3.0 / 5
Vibhooti (Saif Ali Khan) and Chiraunji (Arjun Kapoor) are brothers who try to make a living by posing as exorcists. While Chiraunji believes in ghosts, Vibhooti knows that it is all a scam. He’s in it just for the money and the women. Chiraunji feels that his late father, Ullat Baba, was a great tantric and they should carry forward his legacy of genuinely helping people. Their father has left them a spell book, which is written in a dead language and Chiraunji is always trying to decipher it. Maya (Yami Gautam) comes looking for them. She is the owner of a tea estate in Dharamshala. 27 years ago, his father had exorcised an evil spirit from the estate, which has apparently returned. While Vibhooti sees this as a God-given opportunity to milk the wealthy heiress for money, Chiraunji feels that he can finally put his hidden knowledge to good use. They travel with Maya to her farm, where they meet her sister Kanika (Jacqueline Fernandez), who wants to sell her property and move to London. A skeptical Vibhooti knows that there is a human hand behind ghost sightings. Chiraunji discovers the key to the spell book and searches for a cure there. The truth lies somewhere between the beliefs of both …
Director Pavan Kirpalani’s various “inspirations” for the film include The Exorcist, Evil Dead, The Hound Of Baskervilles, Scooby Doo, and Ghostbusters. In fact, the truck they live in and operate from is very reminiscent of The Ectomobile from Ghostbusters and Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. The movie starts off as pure comedy and then moves on to the horror comedy genre, with scenes filled with black vomit, walking on rooftops, and scary jumping galore. A girl mysteriously appears and disappears, roots crawl through windows and ceilings, a ritual is interrupted … common horror tropes are used generously. It’s not the Conjuring kind of horror though and it won’t make you close your eyes in fear.
The horror part of the movie is definitely weak. What the director and his writing team get right is comedy. The funniest scenes revolve around mock exorcisms in which various devices are used to fool the gullible masses. The witty dialogue delves into everything from superstition to nepotism. You laugh when the masses are forced to sing Go kichkandi go, or when Saif asks that the GST amount be included in his rates. Jaaved Jaffrey’s character was made to marry a goat seven times and starts bleating like one when he’s scared. Taken out of context, it all seems extremely silly, but it works well within the parameters of the movie.
What makes the movie work is the camaraderie between Saif and Arjun. They seem like brothers who may not agree on everything, but nevertheless they love each other to the core and are willing to give their lives for each other. Saif is shown to be a motor talker who loves to watch Naagin and has a collection of old Playboy magazines. His constant comment on everything, especially his younger brother’s naivety, is really hilarious. Arjun gets to play some kind of honest con man. His decency and benevolent spirit keep his older brother grounded. Yami Gautam plays a hardworking businesswoman who dreams of resurrecting her father’s business and has no other layer to her character. It’s Jacqueline who surprisingly gets the best role, that of a whimsical Instagram individual who just happens to have a cunning brain behind the goofy act. Fortunately, the director has not invested in a romantic song between Saif and Jacqueline or between Arjun and Yami. You don’t see them singing a love song in the picturesque places.
The actors have done their job in most of the roles. Saif Ali Khan gets the best lines and his act of quackery takes you away from the movie’s flaws. He’s really having fun as an actor in these wacky movies. His comic timing is spot on and he should continue to invest more in comedies. Arjun Kapoor also gets his share of attention. He doesn’t play a haunting character for once and keeps it all upbeat and fun. He adapts well to Saif, feeds on him, and provides a lot of laughs in the process. This is perhaps the most commercial film in Yami Gautam’s career. His character is pure vanilla at first, but he was later shown to be possessed by the spirit and has rehearsed both versions very well. Jacqueline Fernandez is the surprise package and rehearses her selfish sister act with poise. Hopefully it will get meatier roles in the future.
Overall, Bhoot Police is a clean comedy without silly jokes and sexual humor. It doesn’t scare you too much, but it will certainly make you laugh. It’s set for a sequel, so get ready to follow the upcoming adventures of Vibhooti and Chiraunji.
Trailer: Bhoot Police
Renuka Vyavahare, Sep 10, 2021, 1:30 pm IST
2.0 / 5
History: The film follows the ghost hunting tantriks: brothers Vibhooti (Saif Ali Khan) and Chiraunji (Arjun Kapoor), who are hired to capture a demon who has allegedly haunted a tea plantation in the beautiful hills of Himachal.
Check: The tea farm is owned by sisters Maya (Yami Gautam) and Kanu (Jacqueline Fernandez). Vibhooti’s career goals include women (any guy is my type, he says) and money. The younger brother wishes to carry on the legacy of his revered deceased father (Ullat baba) by doing a good job. Can the two of them help the wealthy sisters turned bankrupt, of the aatma who hunts at night?
Director Pavan Kirpalani’s horror comedy has its moments, but the childishness trumps the quirkiness. The relevant phrases about nepotism and the go-corona-go references are hilarious. The setting and the idea, catch your attention from the beginning. Saif Ali Khan speaking an unknown village dialect with an Anglo-Saxon accent, in that unique Saif voice is unintentionally funny. His ability to seek out less-than-heroic characters, off the beaten track, is admirable. But intention and intent can be fun to a degree. His performance leaves you in conflict here. He gives the impression that he is a strange mix of trying too hard to be funny and not trying at all to be involved in his character. Arjun and Yami are sincere, the only actors who have understood the task. Jacqueline and Saif seem more like tourists in Dharamshala, who chose to act in this movie as a hobby.
Stree was a good example of blending elements of horror and comedy without making either seem frivolous. Bhoot police hope to poke fun at the dhongi slime who deceive people. He hopes to poke fun at superstitions and blind faith, and eventually makes fun of his own premise. The story is not as much of a problem as the inconsistent thinking behind it.
While almost all fails, the only comedian who really impresses here is Johnny Lever’s talented daughter, Jamie Lever. Her character singing Aishwarya Rai’s romantic dream number ‘Aao Na’ while her husband struggles to dunk makes you laugh. If you must see this movie, watch it for it.