Priyadarshan’s Bhool Bhulaiyaa was a remake of the Tamil film Chandramukhi which starred Rajinikanth and Jyotika. Chandramukhi itself was a remake of the Malayalam film Manichitrathazhu. Bhool Bhulaiyaa wasn’t as good as Chandramukhi but it was still highly watchable thanks to the comic timing of Akshay Kumar and also the performance of Vidya Balan in the post interval portions. It was also the time when Priyadarshan was in good form. Bhool Bhulaiyaa was a psychological thriller with ample doses of comedy.
Anees Bazmee’s Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is an extension of that universe. This one plays out like a horror comedy, a genre which has brought good box office numbers. Karthik Aryan steps into the shoes of Akshay Kumar, Tabu on the other hand steps into the shoes of Vidya Balan. Tabu plays a double role in this one. The only cast member who is common between both the films is Rajpal Yadav. He returns back as Chota Pandit. Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is one of those wholesome entertainers that have something for everyone.
Strangers Ruhan Randhawa (Karthik Aryan) and Reet Thakur (Kiara Advani) meet at a hill station. Just like most Bollywood love stories there is an instant connection followed by a song and dance sequence. Things take a turn when Ruhan and Reet land up in an abandoned haveli where the spirit of Manjulika is believed to held captive for 18 years. Ruhan turns into Rooh Baba in no time and convinces people that he can talk to ghosts. Things are going well for Ruhan, but he invites self trouble when he accidently unleashes the spirit that has been locked for 18 years. The rest of the story is about why the spirit of Manjulika is so angry and will Rooh baba be able to handle the situation. The back story of Manjulika and the connection of the twin sisters form an integral part of the second half.
The best thing about Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is how the director combines the elements of horror and comedy. The scares aren’t particularly new but still they do spoke you. The scenes of Karthik Aryan as Rooh Baba are an absolute laugh riot. His interactions with the family of Kiara Advani bring the house down. The subplot of Rajpal Yadav, Sanjay Mishra and Ashwini Kaleskar also raise some chuckles, even if the nature of the humor is somewhat questionable. The dialogues by Aakash Kaushik deserve praise for the way punch lines have been written.
Karthik Aryan gets ample scope to display his comic timing and the actor doesn’t disappoint one bit. Karthik is also very impressive in pre-climax scene where you have a big reveal.
Another thing that Anees Bazmee gets right is the track of twin sisters. After Karthik Aryan, Tabu has the meatiest role among the rest. She serves as the catalyst of the plot. The parts of the twin sister are as different as chalk and cheese. Tabu effortlessly switches between Anjulika and Manjulika. She gets her big moment in the climax and as usual Tabu kills it with her performance. The big twist here is quite satisfying as you don’t really see it coming. Special mention must also be given to the makeup of Tabu in the flashback portions. Tabu looks effortlessly young. Performances wise it is Karthik Aryan and Tabu who shoulder the film on their shoulders.
There are two areas where the film falters. One is the romance between Karthik and Kiara. There is a lot of flirting and also one kiss. But the chemistry is nowhere visible. In fact the romantic portions come across as speed breakers. The songs of Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 are another major sore point. The only song that makes any impression is the reworked version of Hare Ram from the original. Karthik’s dance moves in that are quite fluid.
In a nutshell, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is a wholesome entertainer that is going to keep its target audiences engaged. It is a film which is sure to break the dry run that Bollywood has been having since the success of Gangubai and Kashmir Files.