Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 Review: To be fair, the first Bhool Bhulaiyaa receives a lot more credit than it deserves, at least in my opinion. It’s nowhere near as good as one of legendary comedy director Priyadarshan’s better films, and to be honest, it lacks a little in terms of horror or comedy for a horror-comedy, mainly clicking due to Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan rising above the script, and a big, neat, pre-climax twist before people had easy access to South originals to know what they were getting into with the remake.
While some may be wary of a sequel arriving 15 years later and needing to live up to the predecessor’s lofty standards, the reality is that Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 only needs to get its horror and comedic aspects more evenly distributed and in sync, and that’s half the job done. The Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani, Tabu, Rajpal Yadav, and Sanjay Mishra movie also has a taut narrative and an even greater pre-climax twist this time around.
About Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2:
After meeting on a bus, Ruhan (Kartik Aaryan) accompanies Reet (Kiara Advani) to her ancestral, palatial home in Rajasthan to help her pull off a huge lie with her family. While her family and the surrounding village are soon convinced that he can communicate with spirits, christening him Rooh Baba, both his facade and Reet’s lie are quickly threatened by her family’s ancient evil spirit, Manjulika, entering the fray.
What worked for us!
Kartik Aaryan outshines Akshay Kumar in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, delivering his greatest performance yet, toeing numerous tight ropes of humour, drama, romance, anxiety, swag, and dancing like a pro. He reminds everyone how a terrific commercial script and a strong starring role, supported by a very good commercial actor, may give an actor more opportunities to show off their complete range than a middle-of-the-road film ever could.
Tabu is given the meatiest character after Kartik, literally functioning as the catalyst of the plot and no prizes for predicting how her lineage bites it down to the bone. Kiara Advani adds more promise to her expanding skill set, holding her own despite a slightly under-cooked part. When it comes to the script, it contains so many story devices that it might have all gone horribly wrong, so thanks to Farhad Samji and Aakash Kaushik for keeping it mostly straight, simple, and tightly coiled, supported by Anees Bazmee’s best-directing work in years.
A special mention goes to Aakash Kaushik’s rib-tickling punchlines, which come thick and fast from beginning to end with no pauses. Another shout-out goes to Tabu’s near-impeccable makeup, especially in the flashback scenes, where she looks so effortlessly young. The main shock is also rather unexpected and enjoyable, as is the delicate balance struck between horror and comedy, as well as the rare albeit truly terrifying moments that heighten the terror factor.
The cherry on top is how brilliantly every other character, big or tiny, is delineated, and how well every supporting actor does their role. Manu Anand’s A-class cinematography, impressive VFX, opulent production design, and Sandeep Shirodkar’s background score, which is necessarily eerie or groovy as required, all contribute to the supernatural elements not being tacky in any way (despite the a bomb not being spent on the technical departments).
What did not!
While the pre-climax twist is thrilling, the aftermath is perplexing and raises worries about how things will turn out. The end execution also leaves a little lacklustre aftertaste, especially when contrasted to everything that has gone before it. The music of Pritam and Tanishk Bagchi is a huge letdown, with no songs other than De Taali making a modest effect. Bunty Nagi forgot to cut roughly 20-25 minutes from the film, which is an issue once again.
Despite some narrative lapses in the climax and a slightly sour aftertaste, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is a very funny, effectively chilling horror-comedy, featuring a firecracker Kartik Aaryan in red-hot form, backed by the veteran Tabu doing what she does best, a tight script, Anees Bazmee’s best directorial work in years, a game supporting cast, and solid VFX, makeup.