Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 review: Kartik Aaryan film is a well-made sequel; Tabu shines | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 review: Kartik Aaryan-starrer holds its ground against the original; Tabu steals the show

ByMonika Rawal Kukreja
May 20, 2022 10:12 AM IST

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 review: The Anees Bazmee film does invite comparisons with the original but manages to hold its ground, aided by strong performances from Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani, and Tabu.

It's quite difficult to watch a sequel in isolation and not draw comparisons with the original. Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 definitely falls in this category as the first one--starring Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan--became a stupendous hit at the box office and has attained somewhat of a cult status over the years. Cut to 2022 with Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani trying to recreate the same magic and Tabu lending an able support. There's of course newer elements of thrill that director Anees Bazmee has instilled and introduced. It's Aakash Kaushik's story (he has also written the dialogues) that allows the actors a huge canvas to show different shades and perform. Also read: Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 song De Taali: Kartik Aaryan serenades Kiara Advani, fans love Honey Singh and Armaan Malik’s collab

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 review: Tabu steals the show in this horror comedy.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 review: Tabu steals the show in this horror comedy.

Strangers Ruhan Randhawa (Kartik Aaryan) and Reet Thakur (Kiara Advani) meet at a hill station and there's an instant click followed by a song-and-dance sequence. Well, this is how most Bollywood love stories start. Things unfold in a manner that Ruhan and Reet land up at the abandoned haveli where Manjulika's spirit is believed to be held captive for 18 years. And in no time, Ruhan turns into Rooh Baba and convinces people that he can talk to ghosts and dead people's spirits. What happens when he accidentally unleashes the spirit that's been locked there for years? Will Manjulika take her revenge? Will Rooh Baba handle the situation with his heroic acts?

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While there's nothing common in this sequel and the first part--except Manjulika--the background score and the song Ami Je Tomar constantly take you back to the 2009 film and you again end up comparing. Nevertheless, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is a fresh story and it holds its ground. I'm glad that Anees Bazmee has not just resorted to jump scares to make it fit the horror genre but there are actual moments of 'ghostly encounters' that take you by surprise. Given that the director has a strong hold on the comedy genre too, having helmed films such as No Entry, Welcome, Singh is King, there's no dearth of comedy in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. The best part here being that after a long time I got to see audiences laugh out so hard on clean jokes that mostly enjoyed smooth landing. People were clapping, hooting, screaming their hearts out during most parts of the film. Here, I must mention the unmatched craze and cheering at the entry of Chota Pandit (Rajpal Yadav), who is perhaps the only (living) character that the makers have carried forward from the original. Rajpal brings a different level of comedy with his dialogues and expressions.

Kartik, in this funny and uncanny role, delivers a performance that doesn't disappoint. He gets ample scope to show his acting chops, dancing skills, comic timing and does trigger some genuine laughter. Kiara is sweet and simple as Reet and looks gorgeous in each frame. Not that it's some drastically different role that she hasn't done in the past, yet Kiara doesn't look stuck anywhere and keeps up her charm. Sadly, her chemistry with Kartik doesn't do any magic. Despite a lot of flirting and one kiss, too, you never sense any sparks onscreen. Then there's Tabu, who stands tall from the word go. She is this restrained, well-behaved and loving bahu of the Thakur family and it's the experience that shows in every scene she appears in.

While we see very little of her in the first half, Tabu takes over the majority of post-interval scenes and she's terrific with those curls, kohl eyes and her screen presence. Is she as good as Vidya Balan? I'd leave that up to you. However, one thing I just can't wrap my head around is the make-up our ghosts/spirits get in Bollywood. What's with this cakey white face with cracks? I noticed that in Stree, then Roohi and now ditto in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. Come on, ghosts looked way better in the 80s and 90s and actually scary without the zombie-like makeover. I wish Bazmee had paid a little more attention to that department and brought some novelty.

Among other supporting cast, Sanjay Mishra, Ashwini Kalsekar and Rajesh Sharma bring some hilarious moments. Milind Gunanji and Amar Upadhyay too have essential parts but in a very limited screen time, we don't see them bring much to the table. Chola actor Siddhant Ghegadmal as Potlu is quite a refreshing addition and lifts up a few dull scenes.

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 doesn't bore you. It doesn't leave you in absolute awe of it either. It cracks you up quite often. Sometimes makes you question the logic of it all. But in the end, it's a family entertainer that doesn't walk on the crutches of slapstick comedy to make you laugh.

Film: Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2

Director: Anees Bazmee

Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Kiara Advani, Tabu


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