BHOOL Bhulaiyaa 2 starring Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani and Tabu had big shoes to fill. The franchise, revived nearly 15 years after the first film, hit the theaters this Friday. The top question here was, will Kartik Aaryan be as zealous and charming as Akshay Kumar in the original film? Thankfully, he was. But is that enough to live up to the expectations of a horror comedy that pioneered the genre in Bollywood?
The original Bhool Bhulaiyaa was a blockbuster that introduced Bollywood to a new genre. Go Goa Gone, Stree are a few successful examples that benefited from the hit formula. Which might have been one of the strongest reasons why T-Series might have spinned of a part 2 for this one.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is a spiritual sequel to the original film, having no connection to the Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan starrer. Kartik Aaryan’s Ruhan meets Kiara Advani’s Reet while vacationing in the hills and the two instantly hit off. Stranded in a family situation, Reet asks Ruhan to help her by coming with to her homeland Rajasthan. Ruhan agrees to help her hide away, but later gets to know that Reet’s ancestral home is infact a haunted family mansion.
Soon after, he claims to see dead people and with luck on his side, he sets up solving the villagers’ problems and is hailed as Rooh Baba by the villagers. Everything seems under control, when trouble comes seeking their door and the mansion’s haunted spirit Manjulika is let out of the door that contained her for the past 18 years.
What follows is a riot filled with funny one-liners, spirit possession, and ofcourse Aami Je Tomar.
Aneez Bazmee comes on board for this film which also marks his first in the horror genre. He starts off the film as a romantic-comedy, and slowly starts inducing the chills and thrills into the plot. The first half of the film is entertaining and Bazmee does a good job instilling comic punchlines to make sure you are hooked.
As for the jumpscares, there aren’t many. The director does try to scare you off, but doesn’t succeed at it quite often. While the story does have its minor flaws, especially the second half of the film that could have been easily chopped off by 15-20 minutes, but overall Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 manages to hold your attention.
The flashback story of Manjulika is shown in the first half which is surprising, with the finale serving yet another unpredictable twist.
Kartik Aaryan hits it out of the park as Ruhan. For anyone wondering whether Aaryan lived up to Khiladi Kumar’s charm, he makes sure he doesn’t ape Khiladi Kumar and forms a niche of his own.
Kiara Advani looks gorgeous throughout the film. Her styling stands out and you’ll be left in awe of the way she looks. She too gets her moments to shine, like the scene where she performs the iconic ‘Aami Je Tomar’, but on a whole, hasn’t been given much to do.
Rajpal Yadav being retained as ‘Chota Pandit’ is hands-down one of the strongest aspects of the film. Rajpal along with Sanjay Mishra give you the biggest laughs throughout the two and a half hour film and are an absolute delight to watch on screen.
As for Tabu, once a star, always a star. She manages to give the chills whenever and wherever required and gives a power-packed performance.
Coming to the music, it just doesn’t stand out. Besides the classic ‘Aami Je Tomar’, there’s no soundtrack in the film that will stay with you after the movie ends.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is a family entertainer and a typical ‘masala’ film. My suggestion, put preconceived notions to rest as this film has absolutely nothing you would have seen before in the original.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is now streaming in theaters.