Bhoot Police Movie Review: Somebody once said that if you believe in God, you will have to believe in ghosts too. For many people, it’s just a bit of filmy advice but to others, it’s that truth of life that makes us living in denial feel more comfortable. Director Pavan Kirpalani tries to explore the same dichotomy in his latest movie Bhoot Police, available on Disney+Hotstar. The film shows two brothers – Vibhooti (Saif Ali Khan) and Chiraunji (Arjun Kapoor) – trying to work out their bro-bond as they continue the legacy of their father, Ullat Baba, a legendary ghostbuster who had done a charismatic work in his life. The only problem is that while Chiraunji takes his job too seriously and really wants to take his father’s legacy forward, Vibhooti is a non-believer who thinks that his father conned people by telling them that the ghosts are real, and therefore, he can also follow the same and fool people around. However, things turn upside down when a ‘real case’ takes them to a tea-estate and they have to find out the truth about ‘Kichkandi’ – an evil spirit who has been resting in the town for years and has suddenly woken up to haunt the people.
With the benchmark that Stree, directed by Amar Kaushik, has set for us, it is difficult to accept just any other horror-comedy. Bhoot Police has an exciting storyline on the surface, but it feels patchy in parts and misses both horror and comedy in most of its scenes. Call us a victim because we do expect the same fun and rush that we experienced while watching Stree three years back! The comparison could be cruel but can’t be helped. Both Saif and Arjun try to be fair to their parts – one as a loud, carefree hunk, and the other, as equally sensitive, passionate, and shy. The experience and maturity with which Saif plays his character show – he is funny and interesting but not up to the mark. Maybe because you always have a Go Goa Gone as his best in the genre. However, with Arjun, now that you have seen his capabilities in Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, the expectation rises in every scene. You have seen him do better and it’s upsetting to see him failing that consistency.
The women in the movie – Yami Gautam and Jacqueline Fernandez – are lovely but unremarkable. Maya (Yami), and Kanika (Jacqueline) are sisters who have come from London to run their family’s tea business. Kanu is an influencer who wants to sell everything and shift permanently to London while Maya is the idol daughter who would try her best to save the business and make it work for the family. The two girls meet the babas and there begins the whole drama with questions on faith, fear, and evil. Yami’s accent as the Pahadi madam is on-point. You can see her beautifully transitioning into the woman who belongs to the hills. Jacqueline, though, could have played a London-returned influencer sans that accent – nobody forgets to speak Hindi no matter how long one has stayed outside the country! It’s neither funny nor annoying, just dull and repetitive.
Bhoot Police has a strong supporting starcast – late Amit Mistry who is a delight to watch in whatever scenes he has been given, Jamie Lever as Lata making an impact with her fabulous comic expressions like always, and Jaaved Jaaferi providing the right comic relief. Only if these talented comedians were utilised more, at least the comedy part could have been saved; the horror part anyway looks like a kid’s show with the ghost impersonating Groot from the Marvel series in a few scenes, and zero action. The only scene that shakes you a bit is the one in which a man tries to make the babas understand the gravity of the problem they are getting into. “Sab kuch khone ke liye taiyyar ho,” he asks them leaving you stunned as you stare at his face and feel the goosebumps. There’s no ghost in that scene and no exorcism is taking place. Rajpal Yadav also makes a blink and miss appearance. Just why have the filmmakers stopped giving him well-fetched parts? Doesn’t the ‘comedy’ in the ‘horror-comedy’ refer to actors like him?
The only thing about Bhoot Police that makes it worth the watch is that you can watch it on your TV screens. It’s strictly for the fans of its stars, and those who want to take a break from the mindfulness of other films like Thalaivii and Lucifer (show) that are releasing this weekend. Another good part is that it’s safe for your kids with limited spook and could be a random family watch someday!