Some Bollywood movies hit the big screen more dead than alive.
Like the scarily mediocre Bhoothnath, for instance.
There were all of 11 people for the 6:30PM show on Friday at the RegalÂ Cinemas in New Jersey. Yes, less than a dozen people for the 6:30PM show on opening night.
And you know what? In retrospect, all those who failed to turn up for Bhoothnath were infinitely smarter than the handful of people who did. They knew what us dumb folk didn’t – Bhoothnath is a movie to stay away from.
Be warned at the outset, the Bhoothnath name is very deceptive because there is little that’s scary in this movie.
Amitabh Bachchan plays the Bhooth or ghost that haunts his erstwhile house Nath Villa in Goa and scares off people from coming or living there.
To that haunted house comes the family of a cruise line engineer Aditya (Shahrukh Khan), his wife Anjali (Juhi Chawla) and their young son Banku (Aman Siddiqui).
Try as he may, the ghost fails to scare Banku. And before you can scream Bhooth, the ghost and the young boy have become buddies.
Such is the banal story for which Vivek SharmaÂ bears responsibility. This fella Vivek Sharma is also guilty of delivering a boring screenplay and inept direction.
Amitabh Bachchan and the little kid Aman Siddiqui do a fairly decent job. Shahrukh Khan has too small a role to make any impact on the movie.
Although Aman Siddiqui does a good job overall, he is not in the same league as Darsheel Safary (Taare Zameen Par) or Ayesha Kapoor (Black), who handled more challenging roles and are far ahead in the acting department.
But it is Juhi Chawla who got our goat with a sub par performance.
The Juhi Chawla, who enthralled us in the Kannada film Premaloka in 1987, is long dead. What is left of Juhi Chawla is just a rotting carcassÂ that goes through the motions of acting.
When the Bhooth finally appears before her, Juhi Chawla is just not able to summon the required emoting and acting skills to handle the crucial moment because this woman is a corpse in whom rigor mortis set in long ago.
And what the heck is Rajpal Yadav doing in Bhoothnath. We have no clue. And we are sure neither does director Vivek Sharma.
It seems like Vivek Sharma decided to cast Rajpal Yadav, gave him a few lines and then forgot all about him.
Satish Shah is cast as the school principal with a funny accent and a fondness for the tiffin that his students bring. Satish Shah’s silly antics seems designed to keep the kids laughing.
Besides the inspid story, one of the other key problems with Bhoothnath is that it lacks focus. It’s neither targeted completely at children nor completely at grownups.
By trying to target everybody, Bhoothnath ends up pleasing nobody.
Music from Vishal-Shekhar is boring to put it politely. What’s with this must-have rap songs in every Bollywood movie these days? Grating on the nerves.
All in all Bhoothnath has little going for it. Stay away from this boring flick unless you have too much time and money to waste this weekend.