Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bhootnath - Watchable

I watched Bhootnath just the day after having watched Jannat just the previous day, and given that my impression of Jannat was not good, any movie would have been good. But Bhootnath was a movie that impressed in parts. The Director, Vivek Sharma, tried to take many human emotions into the movie; thus taking the movie into 3 separate parts - the first part where the ghost appears to be evil and a danger to whoever tries to enter the property; the second part where the child makes friend with the ghost and turns him into a proper civilized person-like character with human emotions; and the third part where there is an attempt to throw in a lot of tear-jerkering emotional scene so that the ghost can disappear and everything can turn out normal. In the end, these attempts to make the movie cater to many interests put a lot of strain on the overall movie, and my feeling is that it did not turn out as well as could be. The movie takes on a heavy social issue of how children go abroad, and become of that land.
The movie is geared towards kids, and that was clear when I saw the songs. They were all songs designed to appeal to children, and it did seem a bit different to see songs that had a lot of kids in them; but most of the audience was adults, so was wondering whether there was a mismatch in terms of the advertising of the movie versus the intended effect of the advertising. The movie has a cast that is capable of some great things - Amitabh Bachchan, Aman Siddiqui, Juhi Chawla, Rajpal Yadav, Satish Shah, Priyanshu Chatterjee and Shahrukh Khan. Amitabh Bachchan gives a good role, but one feels that in the middle of the movie, he gets overshadowed by the kid, and then in the latter half of the movie, Shahrukh Khan seems to get most of the attention (Shahrukh Khan had a role that was more than a guest appearance, but less than a full role). Rajpal Yadav was very thoroughly under-used in the movie, getting 2 very brief scenes (almost like a cameo).
The movie is about the intersection of the characters of the young boy, Banku, and the ghost of Kailash Nath. The family of Shahrukh Khan, an engineer with a cruise company, comprises of his wife Juhi Chawla, and son Banku (Banku is a very naughty guy, and it soon shows up in school where he gets into numerous fracas (showed in a humorous way)). Shahrukh has to move his family to Goa, and his company arranges for a rental in Nath Villa (one wonders how his company did a rental in a villa that everyone knows is haunted). Juhi does not believe in ghosts, and their son has no idea about what a ghost is.
And then Banu meets the Ghost, and soon manages to control the ghost through his antics, his innocence and his questions (it helps that the ghost is of a man who was devoted to his son, and who died pining for him). And then there is a lot of camadrie between Amitabh and Amar, while Juhi is not able to believe that there is a such a thing as a ghost. This means that the ghost learns to dress normally, and even to shed tears when Banku suffers a serious injury. There is an excellent scene when Juhi realizes that her son was telling the truth, during a stage performance, and is able to actually imagine as to where the ghost must be standing.
From this point onwards, the movie becomes very serious, with the aim being to help the ghost forgive his son (who had gone abroad and not returned until his mother died pining for him), and eventually help him attain salvation. At this point, the movie moves into heavy emotional scenes, and I could see the atmosphere suddenly becoming silent in the movie hall. Music is by Vishaal Shekhar, but one felt that it was unnecessary other than the heavy Samay Ka Pahiya.

Videos of songs from the movie Bhootnath

Mere Buddy

Hum to hain Aandhi

Chalo Jaane Do

Samay Ka Pahiya

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