Director: Pavan Kirpalani
What’s Good: It gains extra marks for not following the usual cliches…
What’s Bad: …but it loses some marks for not being good enough at what it does
Loo Break: At just a little over two hours with no songs, this won’t force you into taking any break
Watch or Not?: If you’re an adorer of the aesthetics of a film, jump in and you won’t be disappointed but keep your expectations in check
Available On: Hotstar
Runtime: 128 minutes
The initial few minutes are taken to lay the base for the title of the film by introducing us to the Bhoot Police which consists of two brothers Vibhu (Saif Ali Khan) & Chiku (Arjun Kapoor).
Out of our two desi ghostbusters, Vibhu is the one who considers this occupation as a monetary opportunity but Chiku is the righteous one following his dead father’s route to master tantrism.
At a ‘Spirit Carnival’, they’re discovered by Maya (Yami Gautam) who then takes them to Dharmashala to captivate a ‘Kichkandi’ (a creepy female ghost). Following the pattern brothers with contrasting thoughts, we also have Kanu (Jacqueline Fernandez), a mismatched sister of Maya who neither believes in ghosts nor ghostbusters. The rest of the film, of course, has to be about how this imbalanced jodi of brothers set a village free of an ancient ghost.
Bhoot Police Movie Review: Script Analysis
Writer/Director Pavan Kirpalani teams up with Sumit Batheja & Pooja Ladha Surti for a screenplay that isn’t just a refreshing take on horredys but also helps to mysterize the vibe of the film. Sumit and Pooja are also responsible for the dialogues which, as the film’s humour, isn’t always as effective.
There are few brilliantly penned lines creating impeccable situational humour like Arjun & Saif’s confused stare after a nepotism joke or Arjun asking villagers if they want to check his ‘kagaz’. There’s even a Go Goa Gone easter egg which I’ll leave on y’all to figure out and it’s howlarious if you get it on time.
Somewhere, the problem of the script lies in its USP of being a mashup of two genres because it doesn’t really excel in any of it. Many jokes don’t find the right ground to land, and many jump scares are as predictable as having dance in a Remo D’Souza film. Cinematographer Jayakrishna Gummadi continues his winning streak from a very understated Phobia, a colourful overshadow in Haseen Dillruba to dystopian insanity in this one. Special mention for Donald Reagen Gracy, Anita Rajgopalan Lata’s eye-catching production design which is a major reason of why the film scores A+ in looks.
Bhoot Police Movie Review: Star Performance
There are certain roles for which you’ve to prep for months, achieve the physical goal to match with your role, adjust your mental state according to the character sketch, and then there are ones in which you just have fun. Saif Ali Khan in his printed boxers and jackets is doing the same, just having fun with a role tailor-made for him. He gets the meatiest lines which are totally justified for the way he delivers them as flawlessly as ever.
Arjun Kapoor balances himself pretty well while being on the edge of being subtle and turning into a caricature. The way he underplays Chiku, at times, turns into an issue getting overshadowed by ‘eccentric’ Ali Khan. His character arc restricts him in a limited zone where he gets a handful of opportunities to hold the intrigue. Arjun’s Chiku is all about emotions that aren’t penned very well, considering the scope writers must’ve imagined while pairing him & Saif as brothers.
Yami Gautam’s Maya is an important character to the narrative but doesn’t demand anything extraordinary from the actress. She adds value to the climax but that also has a lot of other factors contributing to it, and that’s the most I can say without spoiling. Jacqueline Fernandez, yet again, relies a lot on how her character has the shortcomings she has in real life like struggling with the accent. It’s nothing she hasn’t done before limiting herself in the zone she has always been in.
Jaaved Jaaferi & Rajpal Yadav are ‘literally’ wasted on paper as well as on-screen. Some actors are so good at what they do that it’ll always remain difficult to write roles for them. They can transform meh writing into something special with their talent but this wasn’t even ordinary for the level they possess. The same goes for wasting the talent of Jamie Lever as well.
Bhoot Police Movie Review: Direction, Music
With this, director Pavan Kirpalani has had four shots of trying his hand at making people scream. Okay sorry, I’ll frame it better, this is his fourth attempt at casting ghosts (or just the idea of it) in his films as strong supporting characters. Though Phobia took a different route than Darr @ The Mall & Ragini MMS, Bhoot Police remains to be the odd man because of its additional humour (which comes with a caveat of not being funny all the time).
Thankfully the makers stay away from stuffing unnecessary item & love songs which were very easy to attract. There’s just one song in the closing credits which you can totally skip. Clinton Cerejo, as usual, fills in the background with ample oomph and doesn’t overpower the loudness on-screen. He maintains the balancing act of where to go loud and where to stay silent as per the mood of the narrative.
Bhoot Police Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Bhoot Police scores for paving a way for upcoming horredys by breaking the template of usual horror flicks. Even though its substance is not as strong as Stree’s, it creates a different bracket for itself which could be explored further to create an absolute classic in this space.
Bhoot Police Trailer
Bhoot Police releases on 10th September, 2021.
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Also check out the review of Kangana Ranaut’s Thalaivii Movie Review.