- Bhoot Police
- Finished watching:
- 12th September, 2021
Might contain spoilers.
This is a fun one: somewhat predictable, but infused with just enough laughs and arbitrary occurrences to keep one’s interest. It does an enjoyable enough job of finding excuses for comedy as well as for the plot to progress. There are some hilariously topical jokes, including an excellent reference to the ongoing debate over nepotism in the industry. The screenplay might not require much from Saif Ali Khan, but he does a fine job nonetheless. Arjun Kapoor unsurprisingly does not. Jaaved Jaaferi is as great as ever despite the idiotic role (his best moment being the bleating conversation with the ghost towards the end).
The entire film is powered by typical Bollywood logic, such as Maya going missing for an entire day smack dab in the middle of all the ghostly antics without anyone—even her devoted sister—ever checking on her, but the ‘tragic’ incident revealed in the climax is inane to the point of absurdity. In brief: a century ago, a white man attempted to sexually assault a local woman. She fought him off and ran away, so he hunted her down with the aid of some friends who witnessed the beginning of said attempt, and burned her at the stake before surreptitiously shooting her daughter to set the seal on his cartoonish villainy. The end comes abruptly after these revelations, which is particularly strange when one considers the lazy pace at which the story moves towards them in the first place.
Leaving aside the ending, the ghost herself may be the most frustrating part of an otherwise amusing film. There’s no reason for her to be so violent and preternaturally powerful, not to mention for her to confine her activities to searching the house where she knows her daughter is not. What deters her and what doesn’t is about as logical and comprehensible as her manifesting as a strange wooden creature (something that could be explained by her death but doesn’t fit with it in appearance). The constant sounds of bones cracking add an unnecessarily visceral and nauseating air to the possessions.
I’m not a fan of Jacqueline Fernandez, but at least she’s given a character to play, as stereotypical as Kanu might be. In contrast, Yami Gautaum’s Maya is bland and forgettable right from the outline. Her possession also quickly becomes repetitive and tedious. Saif Ali Khan shines in the brief moments where his character is the one possessed instead—the style of the movie may not allow for genuine horror, but he brings all his skill and experience to bear on his own rendition of the phenomenon.