One life to celebrate!
Hello blog and hello readers. I have been MIA for some time now – I moved house, took me some time in shifting, had Internet problems, fell ill etc etc. I missed you all, and now I’m back. So watch this space!
Back to review:
Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was an elderly bhoot (ghost), who like several others was living in Bhootland, patiently waiting for his turn to go back to earth in his next human avatar. But there was a slight problem – people laughed at him wherever he went, and this was becoming really “embarrassing” for him. That’s because bhoots are traditionally meant to scare people, and the last time Mr. Bhootnath was down under, he couldn’t even scare a little kid. Imagine!
But this Bhootland was no ordinary land. It was more like a castle, in the English countryside with beautiful weather and the lush green fields. The babus here were always in a jovial mood and even seemed friendly. They gave him another chance– he just had to go back, scare a few more kids, and redeem himself.
Now the bhoot finds himself in Dharavi in Mumbai, considered to be the largest slum in Asia. Once more he’s having trouble as the ‘kalyug ke bachche’ are not getting scared of him again. He bumps into a little street smart boy, who has the guts and brazenness of one who’s lived the tough life, but a heart that melts easily. He goes by the name of Akhrot and he can actually see the ghost!
Akhrot and Bhootnath decide to befriend each other and thereafter start a series of small adventures where Bhootnath uses his powers to set right a few wrongs in the society and Akhrot earns a few bucks for his mother. Things are going on well till they encounter the big shark – Bhau – who is a corrupt builder and an unabashed thug of a politician. Now the film takes a documentary-ish turn and all the evils of society – corruption, poverty and the lack of basic amenities, come to the fore. Bhau is so evil and corrupt that his power and authority are unchallenged. It is up to Bhootnath to rise up to the challenge and end the corrupt rule of Bhau by standing against him in the Lok Sabha elections…
Yes! A hard-to-believe plot, but quite engaging and very well supported by stellar performances. Amitabh Bachchan is endearing as the gentle giant of a ghost. He is almost like a grandfather to Akhrot, a little rocket of talent, effortlessly potrayed by Parth Bhalerao. They share a great camaraderie, and one can understand how small children get along so well with their grandparents. They are like friends, and age is definitely no barrier here. Kudos to director Nitesh Tiwari (of Chillar Party fame) for showcasing this bonding with such honesty. Boman Irani is so convincing as the devious Bhau that my mom said she actually hated him for being such a devil. The supporting performances are also very good.
The dialogues are witty and funny and keep the story together. It tends to drag a bit at times, and there are a few sermon-like speeches, but these are balanced by several genuinely comic moments throughout that don’t allow you to get bored. Blink-and-miss appearances by SRK, Ranbir Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap also get a few smiles. And of course, the sheer screen presence of Big B is enough for one to go watch this film.
As I approached the theatre, I saw a small crowd of little kids and I had resigned myself to two-and-a-half hours of listening to bored kids talk/scream/fight/play/cry, but once the movie started there was a dead silence (pun unintended). It’s not a children’s film, rather a film with kids, as the messages are more for the grown-ups. As I had cast my vote this time, I was quite smug while listening to pleas and requests for people to go out and vote – the timing is perfect, I must say.
So my verdict is: Fun with very positive messages. Yes, do go and watch.
Isi Baat pe…
… party to banti hai!!!