Bhoothnath Returns takes Bhoothnath’s story forward. As he returns to ‘Bhoot World’ he is greeted with taunts and condemnation from other ghosts for bringing disrepute to the ghost-community for getting bullied by a kid on Earth. Post the humiliation, Bhoothnath decides to redeem himself and come back to scare a bunch of kids.
Bhoothnath’s search for kids brings him to Akhrot, a slum kid who is also the only person who can see him. Together they agree to help each other and their friendship sees them get involved in a cause that is bigger than they had ever imagined. To move ahead they will need to take on one of the country’s most powerful and corrupt politician Bhau. The Lok Sabha elections are nearing and Bhau’s victory is a mere formality, or is it?
In a world, where a common man is afraid of politics, will a common man’s ghost overcome his fear to stand up for what’s right and fight against injustice? Bhoothnath Returns is an entertaining tale of good against evil, weak against powerful, past against future.
Nitesh Tiwari takes the BHOOTHNATH template and spins an altogether fresh tale in BHOOTHNATH RETURNS. The corrupt netas and the corroded political system have been an integral part of Bollywood for decades now. One is used to mortals trading charges against each other or manipulating the junta to suit themselves… Nitesh reinvents the genre by pitting a ghost against a political heavyweight and therein lies the difference. Everything else is fine-tuned to fit into the rhythm. The setting is a basti in Mumbai, but, frankly, the connect and identification is pan-India.
Nitesh also does away with the conventional romantic track, which is an essential part of Bollywood. However, the director compensates it with the camaraderie the kid shares with the friendly ghost, which amuses you no end. As a matter of fact, Nitesh has the knack of dealing with kids [recall CHILLAR PARTY, which he directed with Vikas Bahl], which is evident in BHOOTHNATH RETURNS as well.
While the first half is breezy, with several pleasurable moments and witty one-liners laced into the proceedings, the film does a U-turn in the post-interval portions. The goings-on, all of a sudden, turn serious, while the humor goes missing. As a matter of fact, the film veers into the Prakash Jha territory in the second hour, becoming a political drama, while the entertainment quotient is sidelined completely. The election process, the manipulative games played by the politicians, the fight for votes and power… the film changes tracks and gets preachy too. Sure, the message it conveys is well-intentioned and noble, but the serious and grim turn of events look out of place in view of the fact that the film has been promoted as a light entertainer eyeing the kids’ segment amongst moviegoers. Additionally, the pacing is uneven at times and the run time [2.30 hours] only dilutes the impact created by some terrific moments.