‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ review: Kartik Aaryan, Tabu’s latest is a mistake of giant proportion

When filmmaker Priyadarshan made “Bhool Bhulaiyaa” in 2007, many felt he was taking a big risk. After all, he was doing a remake of a classic like “Manichitrathazhu” which had won awards and received acclaim from critics and the masses. The Hindi film however managed to pass with flying colors mainly due to its performances, story and believable music. More than a decade later, its sequel “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” is truly a terrible mistake that director Anees Bazmee should not have made.

Priyadarshan was the assistant director of “Manichitrathazhu,” which helped him create a similar premise in “Bhool Bhulaiyaa,” making it an appealing watch even for those who had already seen the original.

The plot of Bazmee’s film is convoluted from the start and one continues to think that the characters surely can’t be written so obtuse and wait for a plot twist, but the film darkens over its 2.5 hour run.

What is the story you ask? Reet, a medical student, meets a wealthy Ruhaan kid in Manali. Reet is on his way back to his hometown in Rajasthan and Ruhaan, well, is ‘professionally’ a wanderer from the US to sample local delicacies (yes he has plenty of time and money on hand unlike most of the Indian population). The two get on the same bus from Manali which is on its way to Chandigarh. During a pit stop, Ruhaan convinces Reet to attend a local music festival with him before heading home to get married. They get off the bus which eventually meets with an accident and has no survivors.

Reet calls home to inform her family that she is fine but due to a bad network no one can hear her voice. Instead, she overhears that it’s actually her cousin who’s in love with her fiancé and so Reet devises a plan, pretend to play dead until everyone recovers from the shock of her died and married his cousin. If you thought the plot was weird, there’s more.

Now Reet decides to hide in the family’s old ancestral home which has been closed for decades because it is believed to be haunted by a ghost named Manjulika. She obviously convinces the aimless Ruhaan to be part of this plan. Seeing the old haveli doors open and the building lit up, Reet’s family comes calling only to find Ruhaan who convinces them that he can speak to the dead and that it was Reet’s dying wish to marry off his cousin. While the family agrees with Reet’s spirit, unexplained things continue to happen in the haveli they attribute to Manjulika – whose spirit has been locked away in a corner of the house. Would Ruhaan and Reet be able to find a solution to the scary things happening in the house? And whether Reet’s family finally finds out she’s not actually dead shapes the rest of this bizarre story.

Written by Akash Kaushik, the plot of the film has you scratching your head on more than one occasion. The film saves to a certain extent thanks to the dialogues of Farhad Samji which are topical and skilfully placed in the screenplay.
Bazmee, known for directing some of the most popular slapstick comedies of the past, treats “Bhool Bhulaiyya 2” similarly, giving more weight to darkness, illogical plot and theatrics and avoids giving a plausible ending to Priyadarshan’s film.

It is unfair to compare Kartik Aaryan to Akshay Kumar, even though the young star has often been compared to the superstar. We’ve seen Aaryan deliver great comedic performances – mostly because the movies he was a part of were well-written. In ‘Bhool Bhulaiyya 2’, the burden of creating a sequel to a hit weighs heavy and Aaryan is barely able to salvage a poorly written character. The charisma required to play Ruhan is lacking in the script and Aaryan is therefore unable to rise above mediocrity.

Kiara Advani’s character is perhaps the dumbest character written in Bollywood in recent times. She’s supposed to be a doctor, but her bizarre plan to marry off her sister to the love of her life is so illogical that one wonders how writers perceive modern Indian women.

Tabu plays an important role in the movie and divulging too many details about his character would give away plot details (if you still want to watch the movie). The actress plays her part well – in fact, it’s the only performance that stays firm in a film that’s been crumbling.

Actors like Rajpal Yadav, Sanjay Mishra and Ashwini Kalsekar are wasted in roles that are meant to be laughable but rather cringe-inducing.


I must mention here how the makers are fanning a long misunderstood notion about Bengali women and their penchant for black magic. In recent years, especially after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, there has been a lot of talk about Bengali women and their supposed love for black magic, which is pure nonsense. So it’s quite baffling to see a Bollywood filmmaker like Anees Bazmee – known for creating blockbusters – take this false narrative and create a movie based on it. It’s surely myopia on his part not to have known that a mass artist like “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” would only unnecessarily cement this notion of community.

‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’ is infuriating, to say the least. The film lacks the thrills that horror films are supposed to have, its comedy is sporadic, and it wastes credible actors on a poorly written spectacle.

Maybe it’s time to lock that door and let Majulika rest in peace once and for all.

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