun that a sixty-plus ghost and a seven-something kid manage to kick up with their escapades in a spooky haveli on the outskirts of Goa.
Needless to say, this was quite a challenge for Amitabh Bachchan to take up since ghosts in Indian cinema have never been characters of substance. But Bachchan’s rendition of the shabby, irascible spook who ends up as a cherubic prankster’s best buddy is indeed a towering portrayal. Bachchan’s banshee act makes you laugh and cry, sometimes at the sheer silliness (yes, he even pokes his tongue at you, dances in hoodies and shredded jeans) and sometimes at the kleenex-clutching dada-ji act. And the fact that the young child actor, Aman Siddiqui, stands up to the ice-cream guzzling ghost, does call for an applause.
So what goes against it? The long-winded climax that turns the film into tedious terrain and the failure of the director to treat his film like a comedy alone. It all begins breezily enough, as Shah Rukh Khan leaves his family (Juhi Chawla and the kid) in the new house and sets off on a cruise. The house has a history behind it and is generally avoided by the residents of the city, since they believe it is haunted. But joyous Juhi rubbishes all such supernatural claims and gets down to the business of settling down with her son who believes in angels not bhoots. Soon he spots the angel too — an angry Bachchan who wants to throw them out — and manages to tame him as his pet jaadugar who sets everything right in school and at home. But trouble at school and tiffs with the local bully are not the only problem to contend with. The bhoot has his own tale of woe too… And that’s the beginning of big trouble.
The tenor of the film suddenly changes from breezy to burdensome and leaves you wondering why the Baghban twist needs to appear in most of the Bachchan films. Nevertheless, there’s lots to recommend. Go for the bhoot and bachcha buddyness, the kurkure charisma of Juhi Chawla (she’s in crackling form), the tiffin-chor chutzpah of Satish Shah. And yes, before we forget, there’s also the ponytail presence of SRK who has delicious trouble with his wife’s sandwiches. Fun for the bachcha log alone.
Useful links Grabbed from the NET
Bapi-Tutul – Sarkar Raj [Album] –
Some Ghazals that will stay with you forever… – http://www.indianpad.com/story/272118